For related HMS programs, see Related Programs Listing .
Purpose: The Certificate in Early Childhood Development prepares students for employment in settings where the care and education of young children is the primary focus and for the associate degree in early childhood. Graduates develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to design, implement, and assess practices informed by Virginia’s Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals and the National Association for the Education of Young Children Professional Preparation Standards. This 34-credit curriculum provides an in-depth sequence of courses in early childhood and all course work overlaps with and is also a requirement for the associate degree program of study.
Occupational Objectives: Graduates may be employed in a variety of early childhood settings providing the care and education for children from birth to age eight such as: Preschool Programs • Child Care Centers • Family Child Care Programs • Head Start Centers • Pre-Kindergarten Faith Sponsored Programs • Before-And-After School Programs. Occupational titles may vary according to the workplace and the duties involved. Among the specialties are the following: Teacher • Assistant Teacher • Family-Based Caregiver or Provider • Classroom Aid.
Admission Requirements: In addition to the requirements for general admission to the college, a personal interview with the program head is recommended. Placement tests in some areas may be required.
Program Requirements: The Early Childhood program at NRCC combines general education courses with specialized courses for a total of 34 credit hours to prepare students in the areas most directly applicable to working with children. To get the most benefit from the program, students should work closely with their faculty advisor in planning their curriculum including the internship experience. NRCC also offers a 16 credit Career Studies Certificate in Child Development, a 16 credit Career Studies Certificate in Child Development: Infant and Toddler, and a 67 credit Associate of Applied Science degree in Human Services with a Specialization in Early Childhood Development. For students who decide to continue their education, courses in the certificate program will lead into the A.A.S. degree program and some may transfer to a four-year institution. Students who plan to continue into the A.A.S. degree and/or transfer after completing the degree requirements in Early Childhood should inform their academic advisor at the beginning of studies to ensure a smooth transition into programs and determine the appropriate courses to meet transfer requirements.
Students must successfully complete a supervised internship that includes on-the-job teaching experiences in an early childhood setting, approved by the Program Head. Application for internship should be made the semester prior to placement. Students should note that early childhood programs require a criminal background report and a child abuse central registry search, and a TB test as a prerequisite to beginning the internship experience. A program may deny participation for findings on the reports. Affiliation agreements prevent the placement of a student who is denied internship participation at one program into an internship agreement at another program. Inability to meet the internship requirements prevents the student from satisfactorily achieving the course objectives resulting in failure of the course. Internships for Early Childhood Certificate must be approved by program head.
Students are required to go through an oral interview at the conclusion of the program for assessment purposes. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, students are awarded a Certificate in Early Childhood Development.
For more information about the program, visit the department webpage.