Early Childhood & Family Policy – Graduate Certificate

Early Childhood & Family Policy

A child’s early years are critical for all areas of development. Access to high-quality and ongoing early childhood services is essential. Champion the causes of those who require advocacy through our online graduate certificate program.


The online graduate certificate in early childhood and family policy is designed for those passionate about driving social change. Through four online 8-week courses, you will understand the links between childhood and family policies across various systems such as health care, education, family leave, mental health, child abuse and neglect, incarceration of parents, and minimum wage. Gain tools to champion equitable changes that accelerate the formulation of public and social policies affecting young children and their families domestically and internationally. The program emphasizes data understanding, critical thinking, and insights into the nuances of policy formulation and execution.

Diverse career paths

This online graduate certificate program benefits professionals working in the growing field of Early Childhood and Family Policy and open doors to diverse career growth opportunities in the following settings:

  • Local Government: City/County Offices or Commissions; Local Education Agencies or School Districts
  • State and Federal Government: Administrative Offices in Education, Human or Social Services, Health and Mental Health; Legislative/Congressional Offices; Judicial Offices; Social Service Agencies with Advocacy Departments
  • Non-Governmental Entities (local, state, federal): Early Childhood Professional Organizations; Foundations; Community, State and National Non-Profit Agencies and Think Tanks for Education, Health, Mental Health, Housing, and Legal Services
  • Organizations associated with the United Nations, World and Regional Banks
  • Other Organizations: Advocacy Agencies; University/Research-based Organizations

Collaborative Advantage of IDEA

The Innovative Digital Education Alliance

Achieve your personal and professional goals through convenient, flexible, high-quality coursework you can complete anytime, anywhere. As a student in Iowa State University’s Early Childhood and Family Policy Graduate Certificate program, you will learn from expert faculty who bring real-life experience to the coursework and are committed to helping you transition your learning beyond the online classroom into your career.

The Early Childhood and Family Policy Graduate program is part of a consortium of universities connected through IDEA. While Iowa State University is your home university where you will apply, register for courses and receive your diploma, you’ll benefit from the diverse perspectives and unique strengths brought by classmates and expert faculty at partner universities.

Learn more about the IDEA program at Iowa State.

Admission Requirements

Graduate College Requirements:

  • 4-year bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency

Visit the Graduate College’s webpage for program-specific requirements and details about the application process.


Total: 12 Credits

The Course Planner provides a list of courses and shows when they are traditionally offered.


As a member of IDEA, all students pay universal tuition. For more information, visit the IDEA website.

The Innovative Digital Education AllianceIDEA Contacts

Gilda Figueroa
Campus Coordinator
2624 Howe Hall

David Welshhons
Graduate Student Services Specialist
2624 Howe Hall

Carla Peterson, PhD
Faculty Advisor
1331 Palmer