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Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education Program’s mission is to prepare individuals in providing quality care and education with children from infancy through middle childhood in diverse learning environments.

At a Glance

  • Create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging based on their knowledge of child development.
  • Create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
  • Use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a partnership with families and other professionals to positively influence children’s development.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, Employment of childcare workers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job opportunities for childcare workers are expected to be favorable.

The median annual salary for childcare workers was $20,320 (9.77 per hour) in 2015.

To learn more about employment outlook and work environment in the Early Childhood Education field, visit CCC&TI’s Career Coach site for the following programs:

In the past decade, early childhood education has become widely recognized as important for children’s development. Childcare workers often work alongside preschool teachers as assistants. This continued focus on the importance of early childhood education, in addition to increases in the number of children in this age group, will spur demand for preschool programs and thus for childcare workers as well.

There are no additional costs for this program outside of tuition, fees, books, and supplies.

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Graduates will be prepared to plan and implement developmentally appropriate practices in a variety of child care settings. It is our mission to provide early childhood students with support to build community relationships that impact the lives of young children and families.

The Early Childhood curriculum prepares individuals to work with children from infancy through middle childhood in diverse learning environments. Students will combine learned theories with practice in actual settings with young children under the supervision of qualified teachers.

Graduates are prepared to plan and implement developmentally appropriate programs in early childhood settings. Employment opportunities include:

  • child development and child care programs
  • preschools
  • public and private schools
  • recreational centers
  • Head Start Programs
  • school age programs

CCC&TI offers several different educational programs in this area:

Please review the Admission Requirements for the Early Childhood Education program.

Program Outcome Data is available at cccti.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/ECPrgramOutcomeData.pdf

Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Program are responsible for the following:

  • Attain a criminal background check through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and provide a copy of a valid Criminal Records Check Qualification Letter issued by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education.
  • Attain a current TB test
  • Students must complete a minimum number of practicum/lab hours and various field assignments in approved educational settings.

    Students in the Early Childhood Education Program must be able to:

  • Maintain adequate physical condition in order to perform essential job functions of an early childhood professional.
  • Have adequate strength to physically lift children.
  • Demonstrate professional verbal and written communication skills in the English language.
  • Provide individual transportation to and from practicum sites.

According to Federal Law, students completing their practicum or classroom observations in the public schools are required to obtain a criminal background check before beginning their practicum hours. It is the responsibility of the student to submit the appropriate documentation to the cooperating public schools or child care facility. Child care facilities may require the same information, but it is up to individual facilities as to their requirements. Students will be responsible for the costs of the criminal background check. College faculty do not have access to the information contained in the background check and do not receive any information regarding the nature or cause of the student not being eligible to participate in field experiences. The decision to allow a student to conduct a field experience is determined solely by the school/child care center, not representatives from CCC&TI. Students should be aware that a record of criminal activity may jeopardize field placement. Each field placement site has the right to refuse a student placement. Such refusal may impact the student’s ability to successfully complete an A.A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education.

Childcare teachers typically do the following:

  • Supervise and monitor the health and safety of children in their care
  • Prepare meals and organize mealtimes and snacks for children
  • Organize activities or implement a curriculum that allow children to learn about the world and explore interests
  • Develop schedules and routines to ensure that children have enough physical activity, rest, and playtime
  • Watch for signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring the problems to the attention of parents
  • Keep records of children’s progress, routines, and interest

Childcare workers introduce babies and toddlers to basic concepts, such as manners, by reading to them and playing with them. For example, they teach young children how to share and take turns by playing games with other children.

Childcare workers often help preschool-age children prepare for kindergarten. Young children learn from playing, solving problems, questioning, and experimenting. Childcare workers use play and other instructional techniques to help children’s development. For example, they use storytelling and rhyming games to teach language and vocabulary. They may help improve children’s social skills by having them work together to build something in a sandbox or teach math by having children count when building with blocks. They may involve the children in creative activities, such as art, dance, and music.

Childcare workers also often watch school-age children before and after school. They help these children with homework and take them to afterschool activities, such as sports practices and club meetings.

During the summer, when children are out of school, childcare workers may watch older children as well as younger ones for the entire day while the parents are at work.

Information taken from US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Additional career information can be found at:
Careers in Early Childhood: A National Directory, 4th Edition

North Carolina Child Care Workforce Report

Conceptual Framework

The Early Childhood Education Program at CCC&TI is committed to preparing caring, thoughtful, and responsive early childhood professionals who recognize, create and maintain high-quality learning environments for all children from infancy through middle childhood. Candidates are prepared through educational experiences focused on the adult-leaner that examine developmentally with support to build community relationships that positively impact the lives of young children and families.

We believe that graduates should demonstrate a strong understanding of child development and learning:

  • Graduates demonstrate a strong understanding of the stages of development for children birth to age eight and apply this knowledge to plan developmentally appropriate learning environments for children with diverse needs, abilities, and backgrounds.
  • Graduates teaching methodologies support all developmental domains.
  • Graduates recognize the value of play, active learning, and an integrated curriculum as the foundation upon which ALL children learn.
  • Graduates demonstrate an understanding of systematic formal and informal assessments in order to develop goals and to plan, implement and evaluate effective practices to meet the diverse backgrounds and abilities of ALL children and families.
  • Graduates demonstrate an understanding of research-based content knowledge and the resources available to assist in the planning, implementation and evaluation of meaningful academic curriculum that provides an essential foundation for more in-depth learning in later years.

We believe that graduates should support respectful, reciprocal relationships with families across diverse cultures:

  • Graduates encourage the engagement of families and the surrounding community in the planning for children’s developmental growth and learning.
  • Graduates honor diverse family characteristics and acknowledge the many influences on the family life by modeling behaviors that reflect cultural sensitivity and consideration of the individual child and family’s needs and educational wishes.
  • Graduates identify the family’s positive influence in the classroom and utilize various family communication techniques to keep families informed and engaged.
  • Graduates recognize that families are the first and most important teacher in the young child’s life.

We believe that graduates should serve as professional community members:

  • Graduates engage in reflective, responsive, respectful, and intentional practices with children, families, co-workers, and community partners.
  • Graduates identify, uphold and apply NAEYC ethical standards, NC Child Care Licensing guidelines and NC Birth-Kindergarten teaching standards.
  • Graduates speak out on behalf of children, families, and the profession and seek to inform others of the issues that impact early care and education.
  • Graduates present themselves as responsible and knowledgeable leaders in the field with a desire for life-long learning.
  • Graduates are aware of, seek out, and depend upon community resources to support the classroom curriculum and to serve as resources for the families they serve.

The Early Childhood Education Program is committed to helping students develop into knowledgeable ECE practitioners. We adhere to principles stated in the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and are guided by the core values in the National Association for the Education of Young Children Code of Ethical Conduct for Adult Educators. Faculty members are guided by the beliefs outlined in the conceptual framework when planning candidates learning experiences. We rely on these guiding principles to direct teaching practices and yearly program planning.