The growing field of early childhood education needs additional well-trained professionals to educate and care for children and to support their families in a multitude of settings. Early childhood education professionals may be employed in public and private centers, special needs centers, and Head Start and ABC programs. Under a director’s supervision, the childcare worker provides infants primary caregiving while relating to families in a supportive manner. For toddlers and older children, the childcare worker plans and provides a developmentally appropriate curriculum to support independent and group learning. Activities are designed to foster children’s self-esteem, expand their social and problem-solving skills, and engage them in inquisitive thinking while offering security and comfort. The objective of this program is to provide a career ladder for students, beginning with the Certificate of Proficiency, a twelve-credit-hour course of study designed to provide core training in early childhood education and prepare individuals for the Child Development Associate Credential (CDA); progressing to a 27-credit-hour Technical Certificate in Early Childhood Education for students who wish a more in-depth program of study; and culminating in the Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education for students who need a thorough background in the field with the status of a two-year degree for credentialing purposes. Students must make a “C” or better in all ECE classes and maintain a 2.5 GPA in order to remain in the program.
Ark Birth to Pre-K Credential Cohort
ECTC courses have been developed to include core competencies for the Birth through Prekindergarten Teaching Credential as mandated by AR law 187 passed in March, 2009. The competencies were developed by a statewide early childhood cohort and approved by the Division of Early Care and Education of the Department of Human Services. This cohort consisted of Early Childhood representatives from other two year and four year colleges in the state. A NOCTI exam is required for this credential.