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Mary Lou O’Connor Child Development & Education Center


Affordable and Accredited Childcare

Quality Childcare for College Members and the Community

Providing quality care and education for children ages 2.5 years – 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 7:30 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.

On June 14th 2023, the Child Development & Education Center-NWF State College was reaffirmed for accreditation for 5-years from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)-the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.

The Center earned 3-scores of 100%, 3-scores of 97%, 2-scores of 95% and 1 score of 93%.

We are honored to have received this re-accreditation with continuous efforts, improvements, dedication, teamwork from our staff and the college’s Early Childhood Education program, and college administration the CDEC is able to continue to provide the highest quality of care for the children at our center.

NAEYC re-accreditation is very tedious work, especially when it comes to completing the program portfolio as well as the class portfolio. Our teachers also play an important role by making sure the NAEYC standards are implemented on a day to day basis.

The CDEC received their Annual License Renewal from the Department of Children and Families on November 1, 2023. The CDEC was 100% compliant in all areas.

On November 14, 2023 the CDEC received their Gold Seal Quality Care Program Certificate from Florida Department of Education Division of Early Learning (Effective: Dec. 1, 2023-Dec. 1, 2028)

The CDEC is looking forward to 2024. We would like to take this time to thank the College, ECE Program, Teacher Ed Program and the Nursing Program.

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.