Early Childhood Education Associate Degree
Eastern Florida's Associate in Early Childhood Education allows you to work with children ages eight and younger as you learn how to create an inviting, encouraging learning environment that enables children to become creative problem-solvers and that emphasizes hands-on, active learning.
If you know you want to work with children, it's the perfect way to focus on and streamline your goals, as the A.S. degree does not require all of the general education requirements that are included in an A.A. degree.
The program does include the required courses for four additional education certificate programs EFSC offers: Early Childhood Development, Childcare Center Management, Preschool Specialization, and Infant and Toddler Specialization. Earning the degree and four certificates simultaneously does not require a time commitment beyond that of the Early Childhood Education degree and is a great way to enhance your resume and maximize your employment potential.
This degree will prepare you to:
- Enter the workforce as an infant and toddler teacher, preschool teacher, VPK teacher, teacher’s assistant, preschool director, childcare center owner, childcare worker, child development curriculum coordinator, or child development center director
- Pursue a higher-level degree in education that will increase your chances of landing a promotion at work
- Earn or renew state-approved, professional certification to enhance your existing career (FCCPC/Staff Credential or Director Credential)
Early Childhood Education Associate Degree
Early Childhood Education COURSE CURRICULUM
The Early Childhood Education A.S. includes courses that require a combination of theoretical and practical study. You may also be eligible to earn transfer credit toward your degree through:
- Previously earned credentials, such as the Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Program, Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC)/Staff Credential, Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC), or Child Care Apprenticeship Certificate (CACC);
- Education courses completed at a Brevard County public high school.
In addition to the required courses, you are encouraged to earn current certification in First Aid and Infant and Child CPR by no earlier than one term prior to graduation.
Early Childhood Education Admissions Information
The Early Childhood Education A.S. is an open-access program with a rolling admissions process so you can apply to begin during any term. You can submit your application via Eastern Florida's standard enrollment process. Contact the EFSC program advisor for help with any degree planning and enrollment questions.
Background screening and fingerprinting is a DCF requirement for working and obtaining licensure in this field. If you are interested in working in early childhood education, you should view the background screening requirements, which preclude individuals with misdemeanor or felony charges or convictions from participation.
Tuition and Financial Aid Eligibility
In-state tuition for this program is approximately $6,250 (plus additional fees for labs and course materials). You may also be eligible to receive financial aid and scholarships, which can decrease your out-of-pocket expenses as you complete the program. Outside scholarships are also available through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship Program for those who qualify.
Courses You Could Take
The Early Childhood Education curriculum consists of 20 courses, which will also meet the course requirements for obtaining certain state professional credentials. You must complete EEC 1200: Early Childhood Curriculum before enrolling in EEC 1942: Early Childhood Practicum. Some of the courses you can take in this program include:
Learn to choose and construct learning materials and present music, art, math, science, literacy, and motor skills curriculums to children.
Explore the creative development of young children by planning, guiding, and implementing art, music, and movement activities.
Learn to incorporate health, safety, and nutrition concepts into an early childhood learning environment for children from birth to age 8.
Plan, implement, and evaluate lesson plans for young children as you gain experience observing/interpreting behavior while student-teaching.
Why Study Early Childhood Education at EFSC?
Throughout the program, you'll spend 80 hours doing structured, planned activities with young children outside of your scheduled course time.
When applicable, this hands-on requirement can be completed in your place of employment, but there also also several opportunities to volunteer in licensed child care centers throughout Brevard County. EFSC faculty can assist you with finding a convenient placement in your area.
This degree includes all the required training courses for the Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC/Staff Credential) and the Director Credential, as well as courses that are eligible to meet the Director’s Renewal requirement. If you are pursuing the FCCPC credential, you should enroll in its required courses first. Learn more about using EFSC courses to achieve or renew state credentials.
Successfully completing EFSC's Early Childhood Education A.S. increases your eligibility to transfer into the Early Childhood Education B.S. program at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ), where you can continue to advance your knowledge of the education field. This program consists of bachelor-level online courses that will certify you to teach children up to the 3rd grade. The final student-teaching course cannot be completed online and must be done at an approved elementary or preschool.
To gain acceptance into the FSCJ program, you must:
- Complete EFSC's Early Childhood Education A.S. degree with a 2.5 or higher GPA
- Pass all four sections of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination - General Knowledge Test
- Pass EDF 1005: Introduction to the Teaching Profession with a grade of C or better
- Submit a general application to FSCJ
- Submit an application to FSCJ's Early Childhood Education B.S. program
In some circumstances, A.A. students may also transition into this program. For course and transfer planning, contact and work with an advisor.
If you're interested in education, EFSC offers a variety of other programs to explore: