Early Childhood Education Endorsement

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) endorsement is for students who are pursuing, or who have earned, an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) and want to be able to teach children from birth to 8 years old.

An additional test administered by the state (Early Childhood Education (206) Content Test) must be passed in order to achieve this endorsement.

Earning a Degree or License with the Endorsement

To earn this endorsement at UIC, you must be enrolled in one of the following programs:

  • BA Urban Education – Elementary Education
  • MEd Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Alternative Licensure program

BA Urban Education – Elementary Education students have the option to pursue the Early Childhood endorsement (Birth to Grade 2) by completing endorsement requirements before or after graduation. The BA program already embeds most of the courses required for ECE in the program, and offers support to students to earn the endorsement by their graduation date. Please note that students that take courses after their graduation date may lose eligibility for UIC scholarships and financial aid.

MEd Early Childhood Education and the Early Childhood Alternative Licensure program includes the Early Childhood endorsement (Birth to Grade 3) as part of their program. Students in these programs can also earn the Early Childhood Special Education approval.

Faculty Contacts for the ECE Endorsement

Endorsement Requirements

Endorsement in Early Childhood Education (ECE) is valid only if you currently hold a Professional Educator License. The endorsement requires 18 semester hours. Required courses below with asterisks are already part of the BA Urban Education curriculum.

  • EPSY 255*
  • EPSY 350 OR EPSY 494
  • EPSY 405*
  • CI 404, CI 405, CI 406 OR EPSY 370 OR EPSY 520*
  • CI 401*
  • EPSY 382 OR EPSY 482

To qualify to teach in early childhood classrooms, teachers must pass the Early Childhood Education content test, administered by ISBE, before receiving the endorsement.

Endorsement FAQs

What is an endorsement?

The term endorsement is used to describe a credential listed on a professional educator license or an educator license with stipulations. A teaching endorsement may be a grade-level endorsement (i.e. early childhood, elementary, secondary, or special) or a content/subject-area endorsement (i.e. middle school language arts, senior high school health education, or transitional bilingual educator). An ECE Endorsement is only applicable to grade levels and age groups specified by the teacher’s ISBE Professional Educator License.

What is the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Endorsement and what can I do with it?

The ECE Endorsement supplements teacher licensure by allowing a licensed teacher (or a student in the process of achieving licensure) to teach children ages 0 to 8.

Why does the endorsement for BA Urban Education only go up to 2nd grade when the graduate programs offer up to 3rd grade?

All BA Urban Education students take courses to certify them to teach Grades 1-6, so they will already be covered for Grade 3 if they choose to pursue the ECE endorsement. The graduate programs go up to Grade 3 because of an arrangement with the Illinois State Board of Education.