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Associate in Science

Early Childhood Education Program – Career Option

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has awarded the Early Childhood Education Program at Cape Cod Community College full seven-year accreditation, the first such award in the state of Massachusetts and among the very first Associate Degree programs in the entire country to receive such recognition. The NAEYC Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation system sets a national standard of excellence for early childhood programs that prepare teachers at the associate degree level.


The Early Childhood Education Program – Career Option is designed for students who are interested in working with young children. Graduates of the program my work in a variety of child care settings in both private and public schools.

Students who are matriculated and place into developmental math and/or English are required to begin the course sequence in the first semester. Please see an advisor with questions.

Check out the Career Pathways Grant for the opportunity to save money and earn your Child Development Associate credential while you pursue your degree.

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First SemesterCredits
ENL101 English Composition I
ECE100 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
PSY101 General Psychology
SOC106 Principles of Sociology
    Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (or)
Natural or Physical Science
3 (or) 4
Second SemesterCredits
ENL102   English Composition II
ECE105 Introduction to Children with Special Needs
ECE201 Preschool Curriculum Planning
PSY201 Child Psychology
    Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (or)
Natural or Physical Science
3 (or) 4
Third SemesterCredits
ENL120   Introduction to Children's Literature
ECE202 Advanced Curriculum Development: Creative Experiences for Early Childhood Education
ECE206 Field Experience in Early Childhood Education
ECE221   Classroom Management: Skills & Strategies for EC Teachers
ECE291   Leadership and Management in ECE
COM103   Human Communication
Fourth SemesterCredits
  Marriage and Family

Social Problems
ECE230   Practicum in Early Childhood Education
    Early Childhood Education Elective
    Elective 3
Total Credits 60

Capitol letter M to designate a milestone course Designates a Milestone course. A milestone course must be completed in the semester indicated to ensure that you remain on track to continue on in your program and graduate on time.

Related Information

Upon completion of this program, the student is qualified to work in a licensed child care facility. Graduates also work in summer camps and as assistants in public schools. The program meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services.

This occupational profile is provided by O*NET.

See also: What can I do with this major?

Upon successful completion of the Early Childhood Education program, students are able to:

  • Promote child development and learning.
  • Build family and community relationships.
  • Observe, document, and assess in support of young children and families.
  • Build meaningful curriculum.
  • Become a professional.

The following information is being provided as required by the Federal Government Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in response to the American with Disabilities Act.

In order to successfully complete the Early Childhood Education Program, certain cognitive, physical and behavioral capabilities, as specified in the U.S. Department of Labor Core Tasks and Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care regulations, are required in course work and as part of your field experience. Early Childhood Education students must be able to satisfy these essential program standards with or without a reasonable accommodation in order to enroll into and successfully progress through the program. These include:

Early Childhood teachers must be able to communicate effectively in English with children, families, colleagues, and others in the community.

  1. Speaking – Talking clearly to others to convey information effectively.
  2. Oral Expression – The ability to orally communicate information and ideas clearly so others will understand.
  3. Oral Comprehension – The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  4. Writing – Communicating clearly and effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  5. Social Perceptiveness – Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  6. Reading – Read and understand written materials.

Cognitive Performance
Early Childhood teachers must be able to think independently to solve problems in the classroom to support children’s development and learning and keep children safe.

  1. Problem Sensitivity – The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
  2. Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  3. Judgment and Decision Making – Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. Remaining calm and thinking logically and effectively under emergency circumstances
  4. Complex Problem Solving – Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  5. Speed of Closure – The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
  6. Management of Time – Effectively manage time for self and others.

Behavioral Performance
Early Childhood teachers must be able to combine their knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform many tasks and meet state regulations for early childhood programs.

  1. Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships – Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  2. Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others – Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  3. Time Sharing – The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  4. Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  5. Documenting/Recording Information – Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Early Childhood teachers must be able to keep children safe during inside and outside play and activities, including evacuation drills, as well as attend to their physical needs, including feeding, changing clothing and diapers, and providing medication.

  1. Near Vision – The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer) and recognize differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
  2. Far Vision – The ability to see details at a distance and recognize differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
  3. Performing General Physical Activities – Performing physical activities that require considerable and extended use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as standing for long periods of time, running, climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials; use muscles to lift, push, pull, or carry heavy objects; use one or two hands to grasp, move, or assemble objects; and use fingers to grasp, move, or assemble very small objects.
  4. Assisting and Caring for Others – Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to children.

Full Time Faculty

Debra Murphy, Program Coordinator

Adjunct Faculty

Kathy Blackwell
Mary Cronin
Maggie Donahue
Nancy Gross
Kathleen Healy
Liz Stapleton

The Early Childhood Education Program at Cape Cod Community College embraces the NAEYC’s assumption that "All young children, birth through age eight, should have access to high-quality early childhood education services." Early Childhood Education is an inclusive and engaging process that is part of the complex system in the lives of young children and families. We believe the following:

  • Children are active and enthusiastic learners. They thrive in an environment of trust, respect, joy and beauty. Children are the center of our work and our vision.
  • Families are the primary decision-makers in their children's lives, engaged in reciprocal, collaborative partnerships with early childhood personnel.
  • Early Childhood programs are inclusive, supportive environments for children, families and staff. Staff are well-trained and qualified in their positions. Professional development is thoughtful and on-going.
  • Community college students are diverse learners. They benefit from a variety of instructional and assessment strategies that include both theory and practical experience, based on comprehensive, standards-based outcomes. They bring diverse potential and experience with them to the college classroom.
  • Early Childhood Faculty are professional, ethical, qualified and committed to the mission of the college and the program. They have educational and experiential expertise. They are life-long learners.
  • Community and government support and recognition are essential for a healthy, equitable system of early care and education. Families, teachers, college students, professors, citizens and elected officials must work together to create a better future for all children.