Early Childhood Education

Are you interested in a career in Early Childhood Education? Are you passionate about teaching and caring for young children?

Then, consider the Early Childhood Education program. Our faculty is committed to young children, the profession that serves them, and to students like you.

The Early Childhood Education Program offers high quality, engaging learning experiences that connect students to children and to the profession. Students participate actively in the college classroom and in the field with young children of different ages in a variety of settings. Small classes and close relationships with faculty and other students create a welcoming environment. Certificates build into a diploma, and into a transferable degree.

Nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the mission of the Early Childhood Education program pinpoints developing students to develop children.

Still interested and passionate? Begin your journey with us.

Degree and Credentialing Options

Career Opportunities

Early Childhood Education.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will need to follow the general enrollment process for GTCC, found here.  During the advising process you will have the opportunity to indicate your desire to study within this curriculum. Your advisor will help you sign up for the specific courses you need.

  • Linda Johnson, Program Director and Associate Professor
  • Patsy Austin, Instructor
  • Shannon Burghart, Instructor
  • Amy Huffman, Professor
  • Suzanne Puchley, Instructor

Yes.  Visit the college Financial Aid webpage for answers to all your questions.

During various courses in the first year of the program, you’ll complete projects/observations that are conducted in a child care center. Field placement courses provide you with direct experience with children in learning about their development, planning and carrying out appropriate learning experiences, and interacting with families. You also will observe and participate in other settings that serve young children, such as public schools.

Graduates with an A.A.S degree can be lead teachers in or directors of child care and child development centers and assistant teachers in early elementary and special needs classrooms. They also can work in recreational centers, Head Start programs, and school age programs. Students who transfer to complete a Bachelor’s degree will encounter more career opportunities.

  • To be employed in a child care setting, a criminal background check is required by North Carolina law.
  • A lead teacher in a child care center must earn the North Carolina Early Childhood Credential. This is generally accomplished by completing Edu. 119, Introduction to Early Childhood Education, a course offered at GTCC in the Fall and Spring semesters.
  • A director of a child care center must earn the North Carolina Early Childhood Administration Credential. To achieve the Level One Credential, a person completes Edu. 261, Early Childhood Administration I and Edu. 262, Early Childhood Administration II, and an additional 7 credits of early childhood coursework. All of these courses can be taken at GTCC.

Yes, many Early Childhood Education courses can be transferred.  Universities within the University of North Carolina system will accept up to 60 credit hours toward various Bachelor’s degrees, including those that lead to teacher licensure.