Students in this fast-growing field receive training in planning and implementing developmentally appropriate curricula for children in the birth-to-eight-years age range; using positive guidance techniques to manage an early childhood classroom; providing for the health, safety, and physical needs of the children; and work with families to provide connections for the child between home and their place of care.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    If you are patient, creative, dependable, and have good communication skills, stimulating the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social growth of young children may be the rewarding career you are looking for.

    Students entering the Child Care Services program should:

    • Like working with children.
    • Be able to communicate well with children and adults.
    • Have a caring attitude.
    • Be dependable and organized.
    • Have good reading skills.

    Program Basics

    • Technical diploma requiring a minimum of one year to complete.
    • Courses are available face-to-face and online.
    • College up Education pathway for High School students option available.
    • Financial aid available.
    • Classes start in August.
    • Advanced standing for early childhood experience may be granted with Southwest Tech instructor approval.
    • Complete First Aid / CPR with AED for Infant/Children
    • Join The Registry of Wisconsin Early Care Professional Development
    • Complete the Fieldprint Fingerprinting Check
    If you are unable to access documents here, please contact Technical Skill Attainment Team (, 608.822.2464)

    Additional Practicum Requirements

    • Health Physical (must use SWTC forms) including a 2-step TB Skin Test the first year and a TB test each year after.
    • Immunizations including COVID-19 are required.
    • Security swipe card: $5 (money is refunded when the card is returned).
    • Program Name Tag: $3.

    Graduation Requirement

    • CPR/First Aid is a graduation requirement for all students.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) 24-25

    Cost of Attendance (COA) is a total of all the usual expenses of being a student. The COA sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive.

    Category Amount
    Tuition and Fees $4,820
    Living Expenses (Housing and Food) $9,148
    Books and Supplies $1,466
    Personal Expenses $3,608
    Transportation $4,018
    Charger Tech 360 Fee $600
    Loan Fees $84
    Yearly Total (Living Away from Home) $23,744
    1 Semester Total (Living Away from Home) $11,872

    Based on Wisconsin Residents.

    Approximate school costs are for a full-time (12 credit) student over a semester span of 17 weeks.

    Fees are legislated by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.

    These costs are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application
    • Admissions Meeting: After applying and submitting transcripts, make an admissions meeting with the advisor by clicking "Make an appointment" in the Advisor block on this page.

    Program Requirements

    • Prior to August 1st, each face-to-face Field Experience 1 student will need to complete and submit the health requirements listed below, to be able to participate in the required lab time on campus.
    • Potential students are required to have met with the program advisor and have preapproval for online/offsite Field Experience placement

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Have good language, math, and reading skills.
    • Have taken related family and consumer education courses in high school.

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Relate knowledge of child development to practice
    • Create relationships with children, family and the community
    • Apply observation, documentation and assessment strategies
    • Implement developmentally appropriate teaching and learning activities
    • Demonstrate professionalism
    • Follow health, safety and nutrition practices

    Technical Skill Attainment (TSA)

    This TSA scoring guide will be used to document your attainment of technical program outcomes for the Child Care Services Degree. To meet the requirements on the scoring guide, you will be asked to draw upon the skills and concepts that have been developed throughout the program and are necessary for successful employment in your field. Results will be used to inspire continual improvement of teaching and learning in Wisconsin Technical College System. In addition, this assessment will provide feedback to you about your performance.

  • Career Opportunities
  • With the rise in two-career households and single parent families, the job market for trained childcare workers continues to flourish. Besides entering the job market, individuals who complete this program and decide to continue in the Early Childhood Education associate degree program will be given advanced standing for the completed courses. Graduates of this program may find jobs in the following types of occupations.

    • Child Care Teachers: Work in full-day and part-day child care programs, nursery schools, and Head Start programs.
    • Child Care Assistant Teachers: Work under the supervision of a childcare teacher.
    • Family Child Care Providers: Care for eight children or fewer in the family child care.
    • Infant or Toddler Caregivers: Care for children under two years of age.
    • In-home Providers/Nannies: Provide care in the child's home.
    • Early Childhood Educational Assistants: Work in district-approved early childhood programs, and four-year-old kindergarten programs.
    • Early Childhood Special Needs Assistants: Work in district-approved early childhood programs and four-year-old kindergarten programs.

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information on Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    At any time, you may Request Credit for Prior Learning.

    Child Care Services Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title
    Challenge Exam
    Challenge Exam
    10-307-148ECE: Foundations of ECEYes
    Professional Preschool Credential
    10-307-167ECE: Hlth Safety & NutritionYes
    Professional Preschool Credential
    10-307-179ECE: Child DevelopmentYes
    Professional Preschool Credential
    10-307-188ECE: Guiding Child BehaviorYes
    10-801-136English Composition 1Yes
    CLEP Test - College Composition
    10-809-172Introduction to Diversity StudiesYes