Working with Children

Are you passionate about working with children and facilitating exceptional child development? A career in Early Childhood Educaton (ECED) could be a perfect fit for you!

Nurturing young minds as preschool teachers and child care providers is what we're all about! Graduates earn their Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education, and go on to work in preschools and child care centers across Ohio.

Our program goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. Through a combination of both college coursework and real-life practice, you'll gain hands-on field experience in a variety of preschool and child care settings, including right here in Lakeland's Teaching Learning Center (TLC) lab school where you will practice as a student teacher.

This immersive approach to education allows you to observe teaching methods, practice child and parent interaction, and learn classroom management techniques firsthand. Our comprehensive program prepares you for professional licensure and you'll be ready to get a job in the field of early childhood education.

Why Choose Lakeland's Early Childhood Education Program?
  • Earn professional licensure: Our graduates can apply for Pre-K Associate Teacher Licensure by the Ohio Department of Education and teaching positions in the community. Our program also provides you with the skills for employment as family child care providers who can also work with children with special needs.
  • On-site field experience: Lakeland's TLC is a lab school geared toward giving our ECED students the real-world experience they need to thrive, right here on campus.
  • Develop a strong foundation: Our curriculum focuses on all aspects of child development, from social-emotional learning to cognitive growth. You'll learn to create a nurturing and stimulating environment that fosters learning through play.
  • Prepare for licensure: The program prepares you to obtain your Pre-K Associate Teacher Licensure by the Ohio Department of Education, a valuable credential for educators working with children ages 0-5.
  • Flexible learning options: We offer a variety of class schedules, including online courses, evenings and weekends to accommodate your busy lifestyle.
  • Experienced faculty: Our instructors are passionate about early childhood education and dedicated to your success. They bring a wealth of real-world experience to the classroom.
Is a Career in Early Childhood Education Right for Me?

How do you know if you'd be a good preschool teacher or child care professional? Here are some of the common traits we see in our students:

  • Passionate & thoughtful: ECED professionals love to make a difference in children's lives. They approach each lesson plan and each day with a sense of purpose and the intention to create a meaningful learning experience for every child.
  • Patient & emotionally intelligent: Young children are still developing self-regulation and emotional management skills. Early childhood education providers have patience, empathy and the desire to create environments that children willingly engage in, even in the midst of excitement and energy.
  • Leaders & problem-solvers: Preschool teachers and child care providers thrive as confident leaders who like to make decisions, motivate, encourage and guide others. They are good at turning conflicts and difficult situations into learning experiences, which is so important for a child's development.
  • Communicators: If you love connecting with others, this is a great career for you. Communicating and maintaining open, honest relationships with children and parents creates a wonderful learning environment.
  • Creative & engaging: Working with young children requires creativity to design hands-on, engaging activities that capture their interests and adapt to multiple learning styles. ECED professionals love to make learning fun for children while helping to develop their brains and personal skills through play.
Licensure and Learning Outcomes

The Early Childhood Education program is approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education for Prekindergarten Associate Teacher. The Early Childhood Education program offers students the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education with the option for prekindergarten licensure when additional requirements have been met.

Professional Development

Training is available to child care centers, preschools, and other early educational programs in Northeast Ohio. Courses are offered online with classes covered on both days and evenings to fulfill in-service training requirements.

Ready to Take the First Step?

Applying to Lakeland is easy! Simply fill out our online application to get started.

If you have more qeustions, feel free to reach out to our early childhood education program director to talk more about how Lakeland can help you get started in a rewarding career working with young children.



Layce Artman I graduated with my associate degree from Lakeland while at the same time graduating as Valedictorian from high school. I plan to attend the Holden University Center to complete my bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Layce Artman College Credit Plus

Michelle Timms One thing I really love about Lakeland and being in the honors program is that the teachers have small classes and they are very devoted to their students. My friends at four-year institutions are taking the same intro classes that I am, but in large lecture halls with a lot more students. Michelle Timms Associate of Arts

Staging Enabled