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Early Childhood Education

Career Cluster: Education and Training

Florida Department of Education Curriculum Framework | Gainful Employment Disclosure | Brochure – English | Folleto – Español


This program offers a sequence of courses that provides coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in the Education and Training career cluster; provides technical skill proficiency, and includes competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of the Education and Training career cluster.

The content includes, but is not limited to, competencies related to the following elements of the early childhood industry: planning, management, finance, technical and production skills; underlying principles of technology; labor, community, health, safety, and environmental issues; and developmentally appropriate practices for children birth through age eight. Additional information relevant to this Career/Technical Education (CTE) program is provided at the end of this document.

Regulated Programs 

  • Students can be awarded the Florida Department of Education Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC) upon completion of this program and meeting all requirements. The ECPC is recognized by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). Students who earn it are eligible for a DCF Staff Credential. 
  • This program is comprised of 120 hours of classroom instruction, 480 hours of direct work with preschool age children and includes DCF introductory child care training.
  • To offer the DCF introductory child care training, courses as part of this program, approval must be obtained from the local DCF child care training coordinating agency. 
  • To teach the DCF introductory child care training courses, the instructor must meet the trainer requirements established by the Department of Children and Families (Chapter 65C-22.003(5) F.A.C. http://ccrain.fl-dcf.org/documents/2/470.pdf). Requirements and guidelines can be obtained through your local training coordinating agency. For more information, go to http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/contacts.
  • Programs offering the introductory child care courses will be required to use DCF materials and be subject to monitoring by the coordinating agencies. 


The DCF mandated training (Introductory Child Care Training Course) includes the following:

Part I of the DCF Introductory Child Care Training includes the following:

  • State and Local Rules and Regulations – 6 hours
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition – 8 hours
  • Identifying & Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect – 4 hours
  • Child Growth and Development – 6 hours
  • Behavioral Observation & Screening – 6 hours


Part II of that coursework must be the 10-hour preschool appropriate practices course.

Note: Instruction for the DCF courses should be instructor-based. It is recommended that the online DCF courses be used as a supplement to instructor-based instruction if needed.

  • Students must complete the DCF Introductory Child Care Training coursework by the end of the fourth course of this program. Additionally, students must pass the DCF Introductory Child Care Training competency exams prior to being issued the School Age Professional Certificate (SAPC).
  • Students must also complete five clock hours of literacy training. Students can meet this literacy requirement by successfully completing any of the DCF approved literacy courses (go to http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/early-literacy for more information).

Note: A student must successfully complete the Emergent Literacy for VPK Instructors course to be eligible as a VPK instructor, unless he/she has successfully completed a DCF approved literacy training course prior to November 28, 2005 (http://www.floridaearlylearning.com/voluntary_pre_k.aspx). 

It is recommended that students obtain certification in infant/child CPR and first aid for initial employment.

Students are required to create and maintain a Professional Resource File for this program. The Professional Resource File should contain a minimum of the following: 

  • Autobiography (minimum 300 words) about the student and why the student has made the decision to work with young children. A resume of education and work should be included.
  • Statements of Competence – 250-word minimum (each) related to the following goals:
  • To establish and maintain a safe and healthy learning environment.
  • To advance physical and intellectual competence.
  • To support the social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance.
  • To establish positive and productive relationships with families.
  • To ensure a well-run, purposeful program responsive to participant needs.
  • To maintain a commitment to professionalism.
  • Resource Collection should include evidence of activities in each content area via curriculum activities and assignments. There are 17 specific items that must be included in this section of the Professional Resource File. (See ECPC Requirements Checklist for Students for more information).
  • Optional: Additional Items (training certificates, transcripts, resume, picture identification, teaching goals, letters of recommendation, reflection statements, list of Early Childhood Education program standards mastered, copies of any certification/cards pertaining to Child Care eligibility, samples of student developed teaching materials.) may be included in a separate section of the Professional Resource File or in a separate binder/portfolio (instructor discretion)

  • In order for ECPC recipients to receive their Staff Credential, their name must be entered into a database by the instructor, district supervisor, or designated personnel. The link for the database is https://app1.fldoe.org/ECPC_Certificate/default.aspx. Visit ECPC Program Guidelines for more information on accessing the database.

Course Number: HEV0870
Occupational Completion Point: A
Child Care Worker 1 – 150 Hours – SOC Code 39-9011 

After successfully completing this program, the student will be able to perform the following:

01.0 Identify rules and regulations governing Child Care. 
02.0 Plan, establish and maintain a safe, clean, and healthy learning environment. 
03.0 Plan food service and nutrition education.
04.0 Identify and report child abuse and neglect in accordance with state regulations. 
05.0 Identify and apply principles of child development typical and atypical (birth through age eight). 
06.0 Identify and demonstrate communication skills related to Child Care. 
07.0 Identify various observation and recording methods. 
08.0 Recognize appropriate methods of guidance. 
09.0 Implement developmentally appropriate practices for programs serving children from birth through age eight. 
10.0 Display interpersonal relationship skills. 

Course Number: HEV0871
Occupational Completion Point: B
Child Care Worker 2 – 150 Hours – SOC Code 39-9011

After successfully completing this program, the student will be able to perform the following:
11.0 Demonstrate professionalism. 
12.0 Identify community resources that provide services or assistance to children in the community. 
13.0 Develop intercommunication with family.
14.0 Demonstrate observation and recording methods. 
15.0 Demonstrate appropriate use of technology for the Child Care profession. 
16.0 Implement food service and nutrition education.
17.0 Plan, establish and implement a developmentally appropriate emergent literacy program. 
18.0 Identify the characteristics of an environment that are conducive to language use and acquisition. 
19.0 Analyze theories of child development. 
20.0 Analyze how nutrition, environment, heredity, and health status influence the development of the child.

Course Number: HEV0872
Occupational Completion Point: C
Teacher Aide – Preschool – 150 Hours – SOC Code 25-2011

After successfully completing this program, the student will be able to perform the following:
21.0 Create, implement and evaluate lesson plans. 
22.0 Describe developmentally appropriate guidance and activities for infants and toddlers. 
23.0 Plan and implement developmentally appropriate motor development activities for preschool children. 
24.0 Guide the cognitive development and general knowledge of preschool children.
25.0 Guide the creative development of preschool children which reflects various approaches to learning. 
26.0 Guide the social and emotional development of preschool children.
27.0 Describe the history of school-age Child Care and the development and diversity of school-age children. 
28.0 Plan and provide for developmentally appropriate caregiving environments for students with special needs. 
29.0 Plan and implement preschool classroom management techniques. 
30.0 Demonstrate how schedules, spaces, and experiences create environments that promote children’s total growth and development.

Course Number: HEV0873
Occupational Completion Point: D
Preschool Teacher – 150 Hours – SOC Code 25-2011

After successfully completing this program, the student will be able to perform the following:
31.0 Apply knowledge of program elements needed to create a successful developmentally-appropriate curriculum. 
32.0 Implement an environment that is conducive to language use and acquisition. 
33.0 Demonstrate the ability to motivate children and to interact professionally with children, parents, and staff.
34.0 Demonstrate activities that are anti-bias, nonviolent, and from a multi-cultural perspective. 
35.0 Demonstrate the ability to provide for inclusion of children with special needs. 
36.0 Demonstrate mentor skills for team building and collaboration. 
37.0 Analyze recent trends/developments in brain research. 
38.0 Research current trends and issues in early childhood education. 
39.0 Demonstrate professionalism related to the field of early childhood education. 

Laboratory Activities 

Laboratory activities are an integral part of this program. These activities include instruction in the use of safety procedures, tools, equipment, materials, and processes related to these occupations. Equipment and supplies should be provided to enhance hands-on experiences for students. 

Basic Skills 

In Post-Secondary Adult Vocational (PSAV) programs offered for 450 hours or more, in accordance with Rule 6A-10.040, F.A.C., the minimum basic skills grade levels required for post-secondary adult career/technical students to complete this program are Mathematics 9, Language 9, and Reading 9. These grade level numbers correspond to a grade equivalent score obtained on a state designated basic skills examination. 

Adult students with disabilities, as defined in Section 1004.02(7), Florida Statutes, may be exempted from meeting the basic skills requirements (Rule 6A-10.040). Students served in exceptional student education (except gifted) as defined in s. 1003.01(3)(a), F.S., may also be exempted from meeting the basic skills requirement. Each school district and Florida college must adopt a policy addressing procedures for exempting eligible students with disabilities from the basic skills requirement as permitted in Section 1004.91(3), F.S.

Students who possess a college degree at the Associate of Applied Science level or higher; who have completed or are exempt from the college entry-level examination, or who have passed a state, national, or industry licensure exam are exempt from meeting the basic skills requirement (Rule 6A-10.040, F.A.C.) Exemptions from the state, national, or industry licensure are limited to the certifications listed at http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/dwdframe/rtf/basicskills-License-exempt.rtf. 

Points & Grade

The following grading scale will apply to all courses within the program: 90 -100 A | 80 – 89 B | 70 – 79 C | 60 – 69 D | 59 or less F

Total Program Cost

$2.56 per Hour + Materials + Fees (In-State Career / Technical Education Program Rate) 
$10.25 per Hour + Materials + Fees (Out-of-State Career / Technical Education Program Rate)