The Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) education program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). According to NAEYC guidelines, children served in any environment other than the service provider's home or location should receive a minimum of 360 hours of programming per year. This must include instruction in the general education curriculum and a minimum of one hour of specially designed instruction or related services per week, or a combination of both. Local teacher education programs that work with COTC to facilitate credit applications include Muskingum College, Ashland University, and The Ohio State University.
The Resident Educator Program is a highly structured program that provides new teachers with professional support and mentoring during their first years of teaching and ongoing support during their residency. In Columbus City Schools, a preschool program is offered for all four- and five-year-old children in the metropolitan area. The location is determined on a first-come, first-served basis. In January 1990, the Board approved a proposal to establish a Department of Early Childhood Education.
Early childhood education program calendars must provide services during a standard school year of at least 36 weeks and for at least 455 hours per year. Career growth in early childhood education is 25% higher than the national average, due to a greater focus on early childhood education and a growing population of 3- to 5-year-old children. The mission of the Columbus City Schools preschool education program is to provide a solid foundation for all children, preparing them for the next level of learning and beyond. A committee comprised of administrators, teachers, parents, and community representatives developed a philosophy statement and recommendations for board policy so that all efforts in early childhood education are coordinated and in accordance with NAEYC guidelines. Upon completion, graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science degree in Technology for Early Childhood Education.
In addition to private schools, the Cincinnati Public Schools preschool program includes no less than 42 sites and 120 preschool classrooms throughout the Cincinnati metropolitan area. However, the average salaries of these early childhood educators in the Buckeye State are slightly below the national average, in many cases. The University of Cincinnati offers an online degree program in child development, and the University of Toledo offers an online degree program in early childhood education. In addition to previous preschool programs, Columbus City Schools began all-day kindergarten in January 1972 as a supplemental program in some Chapter 1 “high priority” elementary schools. A strong early childhood education program is based on many concrete experiences that young children must have before they can negotiate abstract learning.