June 29, 2023

NCC will deliver Early Childhood Education courses at Merrimack YMCA

In response to a need for more trained Early Childhood Education professionals, the YMCA of Greater Nashua and Nashua Community College have partnered to reduce barriers for enrollment.

This fall, NCC will deliver an Early Childhood Education course, Growth and Development of the Young Child, at the Merrimack YMCA. The YMCA also plans to offer childcare during class time, and students will have access to grant and scholarship options – some of which would make the course 100% free for eligible students.

“We are excited to partner with Nashua Community College to help address the shortage of early educators in our community. Providing these educational opportunities to individuals interested in exploring a career in education or looking to further their own education is a blessing. Our state is facing a critical gap in accessible childcare to support families going to work and addressing that gap begins with attracting more educators to the field. There’s a trickle-down effect to this: with more experienced and educated child care professionals in the community, more child care opportunities will be available to families, and employers will then have a larger pool of employees. This is both a youth development issue and an economic issue. We are proud to partner with NCC to help close this gap and bring more incredible people to the field of early education,” said Mike LaChance, CEO, YMCA of Greater Nashua.

ECE Program Coordinator at NCC, Lisa Furman, said NCC is also looking forward to the new partnership, “This partnership provides ECE students with an off-campus location and childcare for their children. The hope is to increase the number of early childhood education graduates to provide high-quality education for young children in area childcare centers and increase NH’s early childhood workforce.”

The Merrimack branch of the YMCA has the organization’s largest childcare center in the state with 18 classrooms serving 340 children daily, a kid’s stop drop-in center (babysitting while parents workout),  before-and-after school care, and summer programming for children.

The YMCA’s team of ECE staff and instructors would have easy access to the weekly ECE course, and members of the community would be welcome to enroll as well. The course will also be open to high school sophomore, junior, or senior students through the Dual Enrollment program. The course is eligible for a 100% tuition discount for high school students through the Governor’s STEM/CTE Scholarship.

Those who currently work in childcare can take advantage of the Early Childhood Tuition Assistance (ECTA) and T.E.A.C.H. Program:

  • Early Childhood Tuition Assistance (ECTA): Students can take two free ECE courses if they work at least 20 hours per week in the ECE field. Additional support is provided to assist students as they work to earn the NH Early Childhood Professional Credential. ECTA is available through the Community College System of New Hampshire’s partnership with Granite State College and the DHHS Division of Children Youth & Families. Learn more and apply
  • T.E.A.C.H. Program: The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Initiative provides scholarships for ECE students who work at least 30 hours per week in ECE. They also agree to remain at sponsoring center for at least 1-year following the completion of their scholarship contract. T.E.A.C.H. See more information about the program online.

This fall’s course is one of three needed to satisfy the Early Childhood Education: Associate Teacher certificate through NCC. It can also be rolled into an ECE associate degree program.

Learn More

To find out more, join an information session at the Merrimack YMCA on July 26, or August 9 from 5-6 PM. YMCA and NCC staff will be present to go over all the details, and help new students get signed up. Orientation for registered students is 5:30 PM August 23 at the Merrimack YMCA; new students should be registered by August 22 at the latest to prepare for orientation.

The course, Growth and Development of the Young Child (ECE102N), begins 5:30 PM on Wednesday, August 30 at the Merrimack YMCA.

About the YMCA of Greater Nashua

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. In 2020, the YMCA of Greater Nashua celebrated 135 years of service. Its facilities which are located in Nashua and Merrimack engage over 30,000 men, women and children annually – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Last year, the Y provided $760,000 in scholarships for more than 3,000 children, youth and families to participate in Y programs and membership. For more information about the Y visit www.nmymca.org.


About Nashua Community College
Since 1970, Nashua Community College has been successfully meeting the educational needs of Greater Nashua by delivering a high quality two-year, post-secondary education. The college partners closely with area industries that provide students with a unique perspective in their fields of study, allowing for a real-world experience to further their academic journey. Students can choose from a variety of associate degree, certificate, and career training programs. Nashua Community College is a member of the Community College System of New Hampshire. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors.  Learn more at nashuacc.edu.