Early Childhood Development Certificate

Students in Early Childhood Development receive a comprehensive understanding of the needs of young children and are trained to implement quality preschool programming.

Students must receive a grade of "C" or higher in all coursework with a prefix of ECD. They will learn growth and development principles, teaching methods, understanding and working with special needs children, safety, first aid, CPR training, discipline techniques and methods for working effectively with parents. Students prepare for the job market by participating in developmentally-appropriate practices in language arts, creative experiences, math and science concepts. Students may choose either day or evening courses. Students are required to have an acceptable criminal background check and drug screening to complete ECD 243. A criminal record could make you ineligible for enrollment or participation in ECD 243, creating an inability to graduate from the program. This program meets ECE TEACH Credential and Headstart CDA requirements.

Required Courses

Courses Credit Hours
ECD 101 Introduction to Early Childhood 3.0
ECD 102 Growth and Development I 3.0
ECD 105 Guidance & Classroom Management 3.0
ECD 107 Exceptional Children 3.0
ECD 131 Language Arts 3.0
ECD 132 Creative Experiences 3.0
ECD 133 Science and Math Concepts 3.0
ECD 135 Health, Safety and Nutrition 3.0
ECD 203 Growth and Development II 3.0
ECD 243 Supervised Field Experience I 3.0
ENG 101 English Composition I 
or ENG 165 Professional Communications
Subtotal 33.0
Total Credit Hours 33.0


Program Student Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The mission of the Early Care and Education Program of Piedmont Technical College is to provide the community with professional early educators who are knowledgeable, competent, committed and capable of providing quality professional care for all children. The program’s graduates are able to evaluate and assess children and make quality developmentally appropriate decisions for children’s learning. Through the extensive study of NAEYC standards and the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct our students are provided the knowledge needed to support advocacy for children and the profession of early educators.

Student Learning Outcomes: aligned to NAEYC Program Standards:

Promoting Child Development and Learning

1a: Knowing and understanding young children’s characteristics and needs, from birth through age 8.

1b: Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on early development and learning

1c: Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children

Building Family and Community Relationships

2a: Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics

2b: Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships

2c: Involving families and communities in young children’s development and learning

Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families

3a: Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment – including its use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children

3b: Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches, including the use of technology in documentation, assessment and data collection.

3c: Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child, including the use of assistive technology for children with disabilities.

3d: Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues to build effective learning environments

Using Developmentally Effective Approaches 

4a: Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children

4b: Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology

4c: Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching /learning approaches

4d: Reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child

Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum

5a: Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the arts – music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.

5b: Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines

5c: Using own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.

Becoming a Professional

6a: Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field

6b: Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines

6c: Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice; using technology effectively with young children, with peers, and as a professional resource.

6d: Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education

6e: Engaging in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession

Early Childhood Field Experiences

7a. Opportunities to observe/practice in two early childhood age groups (birth-age 3, 3-5, 5-8)

7b. Opportunities to observe/practice in two main types of early education settings (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs)

Advisement Information

Program notes

Students are encouraged to enter the ECD program as early as possible.  Most courses require that students complete developmental and transitional coursework as well as ENG 101 or ENG 165 as prerequisites.  ECD 101, ECD 109, ECD 132, and SAC 101 can be completed while students are taking ENG 101 or ENG 165.

A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required for all ECD coursework. Student must complete all program required coursework with a “C” or higher.

Notes about individual classes

The English required for this program is ENG 101 or ENG 165. Students will follow this progression, with their starting point being determined by their placement test scores: ENG 032/012 and/or RDG 032/012 (or RWR 032/012)> ENG 100 and/or RDG 100 (or RWR 100) > ENG 101 or ENG 165.

Some ECD coursework is offered online and at PTC county campuses.  Methods courses are not offered online as these courses are predominantly offered at the Lex Walters Campus-Greenwood. It is not possible for a student to complete either degree or certificate completely online or at a county campus. Students may be required to travel to the Lex Walters Campus-Greenwood for some of the courses in the program.

For field placement experiences (ECD 243, ECD 244, ECD 251), students will be required to travel to the Lex Walters Campus-Greenwood monthly. Every effort will be made to place field experience students at childcare centers or schools near their home.

Students should have a current acceptable background check and drug screen. A criminal record and/or positive drug screen could make you ineligible for enrollment or participation in a supervised field experience, creating an inability to graduate from the program. These screenings will be completed in ECD 243, 244, and ECD 251.

Candidates are responsible for transportation to and from any class, practicum, lab or clinical site.

Students may only take ECD 243 two times and must receive a grade of “C” or higher on the second attempt for the course to count towards graduation.

Courses with a prefix of ECD or SAC must be less than 8 years old in order to count toward a certificate, diploma or degree program.

Candidates are required to complete a minimum of one summer session of coursework.

A clear Tuberculosis test may be required for clinical sites. 

Students should have a current acceptable background check and drug screen (see notes about individual classes below for more information).

CPR and first aid certifications are required as part of ECD 135. There is an additional fee associated with these certifications

Graduation Plans

2018-2019 Semester-by-Semester Graduation Plans

Early Childhood Development Certificate (ECD7) - Fall Start
Early Childhood Development Certificate (ECD7) - Spring Start

2019-2020, 2020-2021 Semester-by-Semester Graduation Plans

Early Childhood Development Certificate (ECD7) - Fall Start
Early Childhood Development Certificate (ECD7) - Spring Start
Early Childhood Development Certificate (ECD7) - Summer Start


You can find the name of your assigned academic advisor by reviewing Degree Works or your Class Schedule. To learn more about advising visit the Advising webpage.

Please contact Claudia Edwards for more information about this program.

Please email advising@ptc.edu if this advising guide needs corrections or updates.

Advisement Information updated/reviewed 4/2020