Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education student reading to a childAssociate in Applied Science – 62 credit hours
Certificate – 31 credit hours

Program Information & Course List

Purpose: The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) prepares graduates to enter positions in a variety of programs that serve children birth to eight years of age, including programs that serve children with special learning and developmental needs. Through a combination of coursework and practical internships, students gain foundational knowledge of the theories of child development along with opportunities for hands on experience including the delivery of meaningful curriculum, practice of observation and assessment, and the use of positive guidance and discipline strategies. That National Association of Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Professional Preparation Standards are weaved through ECE courses and internship experiences to prepare students with a working knowledge of core values and principles in the profession of early childhood education. The AAS degree may also be a pathway to earning a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. 

Career Opportunities: ECE graduates are qualified to apply to Maine Department of Education for an Education Technician II certification. It may also be a pathway to Educational Technician III certification and/or bachelor’s degree and teaching certification (the ECE program has articulation agreements with University of Maine Augusta and Farmington). Graduates are qualified to seek positions as assistant teachers at Head Start programs, or occupations working with children at community-based programs that serve families and children. Graduates may also choose to open their own childcare program through licensing with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. 

Program Educational Outcomes: Upon completion of the AAS degree in the Early Childhood Education program and in accordance with the NAEYC Professional Preparation Standards, the graduate is prepared to: 

  1. Use child development knowledge base to create safe, health, respectful, supportive environments for all young children. 
  2. Understand the importance of developmental domains – cognitive, physical, social, emotional to design, implement and evaluate meaningful curriculum for each child. 
  3. Use a variety of developmentally appropriate approaches and instructional strategies to guide children’s development and learning. 
  4. Understand and conduct observation and assessment to promote positive outcomes for use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children. 
  5. Understand the complex and diverse characteristics of children’s families and communities and build reciprocal relationships that support families. 
  6. Understand that positive relationships are the foundation of work with young children. 
  7. Engage in professional behavior and use ethical guidelines to uphold ethical standards as a member of the early childhood profession. 

Early Childhood Education Contact

Melinda Reynolds
Early Childhood Education Instructor

The Early Childhood Education program requires completion of the Student Disclosure of Criminal Convictions, Pending Criminal Charges and Certain Disqualifications. Completion of this form does not automatically deny admission to the program. Prospective applicants will meet with the Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Services to review information.