Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education is a course for students who are interested in teaching or a career working with children. During the first year of the program, students learn the foundations for working with young children and interact with children in our on-site Pre-K program. Students study topics such as observing and assessing young children, guiding behavior, growth and development, and how to plan appropriate activities. During the second year of the program, students are focused on making connections between theory and practice during an internship experience.

In level I this is an introductory course for anyone who are interested in the field of teaching with a focus on young children from birth to age eight. During the first year of the program, topics of study include learning theory, observation and assessment, classroom management, growth and development, as well as health, safety, and nutrition. Students will have the opportunity to practice their newly acquired skills working with professionals in our on-site Pre-K program to implement theory into practice. Students will be expected to plan and implement developmentally appropriate activity plans with the Pre-K children.

In level II of the Early Childhood Occupations & Education program, students will explore ethics and professionalism in the field of teaching.They will focus their learning on curriculum and learning environments. Students will have the opportunity to practice their skills in an internship with highly qualified early childhood professionals in our community and surrounding school districts. Students attend internships three days per week for a minimum of two hours per day and attend class two days per week. Upon successful completion of the two year program, students are eligible to apply for the Certified Early Childhood Assistant Credential (CECA) through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Eligibility requirements for the CECA credential:

  • 180 instructional hours
  • 180 internship hours
  • completion of Professional Portfolio
  • completion of NOCTI Exam with 80 or higher

After completion of the two year ECE program, students are eligible to receive three college credits from York County Community College (YCCC). These credits with be used for ECE 101 through the prior learning program.