HCC Home 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.  

Advising and Course Requirements

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 60 credits.


Please contact Monique Mavour, the AS Early Childhood Advisor at (813) 253-7795 or mmavour@hccfl.edu to review course requirements.

You do not have to take EEC1300, 1311, and 1943 if you already have your staff credential.
Email your training transcript to Dr. Parsons @ gparsons@hccfl.edu or drop it off at the YB CDC office. 

Financial Assistance

How do I apply for financial aid?

Explore the following options:

HCC Financial Aid Department

The T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® Scholarship Program funded by the Florida Office of Early Learning provides scholarships for early care educators to work towards earning an Associate and/or Bachelor degree or credentials in early childhood education.

Florida TEACH video http://teach-fl.org/?page_id=622#tabs-622-0-1 (Links to an external site.)  

The Staff Credential

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

You may already qualify for a staff credential http://ccrain.fl-dcf.org/documents/6/467.pdf#page=1 (Links to an external site.) 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.

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 http://ccrain.fl-dcf.org/documents/6/467.pdf#page=1 (Links to an external site.) (with your HCC transcript) to DCF. The credential will then be recorded on your DCF training transcript.

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 http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/staff-credential (Links to an external site.) 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 http://www.cdacouncil.org/ (Links to an external site.) Review the CDA credentialing requirements at http://www.cdacouncil.org/credentials/apply-for-cda (Links to an external site.)

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 http://ccrain.fl-dcf.org/documents/6/467.pdf#page=1 (Links to an external site.) to DCF upon graduation (see above).      

Resources http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/provider-resources (Links to an external site.) 


Options after Graduation

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.

State Colleges with a Fully Online Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood 

State College of Florida - Manatee/Sarasota- flexible internship Infancy to Four focus http://www.scf.edu/Academics/BaccalaureateDegrees/bsece/default.asp (Links to an external site.) 

Florida Gateway College - Lake City - flexible internship Infancy to Four with a Pre-K focus  https://www.fgc.edu/academics/teachingdesignbusiness/bs-early-childhood-education/ (Links to an external site.) 

Florida State College at Jacksonville- out of center internship required Pre-K to Grade 3 teacher certification program. 
Require FT internships at a public school. FL certification exams are also required. 
http://www.fscj.edu/academics/areas-of-study/education/early-childhood-education-bs (Links to  

Career Options

What Career Options do I have?

Please review Florida Careers in Early Childhood Directory.pdf

Resources http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/provider-resources (Links to an external site.)

What is Child Life?

According to the Child Life Council https://www.childlife.org/  (Links to an external site.)

child life specialists are trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events. Armed with a strong background in child development and family systems, child life specialists promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities. They provide emotional support for families, and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to healthcare and hospitalization. Because they understand that a child’s wellbeing depends on the support of the family, child life specialists provide information, support and guidance to parents, siblings, and other family members. They also play a vital role in educating caregivers, administrators, and the general public about the needs of children under stress. 

Child life specialists have earned a minimum bachelor’s or master’s degree, with an educational emphasis on human growth and development, education, psychology, or a related field of study.

Refer to https://www.childlife.org/ (Links to an external site.) for more information.



How do I become a member of an Early Childhood Association?

There are several membership options.

http://www.flchild.com/ (Links to an external site.)

also includes membership to SECA, FLAEYC, HAEYC

http://www.naeyc.org/membership/students (Links to an external site.)


http://members.nbcdi.org/ (Links to an external site.)


https://www.elchc.org/programs_services/the-institute/ (Links to

Becoming a Director/Opening a Center

How do I become a director of an early childhood program?

Directors must be credentialed as part of the minimum licensing standard

http://ccrain.fl-dcf.org/documents/6/468.pdf#page=1 (Links to an external site.)

A prekindergarten program delivering the VPK program must have a Director who has a VPK Director Endorsement http://ccrain.fl-dcf.org/documents/-99/556.pdf#page=1 (Links to an external site.)

I want to open an early childhood program (center or family). How do I get started?

Contact the Hillsborough County Child Care Licensing Department http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/government/departments/childcare-licensing (Links to an external site.) for detailed information about the licensing process.

How to Apply

http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/families/child-care/action-folder/apply-for-a-child-care-center-license (Links to an external site.) 

Resources http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/provider-resources (Links to an external site.) 


Foundational Training in Early Childhood ('the 40 hours')

Per Florida's Administrative Code, all child care personnel are required to complete 40 hours of mandated training and must meet the early literacy training requirement.

This includes

Part 1 (30 hours)

Child Care Facility Rules and Regulations (FACR – 6 hours)

Health Safety and Nutrition (HSAN – 8 hours)

Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect (CAAN – 4 hours)

Child Growth and Development (CGDR – 6 hours)

Behavioral Observation and Screening (BOSR – 6 hours)

Part 2 (10 Hours)

Understanding Developmentally Appropriate Practices (UDAP – 5 hours) AND one (1) of the following:

Infant and Toddler Appropriate Practices (ITPR – 5 hours)

Preschool Appropriate Practices (PSPR – 5 hours)

School-Age Appropriate Practices (SAPR – 5 hours)


Special Needs Appropriate Practices (SNP – 10 hours)


Two (2) of the following:

Early Literacy for Children Birth to Three (ELC – 5 hours)

Basic Guidance and Discipline (BGD – 5 hours)

Early Childhood Computer Learning Centers (CLC – 5 hours)

Emergent Literacy for Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Instructors (VPK – 5 hours)


How to Register for ONLINE DCF courses.pdf ('how to' video included)

How to Register for a COMPETENCY Exam.pdf  ('how to' video included)

Department of Children & Families Child Care Training site http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/training (Links to an external site.) 

The 40 hour training must be completed by the end of Practicum 2 (EEC1943).