Early Childhood Education & Care

Early Childhood Education & Care

Program Fundamentals

Hands-On Training

Students receive hand-on experiences with:

  • Infants - 0 - 12 months
  • Toddlers 18 - 36 months
  • Preschoolers - 36 - 60+ months


  • Courses: Health, Safety, and Nutrition; Curriculum and Instruction
  • Days with Children: Tuesdays (18 months - 3 years); Thursdays and Fridays (3 - 4 years)


  • Courses: Early Childhood Education Principles; Observation and Assessment
  • Days with Children: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (4 - 5 years). Seniors will also have other child-focused opportunities throughout the program

Skills Learned


  • Create, plan and implement developmentally appropriate and open ended learning experiences.
  • Prepare record and document authentic assessment for young children in the preschool lab.
  • Prepare themed units of learning experiences and implement them with children.
  • Lead and manage large group circle and storytime experiences.
  • Lead and manage the preschool routine from drop off to pick up. Students will manage peers and children during this time.
  • Actively participate in child development skill events as a member of FCCLA.
  • Plan and create resources, modeling materials, props, and nutritious snacks for young children in the lab.
  • Plan family events for the children and families in the preschool lab.
  • Provide developmentally appropriate guidance for young children in the preschool lab.


  • Work as part of a team to provide good quality learning experiences that promote creativity, discovery and exploration.
  • Be a responsive and flexible role model for preschool children in the lab.
  • Acknowledge and respond to young children’s needs and find appropriate strategies to meet them.
  • Give clear and appropriate directions and instructions.
  • Communicate and interact with children, parents, and teachers while operating a state-licensed preschool.


The Upper Valley Career Center's Early Childhood Education and Care program operates the state-licensed preschool for children ages 18 months through 5 years old under the direction of two vocational teachers and a program coordinator.

The preschool is licensed by the Department of Education and aligns with the State of Ohio's Early Learning Standards. ECEC students gain experience working with young children by planning and implementing the preschool curriculum.

Career Development

Students who qualify, have the opportunity to participate in one of two options for career development during their senior year.
  • Advanced Placement
  • Early Placement

Each of these programs allow students to be in the workforce while attending school on a modified schedule, so you can earn while you learn.

Mr. Tony Trapp, Apprenticeship Coordinator 
[email protected]

Mrs. Naomi Baker, Career Placement Specialist  
[email protected] 


Career Opportunities

  • Child Care Center Teacher Assistant
  • Family and Home Child Care Provider
  • Preschool Assistant
  • Nanny
  • Elementary Teacher Assistant
  • Infant/toddler Teacher Assistant

Job Prospects

Locally Early Childhood Centers are in need of credentialed employees so that qualification requirements can be met for Step Up To Quality. Pay ranges from minimum wage (with a HS Diploma) to $11.00 with a CDA.
Employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. 
- Bureau of Labor and Statistics, April 2018 

Certifications Earned

  • First Aid Certification
  • CPR Certification
  • Child Abuse Prevention
  • Child Development Associate Credential (CDA)

College Credit Agreements

Edison State Community College - up to 6 semester hours

Volunteering & Partnerships

  • YMCA
  • Piqua Compassion Network
  • Mothers of Preschoolers Group
  •  Washington Luncheon

Student Testimonial

" I love that this program gives me more experience with children and teaches me how to become a great teacher when I graduate. I love working with children and watching them learn new skills and grow throughout the time they are with us."

Field Trips

  • Early Childhood Centers in Miami County 
  • Fulton Farms
  • On-campus trip with preschool students
  • Outside trips based on children's activities

Our Instructors

Natalee Heath, Instructor Level I & II
937.778.1980 x272
Nicki Vogel, Instructor/ Paraprofessional
937.778.1980 x801 
Libby Long, Paraprofessional 
937.778.1980 x291 

Career Technical Student Organization

All students of this program are also members of the Upper Valley Career Center FCCLA program as part of their career-technical education. 
All students compete locally in Child Development Skills Events and have an opportunity to advance on to regional, state, and national level competitions.
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