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Early Childhood Development

Associate of Applied Science

children playing in a daycare

Early childhood education unlocks the future, and not just for children

TCC is the Eastern Region lead for the Virginia Star Quality Initiative (VSQI), the statewide early childhood program

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Few careers are as satisfying as making a positive impact on the life of a child.

Earning your Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development from Tidewater Community College prepares you to offer the highest possible standard of care and education to serve children and their families. The program is nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Whether you want to become a director of a child care program, operate your own licensed family care home or be a preschool teacher, TCC’s child development program can help you reach your goals. This flexible program is offered on all TCC campuses. Scholarships are available, including the Child Day Care Provider Scholarship.

Start making a difference today.

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Program mission statement

The Early Childhood Development programs prepare students in the care, supervision, and education of young children from birth to age eight. The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree provides fundamentals of child development and educational training for those entering the field. Graduates are equipped with knowledge and skills for work in settings such as preschools, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs, private schools, public schools and before-and-after school programs. 
The Career Studies Certificate programs focus on specific aspects of early childhood and prepare students for work with young children in a variety of school, childcare, and agency settings. 

What does this program cost?

You can complete a 2-year associate degree for less than the cost of 1 year at a 4-year college or university.

TCC's Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education consists of 4 semesters of full-time study, with classes held on all campuses.

If your schedule doesn't permit full-time attendance, you may also take classes part time.

Estimated Program Cost*:
62 credits x $185.35 per credit = $11,491.70 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Where can you go?

While many graduates in early childhood education find immediate employment, you can transfer to Norfolk State University to earn your Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you:

  • love working with children
  • are patient
  • enjoy a hands-on environment

Prepares you to offer care and education services for children from birth through age 12 with emphasis on birth through age 5

Research-based curriculum reflects National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Core Values and Standards

Hands-on classes are taught by student-centered faculty who hold numerous leadership positions in the community

Observation hours built into every class

TCC’s Early Childhood Development Program provides continuous improvements in the quality of child care in the Eastern Region of Virginia

Many students find employment prior to graduation

Student success

Linda Owens and daughter Danielle both earned associate degrees on the same day.


TCC's Early Childhood Development program is one of two nationally accredited associate programs in the state.


At the young-old age of 69, Mama Gee is a college grad.