Associate of Early Care and Education

Associate of Early Care and Education

AdobeStock 272604693 scaled


The Early Care and Education Associate Degree program has established a clear identity and role in its community and is responsive to community stakeholders. The mission of Denmark Technical College aligns with the program mission. Since the school establishment it has offered services to tri-county service areas known as Bamberg, Barnwell and Allendale Counties. The Early Care and Education Associate Degree program mission is to foster and support creative and positive learning experiences within an atmosphere of academic excellence and continuous improvement. The program will prepare students for specific careers and employment in various early childhood development related areas and/or for the pursuit of advanced degrees in Early Care and Education by educating them in the fundamental concepts, knowledge, and laboratory/ field techniques and skills of the Early Care and Education program. The ECE program is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion of all candidates.
The faculty, staff, and administrators in the program continually work towards developing the sense of community amongst all the stakeholders. The program has a core academic foundation with flexibility to meet the just-in-time needs of the community.


The A.A.S. Early Care and Education Associate Degree at Denmark Technical College is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The current accreditation term runs from March 2020 through March 2027. 



Program Quick Facts

  • NAEYC Accreditation since 2006 SC State Technical College System Community Service Award Recipient (ECD Club)
  • TEACH Scholarships Small Class Sizes ( 1 Faculty to 10 Students)
  • Child Care Credentials ECD Week of the Young Child Fun Day
  • SC WINS Financial Aid Awards
  • Early Childhood Development Club

Learning Opportunities

The ECE program operates under all SACSCOC guidelines, the State Technical College System and Denmark Technical College best practices. The program is outline with a curriculum display that have been approved and adopted thru the proper channels of the educational system. For entry into the program all students must have a high school diploma or its equivalence. All students are treated equally and fair regardless of race, nationality, religion or sex. To meet the needs of our stakeholders and to ensure candidate’s readiness for work, candidates are required to have a SLED background check, TB skin test, and CPR and first aid certifications upon completion of the program. Some candidates master their skills by pursuing credentials in SC Early Childhood Credential, SC Director Credential, Preschool Credential 2, Preschool Credential 3 and Special Needs Credential 2. The credentials are submitted by the South Carolina Early Care and Education Credentialing System. Once received, upon successfully passing selected courses with a “C” or higher grade from the course, the SC Endeavors will issue the credentials to the candidates. Stakeholders view the credentials as an important tool for new hires as noted to be exceptional workers. All of the above run hand to hand with the mission statement and conceptual framework guidelines. Candidates explore experiential learning through various early childhood field internships that yields 321 laboratory hours within the two year program. Candidates have the opportunity to attend Early Childhood Conferences (SCAEYC, NAEYC, Low Country Early Childhood Conference) on a yearly basis.


Applied Science in Early Care and Education Associate Degree

Projected Career Salaries

Career  Highest Salaries range;

  • Certificate:  30,994.00 – 32,840.00
  • Associate’s Degree: 31,420.00 – 33, 261.00

Career  Median Salaries range;

  • Child Care workers annual median wage is $18,370.00
  • Head start workers annual median wage is $23,080.00
  • Pre-K Teachers annual median wage is $24,960.00

Graduate Placements

  • Graduates placement rates range from 95% to 100%. Graduates are placed in child care careers or transferred into four year colleges and universities.
  • Graduates gain employment in child care centers, head start centers and public schools.

Possible Memberships in Subject Area

  • Memberships in SCAEYC (South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children) & NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children).
  • Memberships into Denmark Technical College Chapter National Technical Honor Society (2.5 GPA or higher)
  • Membership in Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (3.5 GPA or higher)

Alumni and Student Spotlight

Ethel Brooks 2020 ECD & ECE Graduate
Since graduation, she has gained employment with Barnwell County First Steps as an Early Childhood Specialist and is also a transfer/undergraduate at SC State University for Fall 2020 semester pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree.

Program Courses

Take the next step

Get started on your future today.