Early Education & Child Care

  • Credits: 39
  • Degree:
    Master of Education with Concentration

Program Description

Early Childhood Education and Care is a program of study of the general growth pattern of developing children.  The program studies both the physical and psychological influences and educational experiences that contribute to making a healthy thriving child.  The program integrates all aspects of development and education of children 0-8 years old in daycare settings and preschools.

Learning Outcomes

Developmental needs and appropriate activities are explored that are consistent with the age of the child.  Discussions and classroom assignments are geared to infants and toddlers who particularly need interaction with caregivers, including auditory stimulation and physical touch.  Preschoolers, ages three through five, have more social needs and begin to learn about how to get along with others.  School age children transition to more structured learning in the classroom but it is important to stress emotional needs.  Best practices are modled that are specific to the daycare education environment that deal with the hygiene and needs of diverse students, including English language learners and special needs students. 


Graduates will be eligible to pursue jobs in preschool and daycare settings.  Additionally, they will be able to prepare to plan and open a daycare center.  However, this program does not lead to public school licensure.


For more information, please contact Admissions at 1-800-829-4723.


Professional Seminar and Project
Professional Seminar I: Early Education and Child Care
EEC 691 3 credit(s)
EEC791 required concurrently. This seminar focuses on the introduction and foundations of early childhood development and education of young children. It provides the basics of developmentally appropriate practices, social/emotional needs of young children and the academic basis to create an environment for them to learn.
Professional Seminar II: Early Education and Child Care
EEC 692 3 credit(s)
EEC792 required concurrently. Students focus on aspects of learning through play, adaptation of the environment for children with special needs, English language learners from diverse cultures. Additional attention is given to the appropriate discipline of the students through guidance, assessment and reporting, and working with paraprofessionals and parents.
Professional Seminar III: Early Education and Child Care
EEC 693 3 credit(s)
EEC793 required concurrently. During this seminar, students explore and create developmentally appropriate curriculum in the areas of literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies for young children. Each curriculum area will include adaptations for special needs children and English language learners from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Independent Learning Project: Early Education and Child Care
EEC 800 3 credit(s)
The Independent Learning Project is a culminating learning experience that helps educators integrate their personal and formal learning and their professional experiences into a meaningful whole. It reflects the general guidelines for early childhood education and care, and articulates the individual’s educational and administrative philosophy. The project is research- and action-based, on a focused topic chosen by the student, within the field of early education and child care.
Early Education and Child Care Courses
Teaching Phonological and Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
ELE 500
This course is a prerequisite for ELE521. This course will emphasize the development of children’s phonemic awareness, phonological awareness and phonics skills and the learning environment that supports the development of such skills. It will also cover concepts of print, explicit/implicit instruction, analytic/synthetic methods, word analysis skills, the alphabetic principle, and language development.
Development of Young Children
ECE 600 3 credit(s)
An introduction to the child, from birth to age eight, as a learner with needs to explore and communicate, as well as to develop social competence. Explanation of current themes/theories of child development is provided with special emphasis on understanding children’s developmental levels through childhood. Topics covered include: conception, heredity and prenatal development, infant development, the child in the family, toddlerhood and early childhood. Observation in a childcare center or preschool setting is a requirement of this course.
Developmental Reading for Early Childhood Birth to Eight
ECE 612 3 credit(s)
This course will emphasize the development of children's reading and writing skills from pre-kindergarten to grade two and the learning environment that supports the development of such skills. The relationships between the theories and current research on emergent literacy, oral language, vocabulary development, comprehension, the reading and writing processes and assessment will be reviewed and analyzed by the members of this course. In addition, participants will review and discuss the following topics: balanced literacy, effective teaching strategies, use of research-based programs, Sheltered English Immersion, literature-based instruction, use of different assessment tools to inform instruction, standards-based instruction, the Common Core, fiction and non-fiction genres and differentiated instruction.
Teaching Science & Technology in Early Childhood & Elementary Curr.
ELE 653 3 credit(s)
This course provides the knowledge, tools and methods for making early childhood and elementary science an exciting, hands-on learning experience for children. Educators learn how to develop lessons that address student experimentation and design techniques using readily available materials. Safe laboratory practices for the classroom are also addressed. A standards-based approach to science education is our template for lesson development, covering the major domains in science: life, physical, earth, inquiry-applied and engineering technology; and historical scientific discoveries in each area. Alignment of curriculum is emphasized; national benchmark standards in elementary science are also supported. Analysis of elementary summative science assessments, based on the National Science Standards is incorporated in the coursework. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Integration of Visual Arts for the Early Childhood & Elementary Curr.
ELE 593 1 credit(s)
The Arts enable teachers to better engage their students while also addressing student’s different learning styles and allowing student creativity to flourish. This course will give participants an introduction to using the visual arts as a vehicle for learning in the classroom. Teachers will learn ways to use the arts and art materials as a pathway toward gaining knowledge and using higher order thinking skills. Presentation of material will be part reading, part lecture and part hands on participation and exploration. Students will leave the course with a deeper understanding of art materials, art language and how to use visual arts in the early childhood and elementary classroom that includes special needs and ESL students.
Integrating Physical Ed. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
ELE 594 1 credit(s)
This course reflects current thinking and practices in physical education for the classroom teacher. Emphasis is on the importance of quality physical education programs and to raise awareness of teachers combining their expertise and content to integrate with other disciplines.
Integration of Children's Lit. in Early Childhood & Elementary Curr.
ELE 620 3 credit(s)
This course introduces some of the best literature—children’s, young adult, adult and contemporary—and helps children become lifelong learners and readers. Students gain knowledge of the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Frameworks/Common Core Standards. Many genres of literature are explored, along with basic literacy elements and techniques including the necessary basics of the English language with emphasis on correct grammar, usage and composition. Lesson plans and models for teaching literature are presented. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Principles of Language Development; Bridging Differences and Disorders
ESP 662 3 credit(s)
This course develops a thorough understanding of how children acquire language and how language develops over the life span. Language acquisition is one of the most important domains within the sciences of the mind. Developments in cognitive neuroscience have made it evident that language, once acquired, is not static, but rather has constant neural reorganization. Students develop an overview of the course of language development, biological foundations for language, the major linguistic systems individuals must acquire, and finally the methods of study for language development. Theories of first and second language acquisition and development are introduced. Because there is no single process of language acquisition, students are exposed to different theories of semantic development, phonological development, morphological development and syntax. Students come to understand the relationship between language acquisition, language impairment, and treatments of children with communicative handicaps are also discussed. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Mathematics Essentials
MAT 618 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the essential components of a college level course in algebra, probability and statistics. Major topics include: algebraic, linear and non-linear models; functions and graphs; sequences and series; collecting, organizing and displaying data; using appropriate statistical methods and prediction based on data; developing and evaluating inferences; and applying basic concepts of probability theory to everyday situations. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Developing a Business Plan
DMG 615 1 credit(s)
Developing a Business Plan is a hands-on course that provides students with the basics of how to develop a business plan. Students learn how to describe the business, how to use a structured coaching process to write the business plan, and how to use the business plan to anticipate key issues. The course covers (1) business plan basics including: who needs to write a business plan, when to write one, how long it should be, what a business plan can and cannot do, the risks of writing a business plan, (2) the elements of a business plan, (3) how to develop the plan and (4) ways to enhance a business plan.

Prerequisite: a CPR course (further information TBD). Practicum includes field experience in a PreK-K setting (in the student’s workplace or an assigned practicum placement) with supervision by qualified Cambridge College faculty and a licensed, site-based teacher.

Practicum I: Early Education and Child Care (75 hours)
EEC 791 2 credit(s)
EEC691 required concurrently. Each student is assigned or applies to an acceptable site with an on-site qualified teacher. During this practicum students will make observations (kept in a log) of the differences in the abilities of the various age groups, and work with the teacher in preparation of activities/lessons. In addition, students will look at and participate in classroom management of the class, keep a log, and print out the management plan and rules used in the classroom. Students are observed twice during the 75 hours—once by the licensed site-based teacher and once by the College supervisor. Exit portfolio: Case study of the behaviors and academic habits of one child with the characteristics of the behaviorists studied in class, identifying the stages of development. Include developmentally appropriate examples of the child’s work. Chart the progress of the child and give a five-page summary. The student is to coordinate and conference the case study with the site based teacher throughout the practicum. The site-based teacher must sign off on the child study. All teacher and college supervisors’ observations and conferencing forms should be included.
Practicum II: Early Education and Child Care (75 hours)
EEC 792 2 credit(s)
EEC692 required concurrently. Students will document in a log their knowledge of and competencies in health, safety, and administration issues and policies in the early childhood setting. The student is to work with the site-based teacher in preparing and teaching developmentally appropriate learning activities for the children in the class, work with paraprofessionals, parents, and peers on location. Students will collect samples of developmentally appropriate work in all core academic areas of mathematics, reading/literacy, science, social, and science, from children of diverse speaking cultures, and special needs children. Students are observed twice during the practicum—once by the site-based teacher and once by the College supervisor. Exit Portfolio: Evidence of working with parents and families, conferences, approved lesson plans taught and evaluated by the site-based teacher and College supervisor. Copies of the student log of observations and a two-page summary of the practicum experience. All observations/evaluations and conferencing forms from the site-based teacher and college supervisor are also included in the portfolio.
Practicum III: Early Education and Child Care (75 hours)
EEC 793 2 credit(s)
EEC693 required concurrently. Students are each assigned to a specific group of children and work with the licensed site-based teacher in preparing and teaching developmentally appropriate lesson plans and activities. Student teachers work directly with parents, demonstrate and document networking activities (conferences, workshops, family nights, etc). They must keep a log and write a two-page summary of the practicum experience. They prepare a portfolio of developmentally appropriate lessons/activities in the various core academic areas. Students are evaluated twice by the licensed site-based teacher and twice by the college supervisor. The final Exit portfolio will combine the materials from Practicum I and II with the sections specifically marked. The additional materials from Practicum III include approved lesson plans/activities, a teaching and learning log, materials from the family conferences and networking, organized school activities, student–teacher evaluations and observations, completed and signed by the site-based teacher and college supervisor.

Program Chair

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor



  • Admission Test:

    Passing grade on TOEFL (English language proficiency test) is required for international students.

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

General Requirements

Official Transcript
Two Completed Recommendation Forms
Current Résumé

Personal Statement

Learn more about General Requirements 

State Requirements

College students are required to comply with state laws regarding individual health insurance and immunization. Compliance requirements currently exist for students in Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee. Learn more

International Students – Additional Requirements

International Students will need to complete supplemental documentation when applying. International transcripts must also be translated prior to submission in order to be evaluated for applicability. Learn more about international student requirements.

Transfer Credit Request Form

Only needed if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer credit. Learn more about transferring credits.



  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Graduation Fee:
    $110 (charged in last term)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $1,497 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.

Note: Rates are as of September 2013, 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