Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

globeResearch shows that a high quality education for children before they turn five provides them with significant lifetime benefits.  A rewarding career in Early Childhood Education enriches not only the child, but also the entire community.

The National Education Association

At Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida, choose from three different programs of study in Early Childhood Education.  Each program is unique and designed with a specific purpose to meet your needs.

  1. FCCPC - Florida Child Care Professional Credential  - This is an 11 credit-hour program which provides you with the knowledge base and professional skills necessary for teachers of children from birth to age five in early education and care programs. The Florida Department of Children and Families authorizes and oversees all FCCPC programs. To enroll in this program you must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma, GED or equivalency, and be able to obtain a background clearance by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

    • Option A– FCCPC is offered in a traditional 8-week semester format, with weekly online modules and two face-to-face coaching sessions. 
    • Option B– FCCPC is delivered as an online “Fast-Track Option,” allowing students to complete modules at an accelerated pace, meeting individual time requirements (self-paced). 
    • Both Options A and B can be completed fully online, but includes a face-to-face teaching observation in EEC1319.
  2. AS - Associate in Science in Early Childhood Education - This is a 60 credit-hour program, designed as a two-year degree. The AS program prepares you for employment in various areas of child care and development. To enroll in this program you must be able to obtain a background clearance by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

    • Director’s Credential Class - EEC 2523: Leadership & Management of Child Care Programs - This is a 3 credit hour class that will meet DCF’s college course requirement toward the director’s credential.  This is one of the requirements for a director’s credential with DCF.
  3. AA -  Associate in Arts in Early Childhood Education - This is a 60 credit-hour program, designed as a transfer degree to a four-year university. This transfer track prepares you for a career of teaching children aged birth to eight years. As a teacher, you'll be able to shape and mold future generations by providing high quality learning opportunities. To enroll in this program you must be able to obtain a background clearance by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.


Teresa Salter
Last Names Beginning with A-L
Asst. Academic Program Coordinator
Social Sciences, Room 229 
850-769-1551 ext. 3393


Patricia Schenck
Last Names Beginning with M-Z

Academic Program Coordinator 
Social Sciences, Room 227