two kindergarten girls on a blue carpet doing an alphabet puzzle five female faculty members working together discussing something as they all look at one woman's laptop screenthree preschool children peeling orangesa little girl reaching out to pick a blackberry

Early Childhood Studies


The Early Childhood Studies Department is no longer accepting applications to join the major for Fall 2017. Please check back in January 2018.


toddler boy in a colorful shirtMajor in Early Childhood Studies

Students will study multi-disciplinary theories, research, and best practices in early care and education, with an emphasis on socio-cultural factors that affect learning and development. Students will study the science of assessing children’s growth and development, and they will acquire skills in effectively communicating these findings to families and community partners in preparation for a range of professions that involve working with the very young. Read more.

Minor in Early Childhood Studies

The Minor in Early Childhood Studies provides preparation for students interested in the care and education of young children (birth to eight years old). The Minor is useful for students interested in pursuing careers involving work with young children from birth through eight years old in various fields, such as, Education, Nursing, Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, and others. Read more.

Early Childhood Education Certificate Online Program

The fully-online Early Childhood Studies certificate is offered in partnership between the School of EducationDepartment of Early Childhood Studies, and the School of Extended and International Education. The Early Childhood Education Certificate (ECE) online program is created to provide high quality professional development from early childhood education providers and program directors, transitional kindergarten teachers, and early elementary teachers. Fieldwork undertaken in the classroom or workplace allows students to apply theory to practice in their own career settings. Read more.

The Child Development Permit

The Child Development Permit is issued by the State of California in order to certify providers who work with young children; it is required for child care providers who work in program that receive state funds. The permit is issued at different levels, depending upon the education and experience of the applicant.

Sonoma State University is authorized to process Child Development Permit applications at the Assistant Teacher, Associate Teacher, and Teacher levels for preschool programs. Read more.

Masters Degree in Early Childhood Studies

Masters Degree in Early Childhood Studies is designed to prepare professionals to work with children in preschools and community-based programs that serve children from birth to eight years old, and to take leadership roles in the field of early childhood education. Read more.