2023-2024 Catalog

Early Care and Education - Child Care Professional

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Associate in Applied Science in Early Care and Education

Child Care Professional Career Path

66 Credit Hours

The Early Care and Education program provides a solid foundation for graduates so that they may use developmentally appropriate, research-based and current knowledge in early care and education to build intentional teaching skills.  Students gain quality intentional early learning experiences as well as understanding the responsibility of the professional in the field of early care and education.  Students also construct a professional pedagogy that they will be able to use in the classroom with young children.  In the process of developing their own pedagogy, students will create a disposition of collaboration that recognizes the diversity of families and the larger community.   Off-campus observation and field experiences are provided in diverse settings that allow for quality practical and hands-on experiences. Upon successful completion of the program, each student will have the tools that will make them intentional teachers and caregivers.

The Child Care Professional career path prepares students to work as teachers in child care centers or as teacher assistants in a public school early childhood program.  Students learn to teach children birth through age five and develop knowledge and skills required to promote optimal development for all children, including all backgrounds and abilities. This career path also prepares students to operate child care centers or to work in supervisory, management or administrative positions in the early care and education field. This career path does not lead to teacher certification for public school teachers.

Students can earn only one ECD degree in a single career path.


National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs.
1401 H Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005-4101
(800) 424-2460

General Education Core Requirements

ENG 101 English Composition I 3
IDS 109 First Year Experience Seminar 3

REQ HUM Select from Humanities 3
REQ MAT Select from Mathematics/Natural Sciences 3
REQ SSC Select from Behavioral/Social Sciences 3

Total:   15

Major Requirements

ECD 101 Introduction to Early Childhood 3
ECD 102 Growth and Development I 3
ECD 105 Guidance-Classroom Management 3
ECD 107 Exceptional Children 3
ECD 108 Family and Community Relations 3
ECD 109 Administration and Supervision 3
ECD 131 Language Arts 3
ECD 132 Creative Experiences 3
ECD 133 Science and Math Concepts 3
ECD 135 Health, Safety and Nutrition 3
ECD 140 Early Childhood Practicum I 2
ECD 201 Principles of Ethics and Leadership in Early Care 3
ECD 203 Growth and Development II 3
ECD 237 Methods and Materials 3
ECD 243 Supervised Field Experience I 3
ECD 252 Diversity Issues in Early Care and Education 3
EDU 241 Learners and Diversity 4

Total:   51

Admission Requirements

Admission into this program requires proof of high school graduation (or GED) and qualifying placement levels.

The Early Care and Education associate degree also requires the following additional  requirements as prerequisites to labs in licensed child care centers and/or public schools: a health assessment denoting good heath, a negative tuberculosis skin test, compliance with technical standards and a clear criminal background check by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). In addition to SLED background checks, some child development centers and schools may require fingerprinting. Students entering these laboratory or off campus observation courses may opt to be fingerprinted. Fingerprinting and a SLED background check are required for the Early Care and Education workforce.