Early Childhood Education, Basic Core Program

This online certificate teaches the skills needed to become a classroom lead teacher working with children from birth to age five. 

This program is perfect for...

  • Students preparing for a teaching role in a classroom for children from birth to age 5
  • Individuals seeking to be highly respected, creative, and dynamic instructors
  • Educators looking to meet academic requirements for California Title 5 and Title 22 regulations, Professional Growth Activities, and California Child Development Permits
  • Students looking for contemporary knowledge in child development and early care and education.

What you can learn.

  • Explore child growth and development from prenatal development through adolescence
  • Discover the philosophies, history, and development of early childhood programs
  • Learn the dynamics between young child, family, school, and community, including cultural and social influences
  • Learn to equip, plan, and implement a developmentally appropriate curriculum and learning environment for young children

What our students say.

What this certificate has done for our students.


feel the certificate helped them enhance their careers

1 in 4

received a salary increase after starting the certificate


feel the certificate helped them switch careers


recommend the certificate program to others

Source: UCLA Extension Certificate Graduates Survey


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

Required Courses

Students must complete 5 required courses and 6 units (2 courses) of elective credit.

Unless you have significant early childhood education experience, we recommend taking these courses in the following order: X121, X122, X123, X124, X125. CA teacher permits for the Associate Teacher level and above specifically require the courses X121, X122, X123, and X124. Additional units are required, depending on the permit level.

Please note: UCLA Extension is on the quarter system. If you are seeking a Child Development Permit, you may need additional units based on the type of permit you are seeking. Please be aware the permit unit requirements are based on semester units.

EDUC X 123
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
EDUC X 124
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
EDUC X 125
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
EDUC X 121
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
EDUC X 122
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Students must complete 5 required courses and 6 units (2 courses) of elective credit.

What is the Early Childhood Education Basic Core Certificate? 

The Basic Core Certificate Program is designed for the individual seeking employment as a teacher in a preschool or child care setting. This certificate program meets the teacher preparation course work requirements for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) requirements for Title 22 licensing regulations (private setting) and Title 5 Child Development permits (public setting). Check CCTC for more information.

What are the requirements necessary to apply for the Basic Core Certificate?

Professional-level English language proficiency is required in the following areas: listening and note-taking; reading comprehension and vocabulary; written expression and oral presentation. Students who lack these skills should consider taking English as a Second Language courses offered by the UCLA Extension American Language Center, before enrolling in this program. Students whose score is below 500 on the TOEFL exam will have difficulty understanding course materials and assignments. For TOEFL information, visit www.toefl.org.

Note: Certificate candidates must enroll for a letter grade and earn a grade of C or better in every course in order to be awarded a certificate. 

If attended and/or received my degree from a foreign university. Do I need to submit my transcript with the application?

Individuals who have completed college or university course work in early childhood education at a foreign institution must obtain a complete evaluation of foreign transcripts, degrees, and other relevant documents prior to applying for the ECE Certificate.

A foreign transcript evaluation is required even if the foreign course work has been accepted by a college or university in the United States.

Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by one of the approved organizations listed on CCTC Foreign Transcript Evaluation Leaflet Number CL-635 in order to be accepted. These organizations are private enterprises who charge a fee for their services. Individuals pursuing a foreign transcript evaluation must follow the procedures outlined by the organization providing the evaluation. In all instances, original, official documentation will be required when requesting the evaluation. To see a list of the approved organizations, please check the CCTC website at www.ctc.ca.gov

What requirements do I need to fulfill for the Basic Core Certificate?

You are required to complete the five mandatory core courses plus two elective courses of your choice from the elective section for Basic and Advanced Core Certificate programs. A grade of C or better is required. 

Once I receive my Early Childhood Education Certificate, am I qualified to teach in any Early Childhood School in California?

Upon completion of the total 27 quarter units, or 18 semester units, you will be qualified to work in a private child care facility. If you would like to work in a public child care facility you will need to obtain the Child Development Permit /Title 5. Child Development Permits are issued by The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and can be obtained by completing the 27 quarter units offered for Basic Core, in addition to other early childhood education units which you can obtain from the electives section. The additional units required are based on the type of the permit you are applying for. You should apply to the CCTC to receive your permit. Some permits require general education and supervisory courses in addition to early childhood courses. Please check CCTC requirements before applying for your permit.

Is the UCLA Extension Early Childhood Certificate the same as the CCTC Child Development Permits?

No. The Early Childhood Certificate is a certificate of completion through UCLA Extension and meets state requirement for teachers and administrators for Title 22 & Title 5; however, the units completed in the Basic Core can be used toward the CCTC Child Development Permits.

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.

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
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