HCC Ybor Campus HCC SouthShore Campus HCC Plant City Campus HCC District Administrative Offices HCC Dale Mabry Campus HCC Brandon Campus

HCC Early Childhood Program (AS.CHILD)    

The program prepares students for a variety of careers in the early childhood field and provides the competencies and practical experience needed for credentialing. Coursework for the Associate in Science degree in Early Childhood Management focuses on the development, care, guidance, and education of young children. The department also provides coursework to meet the academic requirements for the Director Credential. The early childhood program includes two child development centers and teaching lab schools. The mission of the campus-based centers is to provide quality accessible and affordable child care for students, staff, and faculty. Centers also provide exemplary lab experiences to students in early childhood education and other fields.  

Frequently Asked Questions  

1. What courses do I need to complete for the early childhood program? Do I need to see an advisor?

The early childhood program requires the completion of 63 credits. It is very important for you to stay in touch with an academic advisor at the Ybor City campus throughout the program.

The Ybor City Student Services Building is located at 1320 East Palm Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605.

2. I’m already working in childcareI have my CDA and other certificatesCan I use them toward an AS degree in the program?

You will be awarded 9 credits toward your AS degree if you have a staff credential (National CDA, ECPC, FCCPC, etc.). Submit your DCF training transcript documenting your receipt of a staff credential. Access your transcript through the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Child Care Training website http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care

Write your HCC student id, telephone number, and home mailing address on the back of the formDr. Parsons will complete the paperwork to have the 9 credits (EEC1300, EEC1311, and EEC1941) placed on your HCC transcript.

Leave your DCF transcript at the main office of the Ybor Child Development Center (YCDC-101). Place it in an envelope addressed to Dr. Parsons. 

3. I have a Director’s Credential. Can I use this toward an AS degree in your program?

Three credits will be placed on your transcript for EEC1521 (a required course in the AS.CHILD program) if you completed CHD1800 (the Director’s Credential course) at HCC.

Submit your HCC transcript after you have successfully completed CHD1800.

Write your HCC student id, telephone number, and home mailing address on the back of the form. Dr. Parsons will complete the paperwork to have the 3 credits placed on your HCC transcript.

Leave your HCC transcript at the main office of the Ybor Child Development Center (YCDC-101). Place it in an envelope addressed to Dr. Parsons. 

4. What are the requirements for the practicum courses?

You are required to complete 2 practicum courses (EEC1941, EEC1943). You will not have to take Practicum 1 (EEC1941) if you already have your staff credential (see #2 above).

Each practicum course requires documentation of 240 hours within a licensed childcare program. Twenty of those hours must be completed at one of HCC’s child development centers over 4 visits.

Practicum requires the completion of a professional portfolio

EEC1521 is the pre-requisite for Practicum 1 (EEC1941). EEC1300 is the co-requisite. This means that you must complete EEC1300 during the same semester as Practicum 1 (EEC1941) if you have not completed it in a previous semester.

You are required to complete a criminal background check, per Florida’s guidelines. Results of the background screening must be received before you begin your practicum hours at the child development center

5. Do I have to complete all practicum hours at HCC’s child development centers?

No. Each practicum course (EEC1941, EEC1943) requires the completion of 240 hours within a licensed child care setting.

220 hours may be completed where you are currently working.

20 hours must be completed at the HCC Ybor and/or the Dale Mabry child development centers over a minimum of 4 visits.

6. Do I have a staff credential if I already have a degree?

You may already qualify for a staff credential if you already have a college degree.

You will need to complete 6 credits in early childhood if you have a degree outside of the field of early childhood. You will also need to have documentation of 480 hours working with young children.

Refer to the DCF Childcare Training website http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care  for information on requirements for the staff credential.

7. Will I automatically have my staff credential once I graduate from the HCC early childhood program?

Not automatically. You will need to submit a staff credential application (with your HCC transcript) to DCF. The credential will then be recorded on your DCF training transcript. Download the application form from the DCF Child Care Training website.

8. What is the difference between a staff credential and a CDA? How do I qualify?

Every licensed child care facility must have 1 person on staff with a staff credential for every 20 children in care. This is the minimum requirement in Florida. Many facilities require all teacher to have a staff credential. 

The CDA (Child Development Associate®) is 1 type of staff credential. It is a national credential issued by the Council for Professional Recognition. Access the Council’s website http://www.cdacouncil.org/  for information about specific requirements.

Individuals also qualify for a staff credential if they have the following educational qualifications:

B.A., B.S. or advanced degree in 1 of the following areas: Early Childhood Education/Child Development, Pre-K or Primary Education, Preschool Education, Family/Consumer Sciences, Exceptional Student Education, Special Education, Mental Disabilities, Specific Learning Disabilities, Physically Impaired, Varying Exceptionalities, Emotional Disabilities, Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired, Speech-Language Pathology or Elementary Education with certification to teach any age birth through 6th grade

A.S., A.A. degree or higher in Early Childhood Education/Child Development

Associate's degree or higher with at least 6 college credit hours in early childhood education/child development and at least 480 hours experience in a child care setting serving children ages birth through eight (8).

Students in HCC’s early childhood program qualify for a staff credential because of their educational qualifications. You simply have to submit a staff credential application to DCF upon graduation (see #7 above).

9. What educational options do I have after I graduate with my AS.CHILD degree?

Many of our early childhood students are now pursuing baccalaureate (B.A., B.S.) degrees. There are B.S. and B.A. degrees available in early childhood education and related fields. Some of the programs are entirely online, while others may provide hybrid courses. Each program is different. It is very important to look into the specific pre-requisites for the program you are interested in. Requirements differ based on the program’s focus (eg., early childhood, exceptional education, child and family studies, Pre-K to Grade 3, etc.) and the University itself.   

HCC Early Childhood Program

(813) 253-7956

Email: Dr. Parsons gparsons@hccfl.edu