skip to main content

Early Childhood Education

Durham Tech’s Early Childhood Education Associate Degree program prepares students to provide quality care and education to children from infancy to age eight.

Upon completion of the Early Childhood Education program, graduates will be trained as early educators to plan and implement developmentally appropriate best practices. The program integrates classroom learning and fieldwork in child growth and development, including the physical and nutritional needs of the children, as well as their intellectual, social, emotional, and behavioral development. The program also covers inclusion and how to communicate effectively with families.

To graduate with an associate’s degree, students must complete a 10-hour practicum/internship in an approved early childhood setting. To enroll in the practicum course, each student must have a criminal background check, a tuberculin skin test, and a physical examination, as well as complete all prerequisite courses in the plan of study. After receiving an associate’s degree, students may transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Vickcine Grant

In addition to the associate’s degree, the program offers three certificates:

  • Child Care Administration and Management
  • Child Development
  • Infant/Toddler Care

Courses that meet the required training hours for the National Child Development Associate (CDA), the Infant/Toddler, and the Preschool certificates are offered. The courses listed in the certificates are also listed in the AAS degree.

The program offers the North Carolina Early Childhood Credential course (EDU 119) and the Early Childhood Administration Credentialing courses (EDU 261 and EDU 262).

student teaching two toddlers

Early Childhood Education courses are taught in various learning formats (on campus, online, in eight-week mini-sessions, and as hybrid course) and on Saturdays to accommodate students working full-time in schools and child care facilities.

Durham Tech’s Early Childhood Education program follows the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation for two-year college associate degree programs.

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.
Positions may include:

  • Toddler Lead Teacher
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Daycare Teacher
  • Nanny
  • Teacher Assistant (K-3)
  • Child Care Center Director
  • Assistant Director, Preschool
  • Afterschool Manager

Learn more about the program and have your questions answered at an Information Session.