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Early Childhood Education and Care

  • Credits:
  • Degree:
    Bachelor of Arts

Program Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Care prepares students to move up the career ladder in early education and care, as their course work develops the competencies defined by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). In addition, the course work addresses issues of social justice and inclusion of all children, focusing on special needs, diversity and English language learners. Electives enable students to tailor their studies to their particular career goals within the field.


A concentration can be a key element in your bachelor's degree, providing unique perspectives and skills that can enrich your career.

  • Addiction Studies Concentration: Learn more.
  • Accounting Concentration: Learn more.
  • Education Concentration: Learn more.
  • Expressive Therapies Concentration: Learn more.
  • Family Studies Concentration: Learn more.
  • General Management Concentration: Gain a broad understanding of business management, including marketing, sales, ethics, nonprofit management, and an introduction to human resources. Learn more.
  • Health Care Management Concentration (undergraduate): Develop a practical understanding of health care administration including economic, financial, and regulatory concepts within health care systems. Learn more.
  • Holistic Studies Concentration: Learn more.
  • Hospitality Management Concentration: Learn the fundamentals of management for the hospitality industry, with a focus on restaurant front of the house and back of the house management, and on hotel management. Learn more.
  • Information Technology and E-Business Concentration: Learn about managing the information systems of an organization, including infrastructure design, server management, security, e-business strategy, and marketing. Learn more.
  • Juvenile Justice Studies Concentration: Learn more.
  • Legal Studies Concentration: Learn more.
  • Organizational Psychology Concentration: Learn more.
  • Peace and Justice Studies Concentration: Learn more.


Students can 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. (Please observe the field experience and work requirements listed.)

Program Outcomes

Successful graduates will have a demonstrated understanding of the following competencies supporting young children (birth to 8):

  • Growth and core development of children.
  • Guiding and interacting with children.
  • Partnering with families and communities.
  • Health, safety and nutrition for young children.
  • Learning environments and implementing curriculum.
  • Observation, assessment and documentation.
  • Program planning, development and implementation.
  • Professionalism and leadership.

Careers and Further Study

Our graduates typically progress from entry level to upper level careers in state and private day care centers and pre-schools, Headstart and other agencies focused on underserved populations, and home care.

Graduates are also well prepared for graduate study in fields related to young children.


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


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.
Information Literacy
CMP 230 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: CMP130 (course or portfolio) and familiarity with Windows and/or Mac operating system, or permission of instructor. Information literacy is necessary for lifelong learning and career advancement. It is the ability to analyze problems, research and select relevant information, create an effective presentation from that information, and, when appropriate, publish it in print or electronic formats. Students acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to apply principles of information literacy to their academic and professional lives. A problem-centered approach is used. Students use the Internet and e-mail news groups, file transfer and Netscape, and search engines. They learn to evaluate the credibility of information and use problem-solving paradigms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multidisciplinary Studies Capstone
BAM 490 3 credit(s)
Prerequisites: 90 credits minimum, including WRT101 and WRT102. The Capstone is a comprehensive research project which is the culminating academic activity that helps to synthesize students’ learning in the undergraduate multidisciplinary program. It is an opportunity to explore a topic of personal or professional interest in the field of multidisciplinary studies and to create an original project or piece of research that contributes to the field. The Capstone is 25-30 pages in length and follows a research paper format appropriate to the field of study. Students work together in class and meet or communicate individually with the instructor as needed. Those who take an additional term to complete the Capstone must register for BAM491 and pass before graduating.
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.

Program Chair

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor



  • Admission Test:

    No SAT or ACT tests required.

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

School Requirements

See Admissions Requirements for School of Undergraduate Studies


State Health Requirements

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.

International Students 

International students are accepted at Massachusetts location only, and 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.

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


  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $2,059 (Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.)

Note: Rates are as of September 2018, 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

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