Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

Passionate about teaching young children and giving them the building blocks they need to grow and thrive? An early childhood education degree may be right for you. Choose from various Associate in Applied Science degree and certificate options at Central Piedmont.

What You Will Learn

Early childhood education is critical to a child's development and lays a strong foundation for their future success. Prepare to make a difference in people’s lives as a preschool teacher or preschool assistant teacher, child care worker, pre-K worker, or teaching assistant.

Our early childhood education classes prepare you to work with children. You will learn about child growth and development, the many needs of children, and how to communicate with families.

Once you finish our program, you will be prepared to:

  • create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging environments to promote every child’s learning and development
  • use strategies to effectively involve families in their child's development
  • create relationships between families, early childhood professionals, and the community
  • assess children's development using multiple strategies to support families and children
  • build and reflect on positive relationships with children using a wide range of developmentally appropriate teaching and learning approaches
  • use knowledge, early years learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally appropriate, meaningful, and challenging curriculum experiences inclusive of all children
  • adhere to early childhood education professional and ethical guidelines, take part in professional activities, advocate for children and families, and identify career options within the early childhood education profession
  • get practical experience working with children from different age groups in diverse settings
  • earn the North Carolina Early Childhood Credential (NCECC), the North Carolina Early Childhood Administration Credential (NCECAC)

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Why Choose Central Piedmont

We're proud to be one of the first programs in North Carolina to be nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). In addition to our NAEYC accreditation, we have a strong relationship with many community partners, including: UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, Children’s Developmental Services Agency, Kids R Kids Charlotte, Providence Preparatory School, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, the Nest at Charlotte Latin, the NC Licensing Division, Alliance Center for Education, Catawba College, Meck Pre-K, NC Pre-K, The Vine at Kilgo/Children’s Cottage, Joyland, Avondale Children’s Center, Park Road Baptist Child Development Center, Open Door School, Child Care Resources Inc., and Smart Start of Mecklenburg County. You will also have the opportunity to participate in the Early Childhood Education Club.

We also have transfer partnerships with certain schools that make it easy for you transfer into their bachelor's program.

The early childhood education degree program has scholarships available to help you pay for the program.

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

    The college catalog details the early childhood education program options currently available at Central Piedmont as well as program eligibility and course requirements. Choose from:

    • Associate in Applied Science in early childhood education (professional degree): choose this professional degree if you do not want to earn a four-year degree yet, but want to go right to work in early childhood education classrooms as a lead pre-school teacher, as a preschool assistant teacher in a public pre-K program, or as an NC Level 2 Administrator in early childhood education programs.
    • Associate in Applied Science in early childhood education (non-licensure transfer track): choose this degree if you want to first transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. This is a great option for someone who wants to work in early childhood outside the classroom in roles such as a Case Coordinator, Early Intervention Specialist, or NC Level 3 Administrator.
    • Associate in Applied Science in early childhood education, birth-kindergarten (BK) licensure: choose this degree if you want to transfer to a 4-year college or university to get a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education with birth-kindergarten licensure. With a birth-kindergarten licensure, you can work in public pre-K classrooms as a lead teacher.
    • Several specialized early childhood education certificate options, including preschool, infant/toddler care, and early childhood administration

    To learn more about 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 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

    Harris Campus

    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 their early years as babies through middle childhood in diverse learning environments, such as:

    • child development and child care programs
    • preschools and pre-K’s
    • public and private schools
    • Head Start programs
    • 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.


    Check out these early childhood education scholarships:

    Current funding for our programs, services, and scholarships are provided by Mecklenburg County, Smart Start of Mecklenburg County, PNC Bank, the Spangler Family, the Merancas Family Foundation, and the Sylvia Ingram Eagle family.

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