State Approves MCC Childhood Education Credential Program

(Bradenton, Fla., April 23, 2008) - Manatee Community College (MCC) recently received approval of a contract with the state Department of Children and Families to continue offering Florida Child Care Professional Certification (FCCPC). MCC is one of only three institutions in the state to date to meet new and stricter state guidelines. MCC also offers an Early Childhood Education associate degree program.

The FCCPC will replace the national Child Development Associate Equivalence (CDAE) certificate, which qualifies completers to work in a child care center. All institutions offering the CDAE, including MCC, were required to submit new contract proposals after rules and regulations changed in April of last year.

The FCCPC may be offered only at accredited schools. While Florida is a national leader in the number of children participating in voluntary prekindergarten programs, the state lags behind in meeting training standards for teachers. The state's "No Child Left Behind" legislation, an intended remedy for that, requires that all early child care teachers have a two-year degree by 2010.

"MCC has one of the few programs in the state that can accommodate the 2010 deadline and meet the state's needs through five- and eight-week courses we developed. By 2013, a bachelor's degree in early education will be required," said Dr. Kathryn Stuckey, manager of MCC's Early Childhood Education Program.

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