Early Childhood Education

The childcare course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn the principles of child development and education. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to enter the workforce in such occupations as daycare worker, pre-school teaching assistant, or will be prepared to enter a post-secondary educational institution to earn an Associate or Bachelor’s degree in childcare or education. Students will be prepared upon graduation to obtain the Child Development Associate Credential; a national certification that is recognized by the industry. Included in the curriculum will be teaching in a school sponsored preschool program, planning activities for preschool, basic nutrition, first aid/ CPR, and the health and safety of young children.

Erin K. Gearhart

Erin was born in Bellefonte, PA. She attended the Bellefonte Area High School and then went on to college at SUNY Cortland in Cortland, NY. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education she moved back to Bellefonte where she worked for the Family Intervention Crisis Services Program as a Parent Educator and Family Counselor from 1999-2009. She then transitioned to working in the Early Childhood Program for one year. She then substituted for the Bellefonte and Penns Valley School Districts. She was hired full time by CPI as the Early Childhood Instructor in 2012.

Mrs. Gearhart lives in Bellefonte with her husband and three children. As a family, they enjoy playing outside, going to the beach, and taking mini trips to the zoo and amusement parks.

Mrs. Gearhart enjoys teaching and helping others. She has a passion for children of all ages. This program is perfect for her because she gets to work with preschool children as well as teenage students. She encourages your best work each day and frequently stresses the importance of respect.

Very little homework is given. Attendance is important. If attendance is poor then there is homework.
CDA Ready Certificate:
The CDA Ready Certificate allows you to be ready for employment after high school graduation. You can show this certificate to an employer which will allow them to know you received training in this field. You will then finish the requirements for your CDA Certificate. In the Early Childhood program, you can also become certified in First Aid and CPR and also ServSafe.
Student Cost: Free

CPR /First Aid
Learn to recognize several life-threatening emergencies, provide CPR to victims of all ages, use an AED, and relieve choking in a safe, timely and effective manner.
Student Cost: Ranges between $6.00 – $20.00

ServSafe® Food Protection Manager Certification
Training covers these concepts:
• The Importance of Food Safety
• Good Personal Hygiene
• Time and Temperature Control
• Preventing Cross-Contamination • Cleaning and Sanitizing
• Safe Food Preparation
• Receiving and Storing Food
• Methods of Thawing, Cooking, Cooling and Reheating Food • HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)
• Food Safety Regulations
• And more …
Student Cost: Free

Better Kid Care Classes
Available through Penn State
Student Cost: Free