Early Care & Education

Early Care and Education - Associate in Applied Science Degree

Admission Type:

General College Admission
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(843) 349-5277

Early care and Education

If you enjoy children and creative activities, possess patience, excellent communication skills, and sound decision-making abilities, and have a strong work ethic, HGTC's Associate in Applied Science in Early Care and Education (ECD) might be the right career path for you. Early Care and Education professionals work in partnership with families to create a nurturing environment that is respectful of culture and rich in experiences to promote the optimal growth and development of each child. Students in this program receive the tools and resources necessary to provide language- and literacy-rich environments, appropriate math and science skills, an inquiry-based approach to learning about the world, and safe, healthy environments that promote emotional and social well-being. The program includes interactive classroom experiences, as well as off-site experiences in a variety of child-care and early-education environments.

The Early Care and Education program is accredited by NAEYC (National Association for Education of Young Children).   For more information about HGTC's accreditations, click here

For more information, contact:
Claire Blackwelder - (843) 349-7822

Career Outlook

Recent scientific research has confirmed the need for high-quality care and education during a child's early years, when optimal brain growth and development occurs. This has increased the demand for highly qualified early-childhood professionals. The Associate in Applied Science in Early Care and Education prepares graduates to work in a variety of settings for children ages birth through eight years. These settings include:

  • Childcare centers
  • Head Start centers
  • Family childcare homes
  • Morning preschool programs
  • After-school programs
  • Programs for children with differing abilities
  • Summer camp programs
  • Private schools
  • Public schools

For students already working in a childcare or early-education setting, opportunities may be available for Teacher Education and Compensation Helps (T.E.A.C.H.) scholarships and other bonus incentives.

For more information about careers, visit O*Net Online for an overview of South Carolina and National earnings statistics, and Horry Georgetown Technical College's Career Resource Center for more employment, career, and professional development resources.

Employers of HGTC Alumni Include:

  • Horry and Georgetown County Schools
  • Horry County Head Start
  • Child Development Ministries at First United Methodist Church
  • The Learning Tree Day School
  • The Learning Station
  • Gateway Academy
  • Carolina Forest Child Development Center

Public Disclosure Information:

See Early Care and Education Disclosure Information

Program Information

Specific Admission Requirements for Program
  • Criminal Background Check is a prerequisite to labs and licensed child care centers (not required for ECD 101)
  • Certification in Pediatric CPR and First Aid prior to graduation

Course Sequence and Progression Requirements
A minimum grade of C or better is required for all ECD-prefixed courses for progression and graduation. Most Early Care and Education (CRJ) courses are offered only once each year, so following the recommended course sequence is extremely important.

Curriculum Sequence

First Semester - Fall
EDU 201 Classroom Inquiries with Technology 3
ECD 101 Introduction to Early Childhood 3
ECD 102 Growth and Development I 3
ECD 108 Family and Community Relations 3
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
ENG 155 Communications I
Second Semester - Spring
ECD 105 Guidance - Classroom Management* 3
ECD 131 Language Arts** 3
ECD 203 Growth and Development II* 3
MAT Select from: MAT 155, MAT 101, MAT 110 or
MAT 250****
SPC 205 Public Speaking (w/ENG 101) 3
Third Semester - Summer
ECD 107 Exceptional Child* 3
ECD 133 Science and Math Concepts** 3
ECD 135 Health, Safety, and Nutrition** 3
Fourth Semester - Fall
ECD 132 Creative Experiences 3
ECD 201 Principles of Ethics Leadership in Early Care Education 3
ECD 237 Methods and Materials** 3
PSY 201 General Psychology 3
Fifth Semester - Spring
ECD 252 Diversity Issues in Early Care and Education* 3
ECD 200 Curriculum Issues in Infant Toddler Development* 3
ECD 243 Supervised Field Experience** 3
Humanities*** 3



*Students are required to conduct observations of children, families, and learning environments in a variety of early childhood settings.

**Students are required to participate in lab/class assignments involving visitations to work in licensed child care facilities.

***Choose from electives: ART 101, MUS 105, or THE 101.

****Students planning to transfer should consult advisor for selection.