Early Childhood Education

Evening program

The Associates Degree and Certificate in Early Childhood Education provide the theoretical studies and practical experiences that prepare the graduate to care for and teach children from infancy through age eight in a variety of early childhood education and care settings. Graduates may be qualified for employment opportunities in child development and child care programs, preschools, nurseries, head start, after school programs, and private kindergartens. Degree graduates may be also be eligible for employment as a paraprofessional in the public school setting in grades kindergarten through third grade. For students looking to pursue an education beyond the Associate Degree, the degree program is designed to provide transferability to bachelor degree programs in Early Childhood Education. Students work closely with their academic adviser for proper course selection and sequencing to prepare for transferability.

The Early Childhood Education degree and certificate course curriculum follows the standards of the National Association of the Education of the Young Child Degree standards for Preparing Early Childhood Professionals. The degree also provides general education courses that offer the student the opportunity to develop an understanding and knowledge of concepts and skills that support the development of the educated person. Supervised practicum field experience provide direct experience with the young child in an early childhood setting. Future early childhood teachers are encouraged to gain extended practical experience with young children by completing Service Learning opportunities offered in many of the courses.

Students in this program are advised that to participate in the practicum field experience, and to gain employment working with young children, they must be free of criminal convictions as required by the NH Bureau of Child Care Licensing and the NH Department of Education. It is now required that students complete the finger-printing process through State Police or DMV. Candidates must also have a current health form in order to participate in the ECE practicum field experience. The student may incur fees in meeting these requirements.

The college must insure that students in the program do not put themselves or children in jeopardy during the practicum field experience. Students must demonstrate sufficient emotional and physical stability to withstand the stresses of ever-changing circumstances and have the ability to respond quickly and appropriately to unexpected child-related events. Students will be required to adhere to the NAEYC Ethical Code of Professional Conduct with regard to interpersonal relationships with teachers, fellow students, children and their families.


ENGL101N College Composition 4 0 4
ECE101N Foundations of Early Childhood Education 3 0 3
ECE102N Growth & Development of the Young Child 3 0 3
FYE101N First Year Experience 1 0 1
General Education Core Requirement: Quantitative Literacy* 3/4 0 3/4
ECE103N Safe Healthy ECE Programs 3 0 3
ECE104N Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education 3 0 3
ECE105N Children with Special Needs and Their Families 3 0 3
PSYC101N Introduction to Psychology 3 0 3
BIOL115N Nutrition -OR- 3 0 3
General Education Core Requirement Science 3 2/3 4
ECE190N Early Childhood Education Practicum I 1 8 3
ECE200N Programs for Infants and Toddlers 3 0 3
ECE204N Behavior Guidance and Classroom Management 3 0 3
ECE215N Creativity and the Young Child 3 0 3
General Education Core Requirement: English/Communications 3 0 3
ECE203N Emerging Literacy in Early Childhood Education 3 0 3
ECE290N Early Childhood Education Capstone Course 1 8 3
ECE230N The ECE Profession and the ECE Portfolio 1 0 1
General Education Core Requirement: History/Political Science** 3 0 3
General Education Core Requirement: Humanities/Fine Arts OR Global Awareness** 3 0 3
ECE201N Organization and Management in Early Childhood Education - OR -      
General Education Core Requirement: Behavioral Social Science** 3 0 3
Total 60/62 Credits  

This degree meets requirements for State of New Hampshire DHHS Child Development Bureau credential of Lead Teacher Level 2.

*MATH103N will meet this requirement

** Students are advised to meet with their advisor to make appropriate elective selections based on their career goals and to facilitate the broadest range of transferability.

Program Outcomes

Upon the completion of the degree in Early Childhood Education, graduates will be able to:

  1. Use their knowledge and understanding of the young child’s development, individual and exceptional needs, and culture to provide opportunities and environments that support the physical, social, emotional, language, cognitive, and creative development and learning of children birth through age eight.
  2. Understand, respect, and value, the characteristics and needs of families and their communities as they establish and maintain positive, collaborative, supportive relationships with the families of young children in relationship to the child’s development and learning.
  3. Understand and mindfully use informal and formal observation, documentation and assessment strategies and techniques, to plan and individualize the learning environment, curriculum and teacher interactions and practices for young children.
  4. Establish and maintain positive and supportive relationships with young children in an environment that has been designed to be a physically, cognitively, emotionally and psychologically respectful, safe and healthy learning environment for all young children.
  5. Conduct themselves in a mindful, ethical, and professional manner as they reflect on and implement their practices, articulate a philosophy, advocate for and present a rationale for their actions, interactions and decisions involving young children, parents, other professionals and self.
  6. Demonstrate college level proficiency in the skills of written and verbal communication and technological literacy that support the effective use and application of the knowledge, skills and dispositions required in the degree program.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of foundational concepts in the general education areas including science, mathematics, literature and the behavioral and social sciences in relationship to the development of the educated self and enrich early childhood programs for young children.
  8. Demonstrate a commitment to and an awareness of the need for life long professional growth, learning, community involvement and advocacy in regards to current early childhood research, practices and issues. 

In addition, the graduate will be able to demonstrate competency in the general education outcomes.