Early Childhood Education - Pre-Birth to Kindergarten Diploma

Three toddlers playing with toys

Early Childhood Education - Pre-Birth to Kindergarten Diploma

Program Code: D55220A

Our Pre-Birth to Kindergarten diploma program will provide you with knowledge about the earliest moments of a child’s life through kindergarten age. Emphasis is placed on the growth and development of the first years of life. You will complete a hands-on practicum experience working with children in the infant through two-year-old range.

Upon completion of this diploma program, you will have 42 credits which can be applied to the Early Childhood Education diploma or degree program.

This is a diploma program and requires fewer credits and less time to complete than a degree program. If you’re looking for an even quicker option, the certificate program may be for you.

The Early Childhood Education program also offers degree, additional diploma, and certificate options.

Learn more about this program’s student outcome data.

*Practicums must have prior approval and observations conducted at an educational institution.

Skills You’ll Learn

The Early Childhood Education program is focused on job-related skills in the following areas:

  • Understanding child growth and development, physical/nutritional needs of children, care and guidance of children, and communication skills with parents and children
  • Mastering cognitive/language, physical/motor, social/emotional, and creative development of young children
  • Combining learned theories with practice in actual settings with young children under the supervision of qualified teachers

Career Opportunities

There are many employment opportunities for Early Childhood Education graduates, including:

  • Childcare programs
  • Private preschool programs
  • Recreational centers
  • School-age programs
  • Teacher assistant in public schools and NC Pre-K programs

Additional Information

  • Most career opportunities in child care require you to pass the NC Division of Child Development and undergo a fingerprint and Early Education background check
  • You must complete EDU 119 with a grade of C or higher in order to be eligible for the NC Childcare Credential
  • Public schools require 40 credits hours to be a teacher assistant (Craven County also requires a bus driver’s license)

Plan of Study

The recommended course sequence for this program and a complete list of related classes are available in the Academic Catalog. Click the button below to view a copy of this plan of study, which is also available as a PDF.

View Plan of Study(link is external)

Questions others are asking.

We offer several credentials that provide the flexibility you need. Most degree programs last two years and provide the most in-depth study of a particular subject. Diplomas and certificates take less time and are often taken in conjunction with other degree programs. Specialized training is also available for workforce development programs that are completed in less than a year.

This program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research.

After completing EDU 119 with a grade of C or better, students will apply to the NC Division of Child Development to receive the lead instructor credential. Forms are online here. Original transcripts must be sent to DCD, either directly from Craven Community College or in a sealed envelope accompanying the student’s completed credentials application.

The Financial Aid office, located in Barker Hall on our New Bern campus, has information about national and state financial assistance, scholarships, grants, and work-study positions. Federal financial aid begins with you completing the Free Application for Financial Assistance (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov.

Program-specific scholarships and/or resources may also be available (depending on funding, availability, and other criteria) to individuals already employed in the fields of Early Childhood and/or education. Information about these potential scholarships/funding sources is available at the Craven County Smart Start Office.

Individuals teaching in the N.C. Public Schools are required to meet N.C. Department of Public Instruction licensing requirements which include, at the minimum, a bachelor’s degree and state certification for the area/grade in which they plan to teach. Graduates from our Early Childhood Education program earn an associate in applied science degree and therefore would need to continue education at the baccalaureate level (or beyond) if planning to work as a teacher in N.C. Public Schools. There are also teacher associates who assist classroom teachers in the public schools, and the AAS degree is the requirement for those positions.

Although a limited number of articulation agreements have been developed between the N.C. Community College System and the University of North Carolina System for Early Childhood graduates who wish to transfer, these articulation agreements are designed to provide support to students who decide to transfer to a baccalaureate program after completion of an associate in applied science degree. It is therefore generally more efficient for students who plan (at the time of enrollment) to complete a bachelor’s degree in a field of education to enroll in the Associate of Arts program at Craven Community College.

Contact Information

Career & Technical Programs
Bosch Advanced Manufacturing Center
New Bern Campus

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