Early Childhood Education is a three-year PDE Approved Program of Study (SOAR) for high school students in grades 10 through 12. Early Childhood Education is a college preparatory course that provides hands-on experiences with young children in a laboratory per-school setting. The curriculum incorporates competency-based tasks with classroom knowledge applied to practical, hands-on experiences as students plan, prepare , and operate a Pre-school program for local children. Instruction will be included in all areas such as growth and development, nutrition, program planning and management, safety, behavior guidance, play activities, child abuse and neglect, parent-child personal relationships, learning experiences for children, professionalism, standards, curriculum and assessment, curriculum development, clinical experiences, and job seeking/keeping skills.
The first year of the course teaches theory and Early Childhood Development very similar to first-year education courses at a university. During the 2nd and 3rd year, students will compile a personal career portfolio and will work towards the completion of the CDA-Ready Certificate (or CDA if employed in a licensed daycare facility), pending successful achievement of specific components. A PA Skills Certificate will be awarded to seniors scoring Advanced for Early Childhood Care and Education. Hours will be compiled over the three years and awarded upon graduation, enabling higher, entry-level job positions and pay. Students will be able to work in a variety of childcare jobs including nursery schools, pre-schools, daycare centers, private homes, elementary schools, and institutions. This course provides an excellent background for those students interested in pursuing an Early Childhood and/or Elementary Post-Secondary Degree. Articulation Agreements are in place for several post-secondary institutions pending successful completion of individual agreements.