Early Childhood

Make an impact. Change a child’s life. Change your life.  Want to do something amazing with your education? Ready to make a life-changing difference to a child?  Let’s get started.

Campus Ottumwa Campus and Online
Entry Term Fall and Winter Terms
Length of Program Early Childhood Diploma – 3 or 4 Terms (9-12 Months)
Early Childhood Associate – 7 Terms (21 Months)
Diploma/Degree  Early Childhood Diploma – Diploma
Early Childhood Associate – Associate of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.)


At Indian Hills we know that excellent care and education = quality programs for children!  Early CommissionChildhood Teachers open children’s eyes to the wonders of the world around them!  They provide care for children not yet old enough for kindergarten, and introduce them to ideas and routines that will prepare them for an easy transition to elementary school.  So it goes without saying that they also play an extremely critical role in the development of children’s social, emotional, and educational needs; and will essentially set the stage for their future academic success! At Indian Hills our talented instructors will teach you to focus on the important topics in early childhood, such as: development, learning, assessment, family engagement, and instructional strategy, to make you an A+ teacher and influencer in these youngster’s lives! Whether you are looking for a short term program or ready to jump-start your career, we have a path for you! So, are you up for the challenge?  With creativity, patience, knowledge, and skill, we will help you stack the building blocks for future growth and learning. Be a part of something Life. Changing. today!


What you will learn:
  • Promoting child development and learning
  • Building family and community relationships
  • Observing, documenting and assessing to support young children and families
  • Using developmentally effective approaches
  • Building meaningful curriculum
  • Developing professional skills


Which Path Will You Choose?

It’s your education. Choose your own path. We’re right behind you every step of the way!

One more point: In our programs, you can complete your coursework in Early Childhood online, so you can start changing your life from anywhere.

Select one of our two programs below to check-out the details.


Early Childhood Diploma


Not ready to start the Early Childhood Associate Program, but need a jump-start on your career? Look no further! The Early Childhood Diploma will reward you with a Diploma in as little as three or four terms! After completing this program, you can either choose to continue with the Early Childhood Associate Program or find a job in a child care center, as a nanny or in a program like Head Start! (Offered at Ottumwa Campus and Online)

Gainful Employment Information

View Program Details


Early Childhood Associate

Associate of Applied Science

We want you to be ready to handle everything. (You’re going to be working with kids, after all. Things can get wacky.) That’s why our Early Childhood Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program is a seven term degree. After passing the first three terms, you will be awarded your Child Care Technician diploma. You can then advance to the Early Childhood Associate degree.  Upon graduation you can find a job in a preschool, a child care center, as a home child care provider or a program like Head Start! Interested in teaching for a public preschool?  Consider transferring to one of the many state colleges or universities. (Offered at Ottumwa Campus and Online)

View Program Details


The Early Childhood Progams at Indian Hills Community College are accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, www.naeyc.org. The accreditation term runs from July 2017 through July 2024. 


Financial Aid Opportunity

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship

Educators pursing a degree in early childhood may be eligible for a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship. The Scholarship program provides the early childhoood workforce with educational opportunites. This comprehensive scholarship includdes a significant portion of tuition and textbook costs, travel/Internet stipends, and paid time away from work. The majority of your degree could be funded through this program. For information and how to apply, visit the T.E.A.C.H. website and download the T.E.A.C.H. Booklet.

Outcome Measure 1: The Number of Program Completers

Academic Year Number of program completers % of program completers who were attending full-time
(at the time of completion)
% of program completers who were attending part-time
(at the time of completion)
2019 Five (5) 2/5 (40%) 3/5 (60%)
2018 Seven (7) 6/7 (88%) 1/7 (12%)
2017 Nine (9) 6/9 (67%) 3/9 (33%)

Outcome Measure 2: The Program Completion Rate

Academic year in which a Fall cohort of full-time students enrolled at the institution % of those students who completed the program within 150% of the published timeframe % of those students who completed the program within 100%, 200% (twice), or 300% (three times) of the published timeframe. 
FA 16 (9 Full Time) 8/9 (89%) 5/9 (56%)
FA 15 (8 Full Time) 5/8 (63%) 3/8 (34 %)
FA 14 (10 Full Time) 0/10 (0%) 0/10 (0%)

Outcome Measure 3: Institutional Selected Data

(A) The fall-to-fall retention rate in the program for each of the three most recently completed academic years.

Academic Year % of Part-Time Candidates Enrolled  Retention Rate among Part-Time Candidates   % of Full-Time Candidates Enrolled Retention Rate among Full-Time Candidates
FA 19-FA 20 7/22 (32%) 3/7 (43%) 15/22 (68%) 4/15 (27%)
FA 18-FA 19 8/25 (32%) 2/8 (25%) 17/25 (68%) 3/17 (18%)
FA 17-FA 18 2/23 (9%) 2/2 (100%) 21/23 (91%) 9/21 (43%)

Ready to take your education to the next level? Check out more details about the Early Childhood Programs below, to see how our programs at Indian Hills Community College will help you get a Life.Changing. career as a Lead Teacher for a Child Development Center, an Associate Teacher with Head Start or school-based programs, or a Self-Employed Home Provider!


Frequently Asked Questions Tuition & Financial Aid Admissions Criteria
Policy Manual Visit Campus Apply Now



We see raised hands, and we’re here to answer your questions!

Not sure if you want to do the Early Childhood Diploma or the Early Childhood Associate Program? Maybe you want more details about transferring your associate credits to a four-year school once you’re done? Don’t stress. Just ask Barb!

lisk_profileBarbara Lisk, Program Director, Early Childhood Education
Indian Hills Community College

525 Grandview Avenue Ottumwa, Iowa 52501

Phone: (641) 683-5317 or (800) 726-2585, ext. 5317
Email: Barbara.Lisk@IndianHills.edu