Early Childhood Education


Program Content:

This program prepares students to understand ages and stages of child development and to plan meaningful learning experiences for young children ages birth to eight. Students learn competencies concerning the care of young children in the Early Childhood industry.

Students model best practice teaching techniques with the children in the Suncoast Tech Tots Laboratory Preschool or in other approved community child care centers. Observation and supervision of work experience with young children in a school or community laboratory setting are an integral part of our program. To achieve Early Childhood Professional Certificate status, students must successfully complete 480 hours of direct work with children age five or younger. Students completing this program are eligible for higher wages and/or supervisory positions in the child care field.

We recommend students obtain certification in infant/child CPR and first aid for initial employment.

Program Options:

  • High School Program: Juniors and seniors prepare to meet all the requirements within two school years to earn a National Child Development Associate (CDA).

  • 6 Month Adult Program: Adults spend the full day at STC from 7:45am-2:15pm, M-F. This course has one start date each year in August and consists of 120 hours of class and 480 hours of experience working with children ages 3-5 years old in the Tech Tots’ Preschool Program. The students will prepare to meet all the requirements within 6 months to earn a National Child Development Associate (CDA).
    *Tuition: See student services for tuition details
  • 1 Year Adult Program: FCCPC: Adults spend Tuesday and Thursday evenings in class from 6:30pm–9pm. Classes are available at STC’ Sarasota campus. A hybrid course is available at the North Port Campus on Monday evenings from 6:30pm–9pm. There is also a weekly online component to the North Port course. Students may enroll in the program throughout the year, but must begin attendance in classes at the following entry points only—August, October and February. Students must either work or volunteer at an early childhood program and on-site observations will be conducted by the instructor while the student is working with young children. At the end of the course the student must show evidence of having 480 hours experience working with children ages birth through five years of age, 80 hours of which are conducted while the student is enrolled in STC’s FCCPC program as well as 120 hours of coursework at STC. Students who successfully complete this program earn an FCCPC for children birth to five years of age.
    *Tuition: See student services for tuition details

  • 2 Year Adult Program: Apprenticeship: Adults spend Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the STC Sarasota campus from 6:30pm–9pm. During this two-year program, each apprentice must complete 4000 hours working with children from birth to five years of age, under the supervision of an experienced, approved adviser. The apprentice must also spend a minimum of two hours working with children other than his/her assigned age group. The Apprenticeship Program will provide students in the child care field with R.I and paid OJT, leading to a credential as a Child Care Development Specialist (CCDS).

Industry Certifications & State Credential Exams:

  • Child Development Associate (CDA)
  • Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC)
  • Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC)

Obtainment Time Frame: Within 1 year of program completion

Entrance/Exit Requirements:

A background check is required of all adult students. Reading, math, and language competencies are pre-assessed. The required basic skills grade levels are Reading-9, Math-9, and Language-9 and must be met prior to program completion.

Standard Occupations:

For specific occupation information, including wages, employment trends and more, visit the following links:

Childcare Workers

Preschool Teachers (Except Special Ed)

For other O*Net Online information, please visit:



Course Sequence:


Course #

Course Title




Child Care Worker 1

150 hrs



Child Care Worker 2

150 hrs



Teachers Aide (Preschool)

150 hrs



Preschool Teacher

150 hrs

Printable Program Brochure