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

University partnerships

Iowa State University is a member of Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GP IDEA), a consortium of universities that have come together to offer fully online degree programs. Your classes will be taught by faculty nationwide who are publishing the most current research in Early Childhood and Family Policy. This consortium approach offers you a wider perspective as faculty and students share different experiences from the U.S. and around the world.

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 GP IDEA, all students pay universal tuition. For more information, visit the GP IDEA website.