Early Childhood Care and Education

Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG)

Ten (10) Frequently Asked Questions

September 2011 (Includes Semester Programs/Courses)
(updated as received via bm: 10/18/2011)

QUESTION 1:  I want to work in a childcare center, but I was told that I have to have a CDA credential (Child Development Associate credential). Can I get a CDA at one of the technical colleges?

ANSWER:  These are two very important questions, and the two paragraphs below provide an explanation:

A CDA is only one of the education credentials that will satisfy state licensing requirements for lead teachers in licensed and registered child care programs, and assistant teachers/paraprofessionals in Georgia’s Pre-K programs. There are other credentials available through the technical college system and Georgia colleges and universities that satisfy the minimum educational requirement for these professionals.  See question 2 for other educational options. 

CDA credential is only given by the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington DC. For more information on the CDA Credential and what the Council requires, go to http://www.cdacouncil.org/ or call 1-800- 424- 4310. You should know however,  that  the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has colleges throughout the state that can provide you education in the early childhood area that will help you obtain the CDA Credential or will be standalone credentials that meet the minimum educational requirement.  The Technical Certificate of Credit is a standalone credential that provides knowledge and skills for entry-level early care and education professionals, does not expire and will articulate toward a degree in the Georgia college and university system. Please go to http://www.dtae.org/teched/standards/earlychildhood/earlychildhood.html to learn more about the Early Childhood Care and Education programs at TCSG colleges. When you get to this link, click on ECCE Brochure to see a program brochure.

QUESTION 2:  If I do not want to get a CDA, is there another credential I can get to meet Bright from the Start (BFTS) requirements?

ANSWER:  Yes, the requirement is to have an early childhood care and education credential.


 

The following TCSG Early Childhood programs would count toward meeting the BFTS requirement based on this explanation.

ECCE Basics TCC

Family Child Care Specialist TCC

CDA Preparation TCC

Infant/Toddler Child Care Specialist TCC

Child Development Specialist TCC

Program Administration TCC

Early Childhood Exceptionalities TCC

School Age and Youth Care TCC

Early Childhood Care and Education Diploma

Early Childhood Care and Education Associate of Applied Science degree

 

The TCCs listed above, the ECCE diploma, and the ECCE associate degree will be accepted by BFTS and by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for the education credentials required for accreditation. The TCC programs can be completed with as little as 9 -18 semester credit hours (in one to two semesters of attendance). All credentials have to be fully earned, you cannot simply take the courses to satisfy the requirements--you have to be awarded the credential. For more information and details on the BFTS requirements, go to www.decal.ga.gov.

QUESTION 3:  Does the Program Administration Technical Certificate of Credit (TCC) satisfy the 40-hour training required of program directors?

ANSWER:  Yes, the Program Administration Technical Certificate of Credit includes ECCE 1103, Child Growth and Development, ECCE 2320, Program Administration and Facility Management, and ECCE 2322, Personnel Management.  This TCC satisfies the 40-hour training required by the Child Care Licensing Rules for program directors.

QUESTION 4: If I take ECCE 2320, Program Administration and Facility Management, will it also satisfy the 40-hour training required by the Child Care Licensing Rules for program directors?

ANSWER: Yes, this one course, ECCE 2320 Program Administration and Facility Management, will also satisfy the 40-hour training required by the Child Care Licensing Rules for program directors.


 

QUESTION 5:  Is there financial support available for the cost of tuition and mandatory fees after HOPE has been applied?

 

ANSWER:  BFTS provides financial help through its “SCHOLARSHIPS” program. “SCHOLARSHIPS” is for childcare staff and family daycare home providers who work in licensed centers or registered homes. An individual preparing for work that is interested in working in a childcare program, but not yet employed, does not qualify for this financial assistance.   “SCHOLARSHIPS” considers wages, position, hours of employment, length of employment, and work setting in determining eligibility for this financial assistance. SCHOLARSHIPS pays, directly to the institution, 80% of fees not covered by HOPE or PELL if enrolled in a public two- or four-year institution in an early childhood care and education program of study. It does not cover course work offered through Continuing Education—only academic, credit-bearing course work is covered. At private institutions, SCHOLARSHIPS awards up to $1800 per semester after HOPE and PELL have been applied.

Many teachers may not need tuition assistance but SCHOLARSHIPS also provides a cash stipend of $200, directly to the teacher each semester or $150 each quarter that he/she is enrolled in an eligible program. The student receives the stipend regardless of their financial aid status. Finally, there is a one-time CDA (a national credential) assessment fee scholarship available through this program. For all your questions regarding “SCHOLARSHIPS” please call Care Solutions directly at 1-800-227-3410 to talk with their trained staff or go to http://www.caresolutions.com/content/page.cfm/183/ .

QUESTION 6:  Are any of these courses and programs offered online?

ANSWER:  Yes, some of the courses are offered completely online and some of the programs are offered online. However, just because it is offered online at one college does NOT mean it is offered online at another or all colleges. To find out which colleges and programs are offered online, go to www.tcsg.edu and click on “Online Learning” under the “For Students” column. This will take you to the GVTC (Georgia Virtual Technical Connection) web site, and you will then go to “Step 2 Program Area” and Select “Early Childhood Care and Education” program. This will provide a list of online ECCE programs and the college offering the program online.

QUESTION 7:  If a student completes a required online orientation at one TCSG college, does he/she have to go through another online orientation at a different TCSG college?

 

ANSWER:  Because each college has a certain amount of autonomy and because each college offers its online courses the way that works best for its students, each college makes the decision about what to require students to do or to take before taking an online course. The college instructors want the student to succeed and have found that some students are not as prepared or ready to take an online course  as much as the student may think, so the college may require an orientation or require students to have certain skills and equipment prior to taking an online course. This is the decision of the college, so this is why it varies from college to college.

 


 

QUESTION 8:  If I want to be a lead teacher at a child care center in a regular classroom (not a Pre-K classroom), do technical colleges have the courses that I need to take?

 

ANSWER:  Yes. Child Care Licensing Rules require lead teachers to have credentials such as a TCC, a diploma, a CDA, or an associate degree by December 1, 2012.  All technical college Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) TCCs, the ECCE diploma, and the ECCE associate degree meet this education credential requirement. The list of the technical college TCCs is included in the answer for Question 2. Please go to http://www.dtae.org/teched/standards/earlychildhood/earlychildhood.html to learn more about the Early Childhood Care and Education programs at TCSG colleges. When you get to this link, click on ECCE Brochure to see a program brochure. There are other options for meeting BFTS requirements.  For more information and details on the BFTS Child Care Licensing requirements and Georgia’s Pre-K Program requirements, go to www.decal.ga.gov .

QUESTION 9:  Does the Infant/Toddler Child Care Specialist TCC satisfy the Pre-K assistant teacher credential requirements?

 

ANSWER:  Yes, the Infant and Toddler Child Care Specialist TCC includes ECCE 1101/1010/101 Introduction to Early Childhood Care; ECCE 1103/1030/103, Child Growth and Development; and ECCE 1105/1050/105, Health, Safety and Nutrition. Therefore, this TCC would satisfy the Georgia’s Pre-K assistant teacher credential requirements.

 

QUESTION 10:  I am interested in talking to someone about entering an Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Program. Whom do I contact or how do I find information about ECCE programs?

 

ANSWER:  It is best to talk directly to an ECCE instructor at the college you want to attend. Since all colleges do not offer all ECCE programs, you can follow the steps below to find out which colleges offer which ECCE programs. Go to  www.tcsg.edu - once there click on “Programs” then scroll down to “Step 2” and choose “Select Program Area” field.  Select “Early Childhood Care Programs” and then scroll to review ECCE College Offerings. You can click on the specific college to learn more about the program. You can also call the college and ask to speak to an instructor or the program director for the Early Childhood Care and Education programs (not admissions but an instructor or program director). You can also call or email Dr. Benita Moore at the TCSG System Office (bmoore@tcsg.edu or 404-679-1662). To learn more information about the ECCE programs, go to http://www.dtae.org/teched/standards/earlychildhood/earlychildhood.html. This link will provide you more details about the Early Childhood Care and Education programs at TCSG colleges. When you get to this link, click on ECCE Brochure 2009 to see a program brochure.

 

 

Revised and printed in September 2011. Bright from the Start reference was reviewed by BFTS Assistant Commissioners Hellwig,  Adams and Hartman,  TCSG information contributed by Representatives Moore and Dailey.