Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education is critical to a child's development, laying a strong foundation for their future success. If you are passionate about teaching children and equipping them with the building blocks they need to grow and thrive, then a degree in early childhood education may be the right fit for you. Our program will not only prepare you to pursue a career as a preschool teacher, childcare worker, or teaching assistant, but will also equip you with the skills needed to make a difference in the lives of others.

What You Will Learn

Our curriculum prepares you to work with children from infancy through middle childhood in diverse learning environments. You will combine theory with practice, working with young children in real learning environments under the supervision of qualified teachers. Courses will focus on child growth and development, physical/nutritional needs of children, and communicating with families, equipping you with the knowledge to fully understand the cognitive/language, physical/motor, social/emotional, and creative development of young children. Upon completion, you will be prepared to:

  • create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging environments (physical, temporal, interpersonal) in order to promote development and learning in every child
  • demonstrate effective strategies designed to involve all families in their child's development and to create reciprocal relationships between families, early childhood professionals, and the community
  • assess children's development using an array of strategies in order to support families and children
  • build and reflect on positive relationships and supportive interactions with children, utilizing a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching and learning approaches
  • use knowledge, appropriate for early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum experiences inclusive of all children
  • adhere to early childhood professional and ethical guidelines, take part in professional activities, advocate for children and families, and identify career options within the early childhood profession
  • complete field experiences (observation and practice) with two different age groups (0—3, 3—5, 5—8) and in two settings (child care centers/family child care homes, Head Start programs, early grade school)
  • plan and implement developmentally appropriate programs in early childhood settings, such as child development and child care programs, preschools, public and private schools, Head Start programs, and school-age programs
  • earn the North Carolina Early Childhood Credential (NCECC), the North Carolina Early Childhood Administration Credential (NCECAC), and the North Carolina School-Age Child Care Credential

Why Choose Central Piedmont

We're proud to be one of the first programs in the state to be nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We have a strong relationship with our community partners, including UNC Charlotte, Exceptional Children's Assistance Center, Kids R Kids, Providence Preparatory School, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, the Nest at Charlotte Latin, the NC Licensing Division, the Bethlehem Center, and Catawba College, Meck Pre-K, NC Pre-K, The Vine at Kilgo/Children’s Cottage, Joyland, Avondale, Park Road Baptist, Open Door School, and Smart Start of Mecklenburg County. We are also honored to receive an annual grant from Smart Start that allows us to support our students and raise the quality of childcare in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning  — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

The Details

  • Program Options

    Choose from:

    • Associate in Applied Science in early childhood education
    • Associate in Applied Science in early childhood education - birth-kindergarten licensure
    • Associate in Applied Science in early childhood education - non-licensure transfer track
    • several specialized early childhood education certificates, including preschool, infant/toddler care, NC school-age care, and early childhood administration

    The Human Services Technology program also awards an interdisciplinary certificate in children with exceptionalities offered in collaboration with the early childhood education and Occupational Therapy Assistant programs. The college catalog details the early childhood education program options currently available at Central Piedmont as well as program eligibility and course requirements. If you would like information on opportunities to transfer associate degree credit to a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Resource Center.

    Visiting Students

    If you wish to transfer early childhood education course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student.

    Corporate and Continuing Education

    Central Piedmont's Corporate and Continuing Education provides non-credit, non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

    College and Career Readiness

    If you are looking for programs to gain the knowledge or skills necessary to finish a high school degree or to get a job, visit Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness.

    College Credit for High School Students

    Visit Career and College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

  • Early Childhood Education Program Requirements

    For detailed information on early childhood education course and program requirements, visit the Central Piedmont Community College catalog.

  • Locations

    Please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm where courses are available using Schedule Builder.

  • Course Delivery Methods

    • Classroom/Lab
    • Combined (Classroom/Lab and Online)
    • Online

    Please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm course delivery methods using Schedule Builder.

  • Early Childhood Education Careers

    An early childhood education degree will prepare you to work with children from infancy through middle childhood in diverse learning environments such as child development and child care programs, preschools, public and private schools, Head Start programs, and school-age programs. Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed early childhood education career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

  • Costs and Aid

    Central Piedmont provides real-world, affordable, hands-on education and career training. Learn how much it costs to attend Central Piedmont. Financial aid and scholarships are available.


  • Events

    Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training


    • Saturday, May 4th, 11:45 a.m. — 2 p.m.


    • auditorium
  • Early Childhood Education Club

    The Early Childhood Education Club exists to facilitate the professional development of its members through participation in a variety of early childhood activities at the local, state and national levels. The club hosts a number of worthwhile activities, including a popular First Friday Film Festival (a documentary film screening followed by a related discussion on the first Friday of October, November, December, February, March and April. The club also hosts several professional development workshops each year, including two music/movement workshops and a professionalism workshop. Active members may have opportunities to attend conferences where they learn about the early childhood field and network with professional educators and other early childhood students. Additionally, the club participates in service projects and fundraisers. Members of the club enjoy opportunities to develop leadership and communication skills, to practice advocacy, to network with other early childhood educators, and to learn in enriching, supportive environments. In the past, active members have received funding to attend local, state, and/or national conferences. The club periodically throughout the fall and spring semesters in the Student Life Lounge in Building 1 of Central Piedmont's Harris Campus. Check the Events tab for meeting dates and times as well as information about upcoming professional development opportunities.

    Any currently enrolled Central Piedmont student can become a member. Membership dues for the 2018-2019 academic year (August 2018 - May 2019)  are $10 - Cash/Check/Money Order made payable to Early Childhood Education Club. Please submit payment to a Faculty Club Advisor (Christine Sargeant or Kristi Godfrey-Hurrell). To become a member, complete the online club membership application.

    Early Childhood Education Club Officers

    • Brittany Paulus, President
    • Riley Cluckey, Co-Vice President
    • Mercy Thompson, Secretary, Co-Vice President
    • Valerie Townsend, Treasurer 

    Club Advisors

    • Christine Sargeant
    • Kristi Godfrey-Hurrell
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