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The specialist strives to meet the developmental needs of the individual child. A source of warmth and security, the specialist organizes the child's environment and facilitates learning. This program integrates classroom learning and fieldwork in child growth and development, the physical and nutritional needs of children, their care and guidance, and communication with children and their parents, thus providing students with the training needed to function effectively as a child care specialist.
The Early Childhood Education program offers courses to those who are beginning careers in child care, who work with young children and would like to increase their professional skills, or who would like to start their own child care centers or homes. This program also offers the North Carolina Early Childhood Credential courses (EDU 111 and 112) which the North Carolina Division of Child Development requires for lead teachers in child care and the Early Childhood Administration Credential courses (EDU 261 and 262) required for directors and administrators in child care. Students who plan to transfer to four-year institutions can also benefit from the curriculum.
Job opportunities are available in many settings, including child care centers, nursery schools, kindergartens, child development centers, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, museums, camps, and recreational centers. Classes are taught during the afternoon and in the evening to accommodate employees of schools and child care centers.
Graduates of the program may receive an Associate in Applied Science degree; certificate options are available in Child Care Administration and Management as well as in Child Development. Students successfully completing the certificate option receive a certificate of completion.
Learn more about the program and have your questions answered at an Information Session.
Student Finds her Niche Working with Children
"I liked all my courses and all the teachers," Grant said. One favorite course focused on creative activities for children. This course helped me become more creative and think of activities I could plan," she said. Another favorite course focused on exceptional children's needs. "The program has a practicum segment through which 3-to-5-year-olds from participating child care centers come to Durham Tech. "That was an excellent experience. I found I have a real passion for teaching children," she said. The practicum verified her skills with young children. In fact, while enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program, Grant worked full time at a child care center. Many of the Early Childhood Education courses are held during the evening, on weekends, and online to accommodate students who work in child care centers.
Grant received her Associate of Applied Science degree with honors and is planning to transfer to a nearby university. She hopes to be a director or owner of a child care center. Durham Tech helped Grant find a focus for her life. "If you put you mind to it, you can succeed," she says to others.