Early Childhood Education A.A.S.

story time during early childhood programs
Program Code: A55220

Early Childhood Education A.A.S.

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

Course work includes child growth and development; physical/nutritional needs of children; care and guidance of children; and communication skills with families and children. Students will foster the cognitive/language, physical/motor, social/emotional, and creative development of young children.

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, and school-age programs.

This degree is accredited by the
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
1313 L St. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005

Phone: (202) 232-8777
NAEYC Website

Specific Requirements

  1. General college admission requirements.
  2. According to GS 110-91, “No person shall be an operator of nor be employed in a child care facility who has been convicted of a crime involving child neglect, child abuse, or moral turpitude, or who is a habitually excessive user of alcohol or who illegally uses narcotic or other impairing drugs, or who is mentally or emotionally impaired to an extent that may be injurious to children.”
  3. Prior to the second semester of coursework, students must submit an Early Education Criminal Record Check Qualification Letter from the Division of Child Development and Early Education. (http://ncchildcare.nc.gov/general.dhhscrc_childcare.asp)
  4. Students who take EDU 284 must have a current Criminal Record Check Qualification letter and must provide results of a Tuberculin Test Indicating that the individual Is free of active tuberculosis (within the 12 months prior to the first day of the course) in order to receive placement in a practicum classroom. (10A NCAC 09 .0701)

See advisor about bi-lateral transfer agreements with select universities.

Courses requiring a grade of “C” or better: ART, ACA, CIS, COM, EDU, ENG, MAT, and PSY

Courses in this program

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces the foundations of early childhood education, the diverse educational settings for young children, professionalism and planning intentional developmentally appropriate experiences for each child. Topics include theoretical foundations, national early learning standards, NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development, state regulations, program types, career options, professionalism, ethical conduct, quality inclusive environments, and curriculum responsive to the needs of each child/family.

This course includes the theories of child development, observation and assessment, milestones, and factors that influence development, from conception through approximately 36 months. Emphasis is placed on knowledge, observation and assessment of developmental sequences in approaches to play/learning, emotional/social, health/physical, language/communication and cognitive domains.

This course includes the theories of child development, observation and assessment, milestones, and factors that influence development, from preschool through middle childhood. Emphasis is placed on knowledge, observation and assessment of developmental sequences in approaches to play/learning, emotional/social, health/physical, language/communication and cognitive domains.

This course is designed to develop the ability to produce clear writing in a variety of genres and formats using a recursive process. Emphasis includes inquiry, analysis, effective use of rhetorical strategies, thesis development, audience awareness, and revision. Upon completion, students should be able to produce unified, coherent, well-developed essays using standard written English. This is a Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) course that satisfies English Composition.

This course introduces evidence-based strategies to build nurturing relationships with each child by applying principles and practical techniques to facilitate developmentally appropriate guidance. Topics include designing responsive/supportive learning environments, cultural, linguistic and socio-economic influences on behavior, appropriate expectations, the importance of communication with children/families including using technology and the use of formative assessments in establishing intentional strategies for children with unique needs.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course covers the development of partnerships among culturally, linguistically and ability diverse families, children, schools, and communities through the use of evidence-based strategies. Emphasis is placed on developing skills and identifying benefits for establishing and supporting respectful relationships between diverse families, programs/schools, and community agencies/resources reflective of the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and the Code of Ethics for North Carolina Educators.

This course introduces developmentally supportive creative learning environments with attention to divergent thinking, creative problem-solving, evidence-based teaching practices, and open-ended learning materials while applying NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Emphasis is placed on observation of process-driven learning experiences in art, music, creative movement, dance, and dramatics for every young child age birth through eight, integrated through all domains and academic content.

This course covers promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of every child. Topics include health and nutritional guidelines, common childhood illnesses, maintaining safe and healthy learning environments, health benefits of active play, recognition, and reporting of abuse/neglect, and state regulations. Upon completion, students should be able to apply knowledge of NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development for health, safety, nutritional needs, and safe learning environments.

This course covers atypical patterns of child development, inclusive/diverse settings, evidenced-based educational/family plans, differentiated instruction, adaptive materials, and assistive technology. Emphasis is placed on the characteristics of exceptionalities and delays, early intervention/special education, transitions, observation, developmental screening, formative assessment of children, and collaborating with families and community partners.

This course is designed to engage students in complex and realistic situations involving the mathematical phenomena of quantity, change and relationship, and uncertainty through a project and activity-based assessment. Emphasis is placed on authentic contexts which will introduce the concepts of numeracy, proportional reasoning, dimensional analysis, rates of growth, personal finance, consumer statistics, practical probabilities, and mathematics for citizenship.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces the origins and historical development of art. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of design principles to various art forms including but not limited to sculpture, painting, and architecture. Upon completion, students should be able to identify and analyze a variety of artistic styles, periods, and media. This is a Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) course that satisfies Humanities/Fine Arts.

This course provides instruction and experience in preparation and delivery of speeches within a public setting and group discussion. Emphasis is placed on research, preparation, delivery, and evaluation of informative, persuasive, and special occasion public speaking. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and deliver well-organized speeches and participate in a group discussion with appropriate audiovisual support. This is a Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) course that satisfies Communication.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces computer concepts, including fundamental functions and operations of the computer. Topics include the identification of hardware components, basic computer operations, security issues, and use of software applications. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role and function of computers and use the computer to solve problems. Microsoft Office will be used in this course; this includes Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint.

This course covers the development of high-quality, individualized, responsive/engaging relationships and experiences for infants, toddlers, and twos. Emphasis is placed on typical and atypical child development, working with diverse families to provide positive, supportive, and engaging early learning activities and interactions through field experiences and the application of the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development.

This course is designed to focus on using content knowledge to build developmentally effective approaches for culturally/linguistically/ability diverse young children. Topics include components of the curriculum, a variety of curriculum models, authentic observation and assessment, and planning developmentally appropriate experiences aligned with the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Upon completion, students should be able to understand, evaluate, and use a curriculum to plan for individual/group needs.

This course introduces principles and practices essential to preparing and supporting child care administrators. Topics include program philosophy, policies and procedures, NC Child Care Law and Rules, business planning, personnel, and fiscal management, and NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Supplement for Early Childhood Program Administration. Upon completion, students should be able to articulate a developmentally appropriate program philosophy, locate current state licensing regulations, analyze a business plan and examine comprehensive program policies and procedures.

This course focuses on advocacy/leadership, public relations/community outreach and program quality/evaluation for diverse early childhood programs. Topics include program evaluation/accreditation, involvement in early childhood professional organizations, leadership/mentoring, family, volunteer and community involvement, and early childhood advocacy. Upon completion, students should be able to define and evaluate all components of early childhood programs, develop strategies for advocacy and integrate community into programs.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course covers the causes and assessment of developmental delays and individualized instruction and curriculum for children with developmental delays. Emphasis is placed on the definition, characteristics, assessment, educational strategies, inclusion, family involvement, and services for children with developmental delays. Upon completion, students should be able to identify, assess, and plan educational intervention strategies for children with developmental delays and their families.

This course provides evidence-based strategies for enhancing language and literacy experiences that align with NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Topics include developmental sequences for children's emergent receptive and expressive language, print concepts, appropriate observations/assessments, literacy enriched environments, quality selection of diverse literature, interactive media, and inclusive practices.

This course is designed to allow students to demonstrate acquired skills in a three-star (minimum) or NAEYC accredited or equivalent, quality early childhood environment. Emphasis is placed on designing, implementing and evaluating developmentally appropriate activities and environments for all children; supporting/engaging families; and modeling reflective and professional practices based on national and state guidelines.

This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology. This is a Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) course that satisfies Social/Behavioral Sciences.

Total Credit Hours Required:
65

Curriculum is based on the 2020-21 catalog.

Get insight on 13 Early Childhood career choices, and find what's right for you

Launch Career Coach