Teaching Students and Educating Children

by America Adame
Published February 3, 2020

Amarillo College's Early Childhood Program allows students the opportunity to earn, learn, and educate.

The Early Childhood Program is allowing students the opportunity to work towards obtaining a Level l or Level ll certificate, an associate's degree, or transfer while providing them with hands-on experience to accomplish their educational goals.

AC's child care facilities, Hagy Child Care Center and the Lab School on West Campus have both been recognized as Texas School Ready Participants providing up to 13 hours of daily child care for children and a place to ear observation hours for students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Program.HagyStory_1 

Students enrolled in the program have several options when it comes to receiving a credential, from a CDA (Child Development Associate), to an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education, to an Administrator's Certificate for those wishing to build a career in child care facilities. 

When scouting for staff to oversee both child care facilities and approving student workers to observe and gain hands-on experience, Dennis Sarine, Director of Teacher Preparation and Early Childhood Education, is very intentional. Before being eligible to work at either facility, both students and staff are required to undergo fingerprinting, background checks, obtain CPR certification, and safe food handling certification to maximize the students' experience in the future and to provide the best, safest, and healthiest environments for the children to learn and grow. 

Sarine highly encourages diversity amongst both facilities and says, "It's important for the staff of both facilities to represent diversity and look like the community of students and children that they serve on a day to day basis."

Teachers from both facilities create their daily lesson plans modeling different curriculum such as Strategies Gold and Creative Curriculum to assure successful learning for their little ones. Texas School Ready tracks the students' annual progress, which then allows the teacher to create an individualized plan for the students. 

The Hagy Child Care Center is currently serving 78 students from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Students who are currently attending Amarillo College are eligible to receive a discount for childcare. 

If you are interested in a tour of either facility, please contact Dennis Sarine at