Early Care, Education, and Family Studies Degree


The Early Care, Education, and Family Studies Program is designed to provide individuals with the foundation into understanding early care, education, and family relations. The Program will prepare individuals to enter into a variety of disciplines and foundation into understanding early care, education, and family relations. It will be beneficial to anyone who has children in their lives: parents, teachers (elementary and early childhood education), school psychologists, social workers, counselors, law enforcement, special educators, foster parents, and grandparents.

This Program offers an Associate in Science in Early Care, Education, and Family Studies, as well as a Certificate of Achievement option. See related program options, including a degree for transfer, in the For more information section below.

Earnings Potential

An associate degree in early care, education, and family studies offers you the salary potential of $22,770 two years after graduation from Taft College, with expected increases to $28,159 by five years, based on five-year studies of graduates by California Community Colleges. These do not reflect salaries with a four-year degree.1

There are a variety of careers in this field, and some require additional education or training. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage is $29,360 for teaching assistants in preschool, elementary, middle, and secondary school (except special education); and $27,490 for childcare workers and nannies. Job growth is projected for these fields at five percent to seven percent from 2021 to 2031. The median annual wage is $66,020 for police officers and detectives, with job growth at three percent. Careers such as an instructional coordinator and a social worker typically require a four-year degree. The median annual wage is $50,390 for social workers; and $63,740 for instructional coordinators that oversee school curriculums and teaching standards and develop instructional materials.2

1 California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Salary Surfer. 2021. https://salarysurfer.cccco.edu. Accessed 19 April 2023.

2 “Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 8 Sept. 2022. www.bls.gov/ooh. Accessed 19 April 2023.

Program Requirements

To earn an Associate in Science in Early Care, Education, Family Studies degree, students must complete: (1) all course requirements with a minimum grade of “C” in each course; and (2) complete General Education Graduation Requirements with an overall GPA of 2.0 or better.

The Required Core is 24 units (credits). Courses include:

  • Child Growth and Development
  • The Child in Family/Community Relationships
  • Introduction to Early Care and Education: Principles and Practices
  • Early Care, Education, and Family Studies Curriculum
  • Child Study and Assessment
  • Practicum Field Experience
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition
  • Diversity in Early Care, Education and Family Studies

See the Degree Course Requirements.

Program Learning Outcomes

After completing the Early Care, Education, and Family Studies major, a student will be able to:

  1. Apply effective guidance and interaction strategies that support all children’s social learning, identity, and self-confidence.
  2. Apply ethical standards and professional behaviors that demonstrate understanding and knowledge, deepening the commitment to an early care and education profession.
  3. Design, implement, and evaluate environments and activities that support positive, development play, and learning outcomes of all children.
  4. Develop strategies that promote partnerships between programs, teachers, families, and their communities.
  5. Integrate understanding of the needs, characteristics, and multiple influences on development of children from birth to age eight as related to high quality care and education of young children.

If you are interested in earning related Certificates, learn more about Early Care, Education, and Family Studies Certificates and other topicsIf you are interested in a transferable degree, see Early Childhood Education for Transfer.

More programs in education and intervention are listed below..

For More Information

     All links below go to external webpages on the Taft College Catalog website.