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Early Childhood Education

About Our Program:

Our program is designed provide the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in the child care industry. Students who complete all occupational completion points of the program and pass the required exams, will have completed the Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) mandated 40-hour Introductory Child Care Training and five (5) clock hours of DCF-approved literacy training.

The content includes but is not limited to competencies related to the following elements of the early childhood education industry:  planning, management, finance, technical and production skills; underlying principles of technology; labor, community, health, safety, and environmental issues; and developmentally appropriate practices for children birth through age eight.

This program offers a sequence of courses that provides coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in the Education & Training career cluster; provides technical skill proficiency, and includes competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of the Education & Training career cluster.

Program Structure:

This program is a planned sequence of instruction consisting of 600 clock hours and four Occupational Completion Points (OCPs), as illustrated below:

OCP A Child Care Worker 1 150 Hours
OCP B Child Care Worker 2 150 Hours
OCP C Teacher Aide (Preschool) 150 Hours
OCP D Preschool Teacher 150 Hours

This program requires students to obtain 480 hours of direct work experience with children 5 years old or younger while enrolled in the program to be awarded the Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC).

To be a full program completer, students must complete all OCPs and score a minimum of 9 in math, 9 in language, and 9 in reading on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). Students with special needs are exempt from the TABE Test.

Program Cost & Fees:

  • Program Cost 600 Hours @ $2.56 per hour
  • Out of State Residents @ $10.25 per hour
  • Student ID: $5.00
  • Application: $15.00
  • Material: $15.00
  • Student must purchase books, kits, and/or uniforms if applicable, prices will vary
  • Program cost and fees are subject to change

This program is approved by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) as meeting the training requirements for child care personnel/ preschool teachers, 65C-22.003.

Completion of Program:

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) ECPC is based upon the eight content areas listed below.  They are an integral part of the Early Childhood Education program. After successfully completing this program, the student will be able to perform the following:

  • Planning a safe, healthy, supportive, and respectful learning environment.
  • Steps to advance children’s physical and intellectual development (including literacy).
  • Positive ways to support and promote children’s social and emotional development.
  • Strategies to establish productive, positive relationships with families.
  • Strategies to manage effective program operations.
  • Maintaining a commitment to professionalism.
  • Observing and recording children’s behavior including an understanding of screening and assessment.
  • Principles of child growth and development.

Final Certificate:

A Certificate of Completion is issued for students who end the program, and finish the Occupational Completion Points (OCPs)”


The following grading scale will apply to all courses within the program: 90-100=A, 80-89=B, 70-79=C, 60-69=D, 0-59=F

Basic Skills Test:

Students registered in a post-secondary education program for technical careers of 450+ hours must take a basic skills entrance test within the first six (6) weeks after their admission to the program.

The State of Florida requires that students who desire a Technical-Professional Diploma gets an industry certification within the study program scope, or to pass the TABE test at a predetermined level when they register for a 450+ hour program. The test is a basic skills initial test.

Students who have a University degree at the Associate in Science level, or higher, or who has passed a state, national or industry certification license test ate exempt from this rule. The designated program administrator must receive an official copy of the diploma, academic dossier, or test evaluation.

Students with disabilities are eligible for exemptions in the TABE test, course placement, and reasonable course substitutions. A counselor or administrator may help the client.”

Financial Aid Available for students who qualify:

Financial aid is available for students who qualify. A one-year Florida residence is required. For additional information, please see the Financial Aid Officer in the school main office.

Attendance Policy

Students must attend classes regularly to be able to complete the study program successfully. Attendance is strictly supervised.

Student Code of Conduct:

Consumption of tobacco, alcohol and other illegal substances is prohibited. Offensive, abusive or profane language will not be accepted in school or during school activities. Violators of this code could be excluded from classes or from school. Robbery, property damage, assault and/or threats to others are a violation of the law. Students involved in this behavior could be referred to pertinent authorities. Criminal aggression and other serious offenses will be referred to police authorities. See Student Code of Conduct Manual of the Board of Miami-Dade County Public Schools in the school webpage.

Student Services:

Students who qualify as residents of the State of Florida must be able to show one of the following documents:

  • Valid Florida ID or Driver’s License
  • Declaration of Domicile certified by the court
  • A utility bill with the legal name of the interested party as addressee
  • A certified letter received by the school from an agency confirming the student resides in the State of Florida.

The SAVES program offers services to refugees and people with asylum status (all nationalities), and parolees (Cubans and Haitians only). The eligible students may receive free books, free English and technical career classes.

Classes are offered at:

South Dade Technical College
28300 S.W. 152nd Avenue
Leisure City, FL 33033
(305) 247-7839

Class Hours:
Monday – Friday | 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Office Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


“We are committed to providing quality educational programs and services for adult learners.”


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