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Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

Students develop the necessary skills to become educators and caregivers for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children. ECE students assist in Northeast’s on-site preschool, as well as in early childhood learning centers in the community. ECE students develop skills to foster appropriate social relationships among the preschoolers and guiding them as they learn through play. Students successfully completing the ECE program become State Certified Preschool Teachers.

Upon graduation, students are employable as:

  • Preschool Teachers
  • Nannies
  • Infant Toddler Teachers

Technical and Higher Education Majors

  • Early Childhood Education Tracks
  • Child Development Related Fields
  • Administrators:  Preschool and Children’s Centers

Massachusetts requires child care centers, including those in private homes, to be licensed. In order to obtain their license, child care centers require Early Childhood Educators to pass a background check and get immunizations. Early Childhood Educators need to be trained in first aid and CPR, and continue their professional development on topics of health and safety. As Early Childhood Educators gain experience, some may advance to supervisory or administrative positions in large child care centers or preschools. Often, these positions require additional training, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Preschool teachers may advance from teacher of one classroom to a lead teacher, who is responsible for the instruction of several classes.   Career opportunity exists for lead teachers to move up to being the director of the center. Early Childhood Educators with a Masters degree, and appropriate licensure, are qualified to teach kindergarten through grade 2. Teaching at these higher grades often results in higher pay.

Connections to Work and Higher Education

Industry Affiliations:  SKILLS USA

Industry Certifications Available in High School

  • Childcare Education Institute Online Safety Program Certification (FAME)
  • American Heart Association CPR, AED, First Aid
  • Here Comes The Sun Yoga Certification
  • MA Department Early Education and Care: PreSchool Teacher Certification
  • MA Department Early Education and Care: Infant and Toddler Teacher Certification (additional)

College Credits toward post-secondary certifications/degrees can be earned through Articulation Agreements with:

  • MA State EC Articulation Agreement: One or more EC courses at a MA community college
  • North Shore Community College: ECE120 – Intro to Child Development 3 credits

Grade 9 Exploratory – Course #ECX

Students participate in hands-on activities introduced to the field of Early Childhood Education and receive exposure to safety topics inside/outside the preschool environment.

Grade 9 Shop – Course #ECXF-16

Students are actively engaged in the daily activities of the preschool. They are supported in initiating appropriate conversations with the preschool children and assuming an active role in their play. Students are expected to follow shop rules and safety practices as outlined by the preschool and State guidelines.

Grade 10 Shop – Course #EC2

Students are introduced to planning and implementing daily activities under the supervision of head teachers. The sophomore curriculum includes lesson planning, introduction to careers in Early Childhood Education, and the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of preschool aged children. Students learn how to appropriately talk to children and impart age appropriate behavior management techniques. Grade 10 ECE students gain an understanding of the importance of learning through play in all areas of the preschool curriculum and develop teamwork skills by working closely with Grade 12 students.

Grade 10 Related – Course #EC2R

Students gain knowledge of the needs of various ages and learn how to supervise young children. Students learn how to determine socially acceptable behavior and handle negative behaviors as well as the signs of child abuse and neglect. Furthermore, students become familiar with age appropriate curriculum planning and implementation, explore the value of play in the preschool setting and become involved in daily activities by extending play.

Grade 11 Shop – Course #EC3

Students plan, implement, and direct weekly thematic based units. Students also work on bulletin boards, children’s portfolios and end of the year preschool evaluations, and take an active role in guiding freshmen in exploratory.

Grade 11 Related – Course #EC3R

Students explore the field of early childhood education through understanding the traits of a quality child care program. They become aware of the characteristics that make up a competent child care professional and learn what is required to operate a child care center effectively. Furthermore, students learn how to set up an appropriate environment for children to learn and understand and implement health and safety practices.  Juniors also participate in yoga certification.

Grade 12 Shop – Course #EC4

In the Senior year, students put into practice their early education and care competencies by overseeing the preschool program.  Seniors, while supervised by their instructors, manage the daily activities of the preschoolers. If eligible, students participate in cooperative education programs in early childhood centers in the community. When students are eligible, they are able to work towards the Early Education and Care Infant/Toddler Teacher certification.

Grade 12 Related – Course #EC4R

Students spend senior year researching the state mandated child care regulations.  Seniors create a career plan that supports them in focusing on next steps after completion of the EC program. Furthermore, students learn the importance of professionalism, stress management, communication and problem solving, as it relates to the EC field.

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