Early Care and Education: Associate in Applied Science
Your work can be child’s play.
Have a positive impact on your life and the children you serve with a career in early care.
Whether you want to become a child care center director, operate your own licensed family care home or be a preschool teacher, TCL can help you reach your goals.
TCL’s 63-credit-hour Early Care and Education Associate Degree program can be completed in as little as six semesters. Coursework ranges from guidance and classroom management to science and math concepts. General education courses such as English, algebra and public speaking round out the curriculum.
The program culminates with a semester-long supervised field experience that provides you with real-world, hands-on experience in child care settings across Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper.
Please note, this program does not lead to teacher licensure.
Accreditation & Accolades
Technical College of the Lowcountry is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award Associate Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Technical College of the Lowcountry.
The Early Care and Education career paths are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1313 L St. N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005-4101.
What People Are Saying
“Employers know that when they hire our graduates, they are getting a highly qualified professional.”
FAQs & Additional Informationtoggle all
Students applying to the Early Care and Education associate degree program must supply the following documentation before registering for courses:
- An official copy of high school transcripts or Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED) transcripts. A certificate of completion will not be accepted as a substitute for a high school diploma or GED.
- All candidates for the ECE associate degree program must take the Accuplacer placement evaluation unless they have official college transcripts with a “C” or better in MAT 110 – College Algebra or MAT 120 – Probability and Statistics and ENG 101 – English Composition I.
- Official transcripts must be sent from the issuing College directly to the Admissions Office at TCL via the mail.
- A copy of the high school or GED transcripts, Accuplacer placement evaluation, and/or college transcripts must be at the TCL Admissions Office before a student can register in the ECE program.
- Students lacking these requirements may register for ECD 101 as career development students but will not be admitted to the certificate, diploma or degree programs until all requirements are met.
- Students will be required to have a current negative tuberculin skin test or, if positive, a negative chest x-ray.
- Students must obtain and pass a SLED criminal background check prior to acceptance into the program.
- Students will be required to have a current health assessment completed by a licensed medical doctor.
Tuition: 63 credits x $190 per credit = $11,970.
Remember, this is before S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance and other financial aid, which could drop your costs by more than half. In fact, after financial aid, many TCL students attend for free.
*Based on Fall 2019 in-state, in-service-area tuition. Your actual cost may differ. Does not include fees, books and other costs. Qualifications vary.
Graduates go to work in a variety of child care settings, including child care centers, preschools, Headstart programs, public schools, private kindergartens or may decide to open their own private or family child care center. Others choose to continue their education and pursue a bachelor’s degree, as many TCL courses transfer to colleges and universities in and out of state.
The S.C. annual mean wage for childcare workers is $20,370, according to 2017 reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings can increase substantially with time and experience. For example, child care directors have an annual mean wage of $44,480.
The program prepares students to provide quality care for young children and is designed for:
• Full-time students preparing for a career in early childhood education.
• Currently employed individuals pursuing a career change.
• Childcare teachers and administrators who want to upgrade their skills.
• Parents who want to learn more about the growth and development of young children.