The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program provides the knowledge and skills necessary for entry level through the Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC) for employment. Students who complete Occupational Completion Point A of the ECE program and pass the required Department of Children and Families (DCF) exams with a score of 70 or better will have completed the DCF 40 hour Introductory Child Care Training. Students who complete the ECE program and meet all other requirements for the Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC) as outlined in the Student Guidelines can be awarded the ECPC. The program consists of 600 hours (120 hours of classroom instruction and 480 hours of direct work with children) with four occupational completion points which results in the issuance of a Florida Department of Education Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC). The DOE ECPC is a Preschool specialization and is to the equivalent to National CDA.

Job Opportunities: Early Childhood Education (ECE) includes the required training for entry level workers leading to the Florida Department of Education Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC). The ECE program is divided into 4 occupational completion points which represent occupations within the industry. Graduates of this program have completed the state equivalent requirements for ECPC and may work in child care facilities as a child care teacher, VPK teacher, or as a child care development specialist. During the most recent follow-up survey (2015-16), 100% of graduates were employed.

On-time completion rate for program 100%
Placement rate for students completing program 100%
Median Loan debt incurred by students as provided by ED                    NA

Program Costs: The approximate cost for 600 clock hours of instruction, including tuition, books, liability insurance, and laboratory use fees is approximately $3,000. Additional tuition and fees may be required for students seeking ECPC certification, including the fees for the DCG 40-hour course and exam.

Special Admission Requirements: A student interested in enrolling in the Early Childhood Education program who does not have a diploma must also enroll in a high school/GED diploma program to be admitted into this program. Graduates of the program must have a GED or high school diploma to become ECPC eligible.

The minimum grade levels required by the state for this postsecondary adult vocational program are 9.0 in reading, language, and math, as evidenced by a TABE test. If a student has scored a 7.0 grade level or better, the student can begin the program but may not complete it until the required 9.0 grade level has been achieved. If the student scores below 7.0, the student will be temporarily assigned to the RTC Learning Resource Center to remediate and upgrade skills.

Students who enroll in the evening program must be employed or must volunteer in a child care setting a minimum of 15 hours per week.

Special Considerations: Florida Department of Children and Family Services requires all child care employees to complete a Level II Background Screening.