Career Pathways

Early Childhood Education (ECE)

The Pre-Apprenticeship to Apprenticeship pathway in early childhood education allows students to gain industry knowledge through valuable on-the-job learning experiences, related instruction, and opportunities for paid work-based learning. Participants receive enrichment activities and support services throughout the duration of the program—at no cost—to enhance their knowledge and experience in the field. The pathway offers these resources throughout the school year and summer months to ensure consistency and flexible opportunities for growth.

Pre-Apprenticeship (High School)
High School Coursework
  • FE11: Early Childhood Education I
  • EDU-119: Intro to Early Childhood Education
Additional Offerings
  • NC Early Childhood Credential (NCECC) – Age 18+
  • Course credit
  • Optional DCDEE health & safety trainings
  • Access to a tuition waiver for community college
  • State qualifying letter
On-The-Job Learning
  • Work-based learning that corresponds with related coursework
  • Opportunities to earn wages for skills gained
High School Graduation
Apprenticeship (Community College)
Paid On-the-Job Learning
  • On-The-Job learning with a progressive pay scale
Related Instruction
  • Community college program or Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
Program Completion
  • High school diploma and/or Associate’s Degree
  • Transferrable college credit and industry-recognized credentials
  • Professional network & mentors
  • Paid work experience

Learn more about

Early Childhood Teachers

For more information, contact Elizabeth Standafer, Career Development and Work-based Learning Consultant at the Office of Career and Technical Education, at


NC Governor Roy Cooper
NC Department of Public Instruction
NC Community College System
NC Department of Commerce
Apprenticeship NC
Charlotte Executive Leadership Council