Early Childhood Education

Make A Difference with the Future Every Day!

Photo of a toddler boy using a blue marker to work on a drawing he is making at a table

Western Piedmont Community College’s Early Childhood Education program provides opportunities for you to gain the education needed to seek work with children from birth to age eight in a variety of learning environments. You will have the opportunity to work with children in actual settings under the supervision of our instructors. Courses in physical/nutritional needs of children, care and guidance and communication skills with both families and children will give you the tools for entry-level positions in early childhood facilities.

The program also offers graduates options to transfer to a 4-year university to complete a bachelor’s degree and possibly earn licensure as a birth-kindergarten teacher or work with agencies serving children, families, and caregivers.

So where can I work?

If you graduate with an Associate in Applied Science Degree or a Certificate in Early Childhood Education at WPCC, you will be prepared for jobs in

  • Child Development and Child Care Programs
  • Preschools
  • Public and Private Schools
  • Recreational Centers
  • Head Start Programs
  • School-Age Programs

Statistics from ONET Online suggest that the salary (median to high) range for childcare workers in North Carolina is from $19,430 to $27,710 per year.

Program Costs, Graduation & Job Placement

Estimated Total Cost
for A.A.S. Degree

Career Track – $8,223.90
Transfer Licensure – $8,726.25
Transfer Non-Licensure – $8780.40

Graduation Rates

A.A.S. Transfer Licensure – 33.3%

Job Placement

Approximately 60% of current students are employed in the field

Additional Requirements
for Licensure, Certification
or Approval


What You Will Study

The Early Childhood Education program at WPCC offers you these options:

A.A.S. (Career Track)

WPCC’s two-year Associate in Applied Science (Career Track) degree prepares you to work with children in a variety of settings when you complete the program.

Learn More

A.A.S. (Transfer Licensure)

The Associate in Applied Science (Transfer Licensure) degree prepares you to earn your Birth-Kindergarten teaching license from a 4-year university and work in a public school preschool program, possibly a kindergarten, or NC Pre-K.

Learn More

A.A.S. (Transfer Non-Licensure)

The Associate in Applied Science (Transfer Non-Licensure) degree readies you to earn your Birth-Kindergarten degree from a 4-year university without teacher licensure, preparing you for a non-classroom career with Family and child development agencies.

Learn More

New: Early Childhood Statewide Transfer Agreement

Starting this fall, our new transfer pathways in Early Childhood Education are intended to transfer to any school within the 17-campus University of North Carolina System.


Autism Certificate

Students take 16-credit hours to earn a certificate in child development, autism technical concepts, and children with exceptionalities.

Learn More

Infant/Toddler Care Certificate

Here is a one-year program at WPCC that features specialized training which focuses on infants, toddlers, and two year-olds.

Learn More

Early Childhood Administration Certificate

Get specialized instruction in issues, theories, and procedures for operating an early childhood facility in an administrative role.

Learn More

Early Childhood Preschool Certificate

This is a 16-hour certificate program at WPCC that focuses on topics concerning pre-school children.

Learn More

Tips to Be Successful

A student in another early childhood program complained to her Instructor, “I don’t understand why I have to have a two year degree to work with young children.  It’s not rocket science!” That student was right.  It is not rocket science.  It is a lot more important!  So we take it seriously and have fun doing it.

  • To be successful in early childhood education you need to have a good sense of humor.  Children say and do the funniest things, but we never laugh at them, instead we say and do funny things too, because laughter helps us learn.
  • A second language is not necessary, but is certainly useful whether it be Spanish or American Sign Language.  We are a very diverse community.
  • Most of our courses are online or hybrid, so internet access and computer skills are very important in being successful in our program.  This leads to the next item that is necessary for students in our program, a TaskStream account.  This is a computer website we use to help us track student success in meeting the NAEYC Standards.
  • Time is the last item you need, but not the least.  Classes take time whether they are seated or online, and then there is homework, projects, and field experiences.  But if you persevere, it is time well spent because you will spend time helping children and families grow and improve their lives.

Our Mission

The mission of the Early Childhood Education Program at WPCC is to provide multiple learning experiences that increase knowledge, instill critical thinking reflective practice, and promote professionalism in our students in order to improve lives and promote growth of young children and their families in our community.

Get More Information

Like more information about WPCC’s Early Childhood Education program? Tell us more about yourself and we’ll be in touch.

Find Your Way at WPCC!