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Mary Lou O’Connor Child Development & Education Center


Providing quality care and education for children ages 2 years, 6 months – 5 years, NWF State College’s Child Development and Education Center offers parents who are students, staff, and faculty (and community members on a space available basis) comprehensive and accessible care for their children. The center, open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. is accredited by the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) and provides a perfect training site for early childhood education students.

CDEC Informational Brochure

Family Handbook

Training Programs

Florida Child Care Training

All child care employees working in a licensed child care center in Florida must complete the 40 Hour Basic Child Care Training. The student can earn college credit while completing this training requirement. The college credit course, EEC1001-Introduction to Early Childhood Education, will provide credit toward an A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education.

Florida Child Care Director Credential

All directors of licensed child care centers in Florida must have the Florida Child Care Director Credential. NWF State College provides the training for this credential.

Child Development Associate (CDA)

NWF State College is the area’s training center for the National CDA (Child Development Associate) Credential. This program includes 120 hours in the eight CDA areas. The college credit courses will provide credit toward an A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education.

Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC)

Students may choose to earn the staff credential, a FCCPC. NWF State College currently has a program for a FCCPC with infant toddler specialization and a FCCPC with preschool specialization. Contact the Department for further information.

Early Childhood Education Fingerprinting and Background Screening

It is a NWF State College policy that all Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education (BS ECE) students complete a background and fingerprint screening process before any placement in an ECE setting can occur. Students are required to submit verification of screening to the Teacher Education Office prior to beginning the field placement. Students residing in Florida should follow the Fingerprinting Procedures for Okaloosa and Walton Country Students. Students residing outside of Florida should follow the Fingerprinting Procedures for Students Outside of Okaloosa and Walton Counties.

Fingerprinting Procedures for Okaloosa and Walton County Students

Students currently employed in a Florida Department of Families and Children (DCF) licensed facility or a military childcare facility may submit their current background clearance to the Teacher Education Office. Students who do not have a copy of this document should request a copy from their employer.

Non-DCF employed students (or those employed by military childcare programs) should contact Ms. Dawn Kneeland at [email protected] or (850) 729-6440 for instructions on completing a fingerprinting and background screening on the Niceville campus.

Fingerprinting Procedures for Students Outside of Okaloosa and Walton Counties

Students residing outside of Okaloosa or Walton county and the state of Florida are required to follow the fingerprint and background clearance procedures of the center where they are employed or completing the field placement. Students should submit a copy of their fingerprint and background clearance to Ms. Dawn Kneeland in the Teacher Education Office. Documents may be scanned and emailed to [email protected]. Students may not begin the field placement until these documents have been received.