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Early Childhood Instruction


two young children at a table drawing with pencils

In just two semesters, prepare for a career in early childhood instruction

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

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Good teachers and child care providers don’t just happen! Start your career in early childhood education with Tidewater Community College’s Certificate in Early Childhood Instruction. This flexible program is offered on all TCC campuses.

With this 31-credit certificate, you will be trained in the care, supervision and education of children from birth through age 12. You’ll be prepared to work:

  • in public or private child care
  • as part of a preschool program
  • in home-based child care
  • in a before- and after-school program
  • as a family nanny

Start making a difference today.

Go further

Apply all the credits from this program to TCC's Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development.

View program curriculum
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?

TCC's Early Childhood Education Instruction Certificate consists of 2 semesters of part-time study, with classes held on all campuses.

Estimated Program Cost*:
31 credits x $185.35 per credit = $5,745.85 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Where can you go?

While many graduates find immediate employment after earning the certificate, you can continue working toward your Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you:

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

Finish this program in as few as 2 semesters

Observation hours built into every class

Many students find employment prior to graduation

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

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

TCC participates in the Quality Rating and Improvement System – or QRIS – which assures parents that their children’s day care centers and preschools have qualified teachers and caregivers and enriching programs

Program spotlight

Working to impact children and future leaders


TCC’s first apprentice in early childhood education feels “like the luckiest person in the world”

Student success

A peek inside one of our early childhood classes