The field of Early Childhood includes a wide variety of opportunities for professionals to profoundly impact the lives of children and families. A child's earliest years are a critical period for learning and development.
Did you know that the brain develops faster before the age of three than at any other point in a child's life? Early childhood professionals know this, and they use that knowledge to create high quality experiences for children birth through age eight in a variety of settings.
In NPC’s Early Childhood Studies programs, students are prepared to work in diverse and inclusive early childhood environments, including homes, schools, libraries, health programs and other community settings that work with, or on behalf of, young children.
Through a combination of general and specialized areas of early childhood, we aim to enable our students to become outstanding educators, decision-makers, coaches, interventionists, advocates and intellectual and ethical leaders. Each of NPC's early childhood programs provides a comprehensive set of knowledge and competencies aligned with state and national standards for early childhood professional preparation.
- For more information about this program, please contact an NPC Academic Adviser. Also see the current NPC College Catalog and class schedule.
Labs and Classrooms
Most coursework in the program is practicum-based (working in an early childhood setting). Students conduct assignments and receive observation and instruction at an early childhood location in or near where the students work or volunteer. Students in this program are required to complete 16-48 hours of practicum for each Early Childhood Studies course in which a practicum is a required part of the course. If you do not have access to an early childhood setting, please contact your adviser or the Early Childhood department chair to discuss degree and course options that meet your educational goals.
While not required, current CPR/first aid training is strongly recommended. A fingerprint clearance card is required by most practicum settings.
This program prepares graduates to work in a variety of settings such as public schools/preschools, childcare centers, Head Start programs, early intervention, behavioral health, healthcare settings, faith-based settings, libraries, social service settings, classrooms and recreational settings.
Employment of early childhood professionals is projected to grow 5 percent through 2024.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the national median hourly wage for the following jobs (May 2019):
- Childcare Worker (aids and attendants) - $13.05
- Early Childhood/Preschool Teacher - $20.39
- Preschool/Childcare Center Director - $23.18
Potential Job Titles
Early Childhood Educator, Preschool Teacher, Family Care Provider, Childcare Director, Early Interventionist, Quality Coach, Childcare Consultant, Caregiver
Although this program is NOT an AGEC transferable degree, the ECD AAS degree is designed to smoothly transition students to the Bachelor’s of Applied Science programs at Arizona’s three state universities. The Early Childhood Department Chair (see contact information above) can assist you in determining your pathway options. Students should also work with an academic adviser at the college or university you plan to attend after NPC to ensure the courses you complete at NPC will apply to your future program of study.
The U.S. Department of Education requires all colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that "prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." See the Letter from the U.S. Department of Education (PDF).
- Early Childhood Management Certificate of Applied Science (CAS)
- Early Childhood Studies Family Care Certificate of Applied Science (CAS)
- Early Childhood Studies Infant-Toddler Certificate of Applied Science (CAS)
- Early Childhood Studies School-Age Certificate of Applied Science (CAS)
- Early Childhood Studies Family Care Certificate of Proficiency (CP)
- Early Childhood Studies Infant-Toddler Certificate of Proficiency (CP)
- Early Childhood Studies School-Age Certificate of Proficiency (CP)