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Early Care and Education

Students successfully completing the Associate Degree, Diploma, or Certificate programs have a wide variety of career options as childcare professionals. Early childhood professionals are concerned with the educational, emotional and physical development of young children, and work closely to build relationships with the children, their families and communities. They are concerned with the learning environment including teaching using developmentally effective approaches, connecting with children and families, assessing to support young children, and continuously working to be well-prepared early childhood professionals.


Graduates may find employment in child care settings, centers, preschools, Headstart programs, public schools, private kindergartens, working as a nanny, serving as a public school teacher’s assistant, or by opening a private or family child care center.


Potential positions may be as a teacher assistant, lead teacher, assistant director, director or owner/operator in a child care setting. Graduates may also find employment in various agencies or entities that serve children.


Earnings of childcare workers vary based on the educational level of the employee and the type of establishment in which the employee works. In 2014, the average hourly wage was $16.78 and the annual wage for child care workers was $34,900.*


*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The Early Care and Education Associate degree, diploma and certificate programs offer a practical and theoretical approach to the study of childcare and the education of young children.  The program is designed to help students currently experience advance to management positions or simply work as a hands-on teacher in the early childhood field.  It thoroughly prepares students in developmentally appropriate practice and learning environments, teaching strategies, growth and development, guidance practices, the needs of young children with an emphasis on the exceptional child and utilization of community and family relationships.  Many of the courses include a weekly hands-on laboratory experience so that students can apply their knowledge to the childcare setting.  The Early Childhood Associate Degree Program at TCL is accredited by the National Associaton for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The program prepares the student to provide quality care for young children and is designed for:

  •   Full-time students preparing for a career in early childhood development
  •   Currently employed individuals pursuing a career change
  •  Childcare teachers and administrators who want to upgrade their skill
  •  Parents who want to learn more about the growth and development of young children

The program provides a variety of learning experiences including theoretical and diverse hands-on laboratory field experiences, and well rounded teaching strategies. Students are driven to pride themselves as professionals in the field while being an advocate of a child’s educational and emotional experiences. This program does not lead to teacher licensure.  The Early Care and Education is nationally accredited through the NAEYC Accredited Associate Degree Program.

Note: For list of required courses, please see Course Catalog



Early Childhood Associate Degree Program accredited by the

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

1313 L Street NW, Suite 500

Washington, DC  20005-4101





Kelli Boniecki

Early Care & Education Instructor/Coordinator




Ken Flick

Division Dean



Watch this video to learn more about the TCL Early Care & Education program.

Course Catalog



Click below to learn more about these programs:

Early Childhood Development Diploma

Early Childhood Development Certificate

Child Care Management Certificate

Infant/Toddler Care Certificate