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Early Childhood Education and Care Program

  • Credits:
  • Degree:
    Bachelor of Arts

Program Description

Get the training to advance your career in early childhood education. The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Care program at Cambridge College develops the competencies defined by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). In addition, coursework addresses issues of social justice and inclusion of all children, focusing on special needs, diversity, and English language learners. Classes are offered in flexible formats designed for adult learners, and you can choose from a variety of electives to tailor your studies to your particular career goals.

What Is Early Childhood Education?

Early childhood education refers to educational programs that serve young children from birth through age 8. Early childhood educators plan and organize educational activities for preschool and school-age children, focusing on activities that aid cognitive and social development. Some early childhood programs are privately run, while others are operated via local school systems or funded by the federal government.

Early Education and Care (EEC) Certification

 This program enables you to meet the academic requirements for EEC certification as an Infant-Toddler or Pre-School Teacher, a Lead Teacher, or Director. For more information, forms, and worksheets, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.

Cambridge College Early Childhood Education and Care Program Highlights

Combining expert instruction and hands-on training, the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Care program at Cambridge College offers a flexible, affordable option for adult learners.

  • Day, evening, weekend, and online classes. Balance education, work, and family time via convenient course schedules designed for working professionals. To start planning a course of study that works for you, talk to an Admissions Counselor.
  • Experiential learning. The early childhood education degree includes an advanced field experience in which you will get to observe, participate, and teach in an early childhood setting. There is also a multidisciplinary capstone research project.
  • EEC certification. This program develops the competencies defined by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, enabling you to become certified as an Infant-Toddler or Pre-School Teacher, a Lead Teacher, or Director.
  • Expert faculty. Work closely with experienced faculty with diverse research backgrounds in early childhood education and child development.
  • Outstanding value. Offering world-class education at a low tuition rate, Cambridge College is one of the most affordable four-year private nonprofit colleges in the United States.
  • Diverse students. Cambridge College was recently ranked as one of the most ethnically diverse colleges in the nation, giving you the opportunity to work with other adult learners from all over the world. 

An early childhood degree will boost your earning potential and level of responsibility if you work in a daycare. The majority of early childhood school graduates work in daycare facilities or early childhood centers.

Early Childhood Education Program Concentrations

Specializing your degree can help set you apart in the job market and boost your earning potential. The early childhood education degree at Cambridge College offers a variety of concentration options to focus your studies in an area that interests you.

What Can You Do With an Early Childhood Education Degree?

Our graduates typically progress from entry level to upper level careers in state and private day care centers and pre-schools, Head Start and other agencies focused on underserved populations, and home care. Graduates are also well prepared for graduate study in fields related to childhood development.

Early Childhood Education Salaries

Your salary for early childhood education will vary depending on where you work, your degree level, and your experience. Early childhood educators who work in primary school settings tend to make the highest salaries.

Average salaries for early childhood educators with bachelor’s degrees:

  • Early childhood education specialist: $35,000
  • Day care director: $39,200
  • Preschool director: $42,960
  • Early childhood special education teacher: $57,910

(Source: Early-Childhood-Education-Degrees.com)

Cambridge College has helped me to develop my academic skills, allowing me to be more confident and successful in my studies. I have met some great people and very intelligent professors. I also love the fact that Cambridge College offers week-long and weekend intensive classes.
Alycia Manganaro
BA in Early Childhood Education and Care

Example Early Childhood Education and Care Courses

The early childhood education degree features courses such as:

  • Inclusive Teaching in Early Childhood Settings
  • Early Childhood Program Planning and Development
  • Early Education and Care Field Experience

Download the Early Childhood Education and Care program sheet.

Early Childhood Education and Care Program Scholarships and Financial Aid

Get financial assistance to help pay for your degree in early childhood education. In addition to scholarship opportunities, you might also be eligible for federal and state grants, loans, and other types of financial aid.

The first step is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn more about applying for financial aid.

Related Programs at Cambridge College

If you’re still exploring undergraduate degree options, you might be interested in learning more about these programs at Cambridge College: 


General Education

WRT101-102 and MAT101-102 may by waived if equivalent courses have been accepted in transfer. Credits will be replaced with open electives. WRT201 required if both WRT101-102 are waived; not required for students completing WRT101-102 at Cambridge. WRT090 and MAT100 required if assessment indicates need.

Principles and Processes of Adult Learning
LRN 175 3 credit(s)
Students explore theories of adult learning. They clarify the fit between their academic program and their learning and career needs, and see how their prior learning fits in. They assess their academic skills of critical thinking, mathematics, writing, and computer literacy. Students become independent learners who can effectively manage the structures, processes and expectations of undergraduate education.
College Writing I
WRT 101 3 credit(s)
Through challenging readings, class discussion, small group col­laboration, and different forms of writing, students learn the skills and process of “thinking on paper.” They learn to construct an argument or discussion that supports a clear thesis and present it effectively in a well-organized essay that observes the conventions of written English. They write academic papers that analyze and synthesize the issues suggested in two or more readings. Critical reading, critical thinking, research skills, and forms of documentation are also introduced.
Foundations of Critical Thinking
CTH 225 3 credit(s)
We learn to engage in reasoned thinking. We learn to formulate hypotheses; conceive and state definitions, and understand logical consistency and inconsistency. We explore the differences between claims of fact, value, and policy; what constitutes credible evidence; the nature of assumptions. We learn what constitutes a persuasive argument as opposed to an emotive and propagandistic one, and critically examine them. Students learn to present clear, well thought out critical arguments in writing and oral presentations. We look at the relationships among thinking, writing, speaking and listening, laying a strong foundation for improving our capacity to write, speak, and listen well.
College Mathematics I
MAT 101 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MAT100 If assessment indicates need. This course introduces students to the value of mathematics for students’ career and educational goals. Students will acquire mathematical study skills, gain strategies for problem solving, and develop a sound foundation for future mathematics coursework. The course is structured towards engaging students in active, applied, and real-life learning in order to facilitate mathematical problem solving and conceptual understanding.
Introduction to Computer Applications
CMP 130 3 credit(s)
Assessment available. This course provides a hands-on introduction to the personal computer, Windows, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software, the Internet, and an overview of Word, Excel and Power-Point uses. Students begin with the basics of each application and progress through intermediate level.
College Writing II
WRT 102 3 credit(s)
WRT102 acquaints students with the academic research paper as both process and product. The course begins with an intensive review of the strategies and techniques for writing an academic essay that are covered in WRT101 and then moves to selecting and narrowing a topic, preliminary research, and establishing a focus for a 12-15 page argument research paper. The final paper includes an abstract, an introduction, discussion, conclusion, and references. Students learn how to write an annotated bibliography and use APA documentation for in-text citations and references.
College Mathematics II
MAT 102 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MAT101 If assessment indicates need. Challenge exam available. This course develops students’ mathematical thinking and problem solving around issues of both mathematical content and process. Students will acquire a conceptual and practical understanding of and familiarity with numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and basic data analysis and probability. The course focuses on supporting students’ understanding of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representations. A key feature of the course is active student involvement to support communicating mathematics in everyday and academic contexts.
Digital Literacy
CMP 230 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: CMP 130 (course or portfolio) and familiarity with Windows and/or Mac operating system, or permission of instructor. Digital literacy is the ability to find, use, and share information using technology in order to excel in a digital world. Students will practice using a range of digital tools, including tools for searching and evaluating information and for creating and communicating digitally. Students will learn to select and use appropriate digital tools for a variety of settings including the classroom and workplace. Ethical and effective use of information will contribute to students’ identities as effective digital citizens.
Distribution Requirements

Arts & Humanities - 6 credits

Natural & Physical Sciences - 6 credits

Social Sciences - 6 credits

Open Electives

Choose electives and/or concentrations to support your academic interests and professional goals. Any undergraduate concentrations are acceptable. (Course prerequisites must also be met.)

Early Childhood Major - required courses

Choose one 3-credit elective in management, human services, educational content or special education, based on your specific career goal and interest in young children.

The Capstone will focus on Early Childhood.

Introduction to Early Education and Care
EMC 210 3 credit(s)
Students will learn about the skills necessary for being an early childhood teacher and what the profession offers and requires for career and professional growth. The topics covered include what it means to create a developmentally appropriate program for young children, issues of the daily care of children, and current and future trends of the profession. Included will be an understanding of how developmental, emotional, and educational needs of young children (birth to eight years of age) are integrated in the course of daily life.
Integrated Language Arts & Reading
EMC 301 3 credit(s)
Students investigate the reading process and the rationale for integrating listening and speaking, reading, writing, and critical thinking by practicing all of these elements. Focus is on the principles and practice of language acquisition and activities that encourage creativity and methods of developing, linking and expanding a child’s encounters with literature.
Inclusive Teaching in Early Childhood Settings
EMC 307 3 credit(s)
This course will introduce the process of achieving an inclusive classroom. Topics addressed will include: the nature of various disabilities and the laws that govern their education; how to use best-practice strategies, accommodations, motivational interventions, and differentiated instruction so that ALL students benefit from instruction; how to work with other school professionals as part of a team that supports students with disabilities, as well as students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; and how to develop the affective skills of students, including behavior management strategies for behaviorally challenged students.
Observing and Recording in Early Education Classrooms
EMC 308 3 credit(s)
This course will provide strategies for authentic assessments of young children in school and family settings. Appropriate use of assessment and observation strategies to document development, growth, play, and learning will be studied. Students will learn the value of using data from assessment to enhance curriculum and instruction for the class and individual child. Students will also learn to work with families and other professionals to share assessments and resulting strategies to best serve children.
Developing Curriculum for Young Children
EMC 315 3 credit(s)
Students will demonstrate their ability to organize the environment and plan developmentally appropriate curriculum within a high-quality learning environment to facilitate young children's learning. They will identify the range of appropriate behaviors, activities and materials and be able to implement an integrated, comprehensive, developmentally appropriate curriculum in a supportive physical and social setting for children birth through age 8.
Effective & Positive Learning Environments in Early Childhood Settings
EMC 316 3 credit(s)
The emphasis of this course is on using appropriate guidance techniques to promote positive behavior in childcare settings. What is critical is to understand that interventions must be based on the different developmental, cultural and self-esteem needs of children. Students will be presented with discipline models to become competent practitioners of techniques for birth-8 that match the student's personality and philosophy of learning as well as what is appropriate for the developing child. They will learn to help children develop self-regulation, self-concept, coping mechanisms, self-comfort skills, and positive interaction with peers and adults.
Educational Perspectives in Early Childhood Growth and Development
EMC 317 3 credit(s)
This course covers theories of child development and the developmental sequences critical for early education with emphasis on physical, sensory, language, cognitive, and social-emotional development in the context of individual differences. The course will focus on how children (birth-8) learn based on research in early brain development and the impact of adults on this learning process. Students learn how to create safe, nurturing and challenging learning environments that are developmentally appropriate and promote growth, social skills and knowledge.
Health, Safety & Nutrition for Early Childhood Settings
EMC 322 3 credit(s)
This course will focus on health, safety and nutrition as well as preventative health maintenance of the young child. Students will learn to recognize and respond to child abuse and neglect as well as other factors that may threaten a child's safety. Students will study current theories and practice problem-solving methods and conventional applications for in-class situations. The role of culture, language and ability on health decisions and how they impact young children will be assessed. Students will develop activities and resources for a health curriculum that encompasses all aspects of the healthy child.
Principles of Early Childcare Administration
EMC 325 3 credit(s)
This course will emphasize professionalism and leadership in early childcare settings, leading students to understand and adhere to ethical guidelines and professional standards. Students will learn the value of collaborative leadership where knowledge is shared, reflective practice is encouraged, decisions are informed by data, best practices are followed and diversity is valued. Students will learn to develop themselves as leaders and mentor others.
Partnering with Families and Communities in Early Childhood Settings
EMC 324 3 credit(s)
This course will help students understand diverse family structures and influences and develop consultation and interpersonal skills necessary for communication with coworkers, parents and community members. Students will learn strategies to build respectful and reciprocal relationships with families and the broader community allowing them to help families navigate community resources and schools. Intervention strategies and interviewing techniques will be stressed. Discussions include dynamics of the team process, roadblocks to communication, and analysis of a school system, with subsequent in-service recommendations. Students have an opportunity to apply these learned skills while examining theory concurrently.
Early Childhood Program Planning and Development
EMC 323 3 credit(s)
This course assesses the management of early childhood programs and child care centers. Topics covered include planning, managing and evaluating programs and environments for children. Subjects for discussion are marketing, record keeping, budgeting, licensing, accreditation, hiring, motivating/evaluating staff, family involvement and community collaborations. Emphasis will be placed on regulations, applicable laws, professional standards, policies and quality standards. Students will learn best practices in supervision and managing resources.
Early Education and Care Field Experience
EMC 402 3 credit(s)

This course is an advanced field experience that includes observation, participation, and teaching in the early childhood setting (specifically preschool and kindergarten). Emphasis is on program planning including assessment for children in early childhood education. The candidate must apply to the Early Education and Care program chair one semester in advance to enroll in this course.

Early Childhood Education and Care Capstone
EMC 490 3 credit(s)

The Early Education and Care capstone will provide students a choice of selecting/creating a culminating project that connects to their individual interests within the early education field. The culminating project synthesizes students’ learning, growth, and experiences at the conclusion of the early education and care program, and is intended to reflect a deep and active understanding of their professional position within it. Students will select a project from multiple options, including but not limited to creating a workshop; developing a family resource guide; creating a portfolio; writing a formal research paper; creating a documentary; developing a website or Wiki, or an open proposal for a student-designed project. 


  • Admission Test:

    No standardized graduate school tests required for admission into non-licensure programs.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50 ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)

School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for Undergraduate Programs

For the MEd in Interdisciplinary Studies, see Graduate Education Programs Admission Requirements

International Students 

International students need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit

Graduate program applicants, please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more about transferring credits.

Undergraduate program applicants, once you are accepted, your official transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit.



  • Credits:
  • Application Fee:
    $50 ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)

Note: Rates are as of June 2023, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half-time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships, and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state, and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

Getting Your Company to Help

Many companies have tuition assistance programs, designed to help their employees with their professional development. Learn more

Take the Next Step Toward Your Degree in Early Childhood Education and Care