Early Childhood Education Administration

Learn the skills needed to take on Site Supervisor or Director roles in education programs serving children from birth to age five. Format: Online

This program is perfect for...

  • Educators preparing for Site Supervisor or Director roles in programs for children from birth to age five
  • Educators interested in meeting the academic requirements for California Title 5 and Title 22 regulations, and California Child Development Administrative Permits
  • Individuals who want to start a child care center or advance to a director position
  • Professionals seeking to be highly respected, creative and dynamic ECE leaders

What you can learn.

  • Discover ways to create optimal learning environments in which children, parents and teachers function as a team in the educational process
  • Explore the logistical and philosophical details of planning and implementing appropriate care and education at child care centers
  • Learn about licensing, permits and regulations for the state of California
  • Organize staff for effective communication and interpersonal relationships
  • Examine criteria for selecting and evaluating personnel

Become an ECE Director

teacher speaking to a table of young learners

Qualified administrators in early childhood education are vital for creating key growth experiences for children and staff. The UCLA Extension Early Childhood Education Administration Certificate program will support you in the process of becoming a mentor and leader with vision, in addition to providing vital skills such as supervision, budgeting, licensing, curriculum implementation and family inclusion.


The program requires four core courses and one elective, for a total of 15 quarter units (10 semester units) that cover supervision and administration – from running a program and meeting licensing requirements to creating and leading a dynamic team. The curriculum includes mission statements, handbook guides and teacher qualifications, as well as the practical aspects of supporting the development of both young children and professional staff. Electives are designed to provide specialized instruction for administrators, such as knowing about and preventing legal liabilities. 

This certificate is offered 100% online. 


Upon completion of this certificate program, students will have the specialized content courses and knowledge to work as a director in a private child care facility (CA Title 22). To work in a public child care facility (CA Title 5), students can apply for a CTC Child Development permit at the site supervisor or director level, which requires these courses. Check the CTC website for permit qualifications. 

Before starting the program, I was not very confident that I could take this leap in my career. However, after completing two of the four core classes, I know I made a great decision. I gained knowledge and more importantly, confidence. The instructors have been generous and available when I needed help or had questions.

Marissa Stone
Early Childhood Education Administration Certificate Student
Marissa Stone


Click below to view the required and elective courses, if applicable, for this program.

Required Courses

Students must complete 4 required courses and 1 elective course. 

EDUC X 321.2
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
EDUC X 321.21
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
EDUC X 321.23
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Students must complete 4 required courses and 1 elective course. Recommended electives are EDUC X 440.2 ECE Protecting Your Children and Yourself, Liability for ECE Teachers and Administrators, and EDUC X 321.59 Health, Nutrition, and Safety in Early Childhood. 
EDUC X 321.59
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
EDUC X 321.6
Typically Offered: Winter, Summer
EDUC X 312.11
Typically Offered: Winter, Summer
EDUC X 312.42
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
EDUC X 321.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
EDUC X 321.31
Typically Offered: Spring
EDUC X 321.44
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
EDUC X 321.71
Typically Offered: Winter, Summer
EDUC X 321.74
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
see all courses

What is the Early Childhood Education Administration Certificate? 

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Administration Certificate is designed for the individual seeking employment as a Site Supervisor, Director or Administrator of a preschool or childcare center.

The ECE Administration Certificate meets the preparation coursework requirements for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) Site Supervisor and Program Director Child Development Permits and the specialization and supervision courses for the Master Teacher Permit. 

What are the requirements to apply?

Professional-level English language proficiency is required in the following areas: listening and note-taking; reading comprehension and vocabulary; written expression and oral presentation. Spanish proficiency is required for the courses offered in Spanish. 

What requirements do I need to fulfill the ECE Administration Certificate?

The ECE Administration Certificate program consists of four mandatory core courses and one elective course (total of 15 quarter units, or 10 semester units). The recommended elective course for the ECE Administration program is EDUC X 440.2 ECE Educator Liability Fundamentals: How to Protect Children and Safeguard Your Career. However, completion of another offered elective course will also count towards certificate completion requirements. A grade of C or better must be earned in all courses for a candidate to receive the certificate. Electives taken for another certificate may not be used for a second certificate. 

Once I receive my Early Childhood Education Administration Certificate, am I qualified to be a master teacher, administrator, site supervisor or director of any Early Childhood School in California?

The ECE Administration Certifcate fulfills the specialized, subject-matter course requirements for California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) Child Development Site Supervisor and Director Permits, in addition to the general education and experience pre-requisites for these permits. These permits allow you to hold an administration position in Title 22 (private facility) and Title 5 (public facility) licensed facilities. Please visit the CCTC web site for information regarding permit requirements www.ctc.ca.gov

What are the requirements to teach in Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?

Multiple Subjects' Credential holders with 24 semester/36 quarter units in Early Childhood Education (ECE) are qualified to teach in Transitional Kindergarten (TK).

Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers with a teacher-level permit and a baccalaureate are allowed to teach in TK under an emergency waiver for one year. They can continue teaching in TK after that if they are enrolled in a credential program, either Pk-3rd or Multiple Subjects. If they enroll in a Multiple Subjects' credential, they must earn, or have, 24 semester units of ECE. Both our ECE Associate Teacher Certificate and our Lead Teacher Advance Courses Certificate combined offer the required 24 semester units (36 quarter units).

Can I transfer units from another institution to UCLA Extension's Certificate Program?

You can transfer up to 6 quarter units or 4 semester units from another institution only if the academic units were completed from an accredited school with a grade of B or better. In addition, courses must have been  completed within the past five years to be approved as comparable to courses offered by UCLA Extension. 

If you have taken courses which you think might be applicable to our program at other institutions please contact us for more information. 

Can I transfer UCLA Extension's units to other institutions? 

UCLA Extension academic credit is accepted at most colleges and universities.

Each institution of higher education has its own policies for transferring credits, specifically around how many credits they will accept and whether they are accepted as core or elective courses. It is up to the institution where you are planning to transfer your completed courses to determine acceptability of your units. Education courses classified under course numbers X 100 to X 299 are undergaduate credits and numbers X 300 to X 399 are post-graduate, professional credit-bearing courses in the field of education. 

How do I obtain a CCTC Child Development permit?

You must apply directly to the CCTC for a Child Development Permit. For further information on the application process and requirements for the various Child Development Permits, contact the CCTC toll-free at (888) 921-2682 or visit the CCTC website at www.ctc.ca.gov

Does UCLA Education Extension provide a job placement or career counseling service for its Certificate holders?

UCLA Extension has a Career Services office for job search support and career counseling. Students are encouraged to seek out organizations that provide job listings, such as The California ECE Registry and the California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAAEYC).  

Estimated Cost Breakdown

All courses in this program are paid for individually, unless otherwise noted. An application form is required to establish candidacy in this program. From the 'Apply Now' button, complete the online application and pay the application fee if applicable.

Application & Candidacy Fee


Estimated Program Tuition


Estimated program textbook/materials


*The Application & Candidacy Fee establishes your candidacy in the program for a period of time covering normal progress toward completion and may allow you to access a variety of program benefits.

**Federal Financial Aid Gainful Employment Disclosures

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to disclose certain information for any financial aid eligible program that, “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation”. This information includes program costs; occupations that the program prepares students to enter; occupational profiles; on time completion rate; and for the most recent award year: the number of students who have completed the program, the number of students who complete the program within the estimated duration, the job placement rate, and the median Title IV and private loan debt incurred by those who complete the program. For gainful employment information for this program, visit our Financial Aid page.

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