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February 6, 2015
February 6, 2015, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) has developed a new degree option in response to national and statewide focus on advanced training for infant and toddler education professionals. Studies towards the Infant/Toddler degree option – an addition to the existing A.A. Liberal Arts program – will be available in the upcoming spring semester.
The new Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts - Infant/Toddler (Birth to 3 years) Education option supports the professional development of Infant/Toddler caregivers in licensed childcare centers. It was created in response to the 2007 Head Start Act, which states that Early Head Start staff must have an Infant/Toddler Child Development Associate degree or have coursework in infant/toddler care and development that accrues toward a two-year degree.
The HCCC program was designed using National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards, which provide a common national framework for all early childhood professional development systems and programs. The program was also developed in relationship with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Head Start, and Professional Impact New Jersey, an organization that advocates for the growth of Early Childhood educators.
The new HCCC degree option program will provide infant/toddler education professionals with the tools to observe, document, and assess to support young children and their families, and will ultimately promote child development and learning, and build family and community relationships. The program also promotes the use of developmentally effective approaches and utilizes content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum.
Those who complete the HCCC program will be able to seek their CDA and Infant/Toddler Credentialing – which is essential to employment in an Infant/Toddler care setting – and they may also continue their studies and pursue earning a Bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution.
To earn the HCCC Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts - Infant Toddler, students must complete 61/62 credits. The degree is composed of 46-47 credits of Liberal Arts General Education and 15 credits of specialized in Infant/Toddler and Early Childhood Education courses. Classes which will be taught at the College’s Journal Square campus and North Hudson Higher Education Center Union City sites include Introduction to Early Childhood, an Infant/Toddler Curriculum, Infant/Toddler Externship, Social/Emotional Development of Infants and Toddlers, and Infant/Toddler Health, Safety, Nutrition and Special Needs.
“Over the years, legislators have come to realize what most educators have professed for some time: High-quality, early education provides children with a strong foundation for success in school studies and in life,” said HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabert. In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called on Congress to expand access to high-quality preschool for every child in the United States.
Additional information on the new Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts - Infant/Toddler Education option may be obtained by contacting Alison Friars, HCCC Education Programs Coordinator, at (201) 360-5364 or afriarsFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE.