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Early Childhood Teacher (PreK-2)

  • Grade Levels:
  • Credits for Licensure:
  • Credits:
  • Degree:
    Master of Education
  • Program Approved:
    MA Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education

Program Description

Gain the specialized knowledge and training to become an early childhood teacher. This program prepares you to pursue an initial license in Early Childhood PreK-2 With and Without Disabilities. The early childhood teaching degree at Cambridge College offers licensure and non-licensure options and is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Cambridge College Early Childhood Teacher Program Highlights

If you enjoy working with children, becoming an early childhood teacher can be a rewarding career choice. This program will prepare you for the classroom while providing a flexible, affordable pathway to your master’s degree.

  • Field-based learning. Licensure students will take part in a 14-week supervised field experience, as well as a supporting practicum seminar based on the Professional Standards for Teachers in Massachusetts.
  • Flexible class schedules. With day, evening, weekend, and online class options designed for working professionals, you can pursue your master’s degree on a schedule that fits your life.
  • Affordable tuition.  Our tuition rate is among the country’s most affordable for a four-year private nonprofit college, offering quality education at exceptional value.
  • Experienced faculty. Cambridge College faculty bring diverse early childhood research experience to the program and work closely with students as teachers and mentors.
  • Diverse experiences. Ranked as one of the most ethnically diverse colleges in America, Cambridge College gives you the opportunity to work with other adult learners from all over the world, enriching your educational experience in the process.
  • Convenient location. All of our classroom locations are close to public transportation and/or offer free student parking throughout the year.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), enrollment in Pre-K education has increased from 96,000 to over 1 million in the last 30 years.

Early Childhood Teacher (PreK-2) Learning Outcomes

Through the coursework for this program, you’ll learn how to become a skilled, knowledgeable, and creative early childhood teacher who knows how to:

  • Create developmentally appropriate lessons and activities for children in PreK-2 settings.
  • Use inclusive practices appropriate for children with learning disabilities and for diverse students (including English language learners) to enhance the abilities of their children.
  • Create a safe and collaborative learning environment that fosters positive socioemotional development.
  • Set high expectations for all students and establish measurable assessments of learning.
  • Engage in ongoing reflection on practice.

Early Childhood Teacher Jobs

Graduates of the licensure option are eligible for initial licensure and will be qualified to teach preschool, kindergarten, and other early learning classrooms.

Alternative career options for early childhood teacher graduates include working as teaching assistants or preschool and childcare center directors.

Early Childhood Teacher Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massachusetts is one of the top paying states in the nation for kindergarten teachers, with an average annual salary of $71,790.

Preschool teachers in Massachusetts currently make an average of $37,510 per year. Boston is one of the metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in this occupation.

Keep in mind that salaries for early childhood teachers will vary depending on your experience and where you live and work.

Example Early Childhood Teacher (PreK-2) Courses

The Early Childhood Teacher master’s degree program at Cambridge College offers a hands-on, comprehensive curriculum featuring classes such as:

  • Inclusion and Classroom Behavior Management
  • Development of Young Children
  • Practicum: Early Childhood (licensure only)

Download the Early Childhood Teacher (PreK-2) program sheet.

Early Childhood Teacher (PreK-2) Scholarships and Financial Aid

You may qualify for grants, scholarships, loans, and other types of financial assistance to help pay for your master’s degree. Learn more about applying for financial aid at Cambridge College.

Many companies also offer tuition assistance programs that can help to pay for education. Find information about getting your company to help.

Related Programs at Cambridge College

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


Please note: At Cambridge College locations outside of Massachusetts, this program is currently non-licensure only.

Early Childhood Courses
Program Portfolio Integration
EED 735

Students are required to enroll in this 0-credit course during the first semester of their program experience. Enrollment in this 0-credit course activates student access to the Tevera portfolio which facilities the tracking and storage of essential documents required for program completion.

The Reflective Practitioner
EED 5001 1 credit(s)

Reflective practice is a process of self-evaluation and analysis that allows teachers to reflect on their teaching practices, identify areas for improvement, and make adjustment to their practice to better support student learning. In this 1-credit course, graduate students will learn to identify their own strengths and challenges, set goals for themselves and their students, evaluate curriculum materials, generate potential solutions to problems of practice, and explore tools and technology to support their reflective practice.

Teaching Phonological and Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
ELE 500
This course introduces the importance of phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, and phonics skills in early literacy development. Emphasis is placed on brain research and explicit instruction in phonemic and phonological awareness and phonics instruction as the largest indicators of successful reading development. This course is a prerequisite for ELE 521.
Teaching Literacy
ELE 521 3 credit(s)

Prerequisite: ELE 500. This course develops a thorough understanding of foundational literacy skills for early childhood and elementary educators. The relationship between the theories and current research on oral language, systematic phonemic awareness and phonics instruction, high-priority word instruction, vocabulary, and comprehension will be analyzed. In addition, class participants will analyze reading and writing development based on the active view of reading model and the science of reading research.

Adapting Materials for Students with Disabilities in Gen Ed Classrooms
ESP 592 1 credit(s)
This course provides participants with the knowledge and skills to adapt curriculum and materials to meet the diverse needs of students. Participants will explore the key frameworks of UDL and differentiation to promote inclusive practices and optimize learning. Participants will evaluate existing curriculum, materials, and instructional practices to ensure they are accessible, engaging, and effective for learners. Emphasis will be on applying accommodations and modifications as well as implementing the frameworks for UDL and differentiation.
Collaboration and Consultation Techniques
ESP 594 2 credit(s)
The course explores collaboration and consultation techniques among school-based teams to best support a range of learners in today's classrooms. The course will provide students with the background and knowledge-based to work collaboratively with school-based educators, parents, and outside agencies to improve student outcomes. Students will become familiar with the educator’s role within the IEP process to strengthen educational partnerships through culturally responsive instruction and teamwork to assess, plan, and implement effective classroom environments.
Development of Young Children
ECE 600 3 credit(s)
This course offers an in-depth exploration of child development, prenatal through age 8, focusing on the unique learning needs of the whole child. Current and classic theories of child development are analyzed, emphasizing the interplay of risk and protective factors that impact the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social realms of development. Student learning needs are examined through a culturally competent lens as observation and application of theory to classroom practice are emphasized.
Teaching Science, Engineering, and Technology
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.
Inclusion and Classroom Behavior Management
ESP 512 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the knowledge of the etiology of learning problems and specific techniques to effectively create an inclusive classroom. Emphasis is on classroom management and the management of challenging behaviors in an inclusion classroom.
Teaching Social Sciences, History, and Multicultural Education
ELE 656 3 credit(s)
This course prepares educators to teach social studies with a culturally responsive and anti-bias perspective, emphasizing global contributions. A focus on developing well-structured lessons focusing on core disciplinary ideas in K-6 history and social studies, in alignment with state and national standards.
Teaching Children's Literature
ELE 620 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on how to incorporate children's literature across the curriculum to build awareness of diverse perspectives and introduce and reinforce subject matter content. Exploration of literary genres and themes equips students with lesson planning and teaching models for literature instruction, emphasizing scientifically-based reading strategies. Pre-practicum field-based training is mandatory.
Inclusion in Math Class
MAT 700 3 credit(s)

This course promotes collaboration between mathematics and special educators to improve instruction and outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities. This course provides a structure for developing shared visions, common language, foundational knowledge of mathematics instruction, and the instructional needs of math students with disabilities. The Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks serve as a foundation for high quality core curriculum and instruction addressing conceptual understandings and practices that are an essential part of rigorous math expectations. 

Teaching Physical Education and Movement
ELE 594 1 credit(s)
This course provides a thorough examination of current research and best practices concerning physical education and movement in early childhood and elementary classrooms. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the benefits of physical education and movement for young students and how they can be integrated with other academic subjects to enhance the overall development and well-being of students.
Practicum Prerequisites
  • Pass all teacher tests required by Massachusetts for this license: Communication & Literacy, Early Childhood, and Foundations of Reading (MTEL).
  • SEI605 Sheltered English Immersion (3 credits) or Mass. ESE-endorsed course or SEI MTEL.
  • Pass all required courses.
  • Pre-Practicum — Successfully complete program-specific hours in diverse settings (0 credit)
  • EDU704    Practicum Readiness (1 credit)
  • Submit Practicum Application and Practicum Placement Approval Form.
SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) Content License Endorsement Course
SEI 605 3 credit(s)
This Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Content License Endorsement Course is designed for educator licensure candidates in all core academic areas, to prepare them to address the needs, and build on the multilingual and multicultural assets, of a diverse and ever-changing student population in Massachusetts. The course is a key element of the Massachusetts RETELL initiative (Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners). RETELL also includes statewide implementation of the WIDA ELD (English Language Development) standards, and the WIDA-ACCESS assessment tools. Participants will be introduced to ELD standard and WIDA tools, and will practice applying research-based SEI instructional strategies as they teach their content to English language learners (ELLs). They will also be introduced to a variety of professional growth opportunities to prepare them to extend their learning by making SEI the focus of professional practice within the new educator evaluation process.
Practicum Readiness
EDU 704 1 credit(s)

This course is specifically designed to determine readiness for the practicum. It will assist the teacher candidate to develop his/her skills to be ready to assume the role of student teacher from the first day of practicum. Students will understand the requirements of CAP by engaging in and completing the forms for each of the "essentials" and completing their own goals. All of the Tevera components, other than the practicum documents, will be completed. MTELs will be completed. Those having difficulty with the MTELs will be directed for support. Fieldwork assignments will be required.

Practicum & Seminar

Licensure students only.

The practicum is guided and evaluated by a licensed/certified early childhood teacher  in the classroom and a Cambridge College early childhood supervisor. Practicum locations are subject to MA DESE regulations and must be approved by the program chair. Students are responsible for discussing options for practicum with the program chair.

Practicum: Early Childhood PK-2
ECE 794 2 credit(s)
This course includes a 14-week supervised field experience of a minimum of 300 hours in which candidates demonstrate proficiency in meeting the Professional Standards for Teachers. The practicum must meet the hours and setting requirements for the license sought, under the guidance of a supervising practitioner with the appropriate license, with Cambridge College supervision. Assessment follows the Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP) and assesses ability with respect to: well-structured lessons, high expectations, meeting diverse needs, adjustment to practice, safe learning environment, professional culture/reflective practice, as well as formative assessment, differentiation and providing academic feedback. Artifacts are uploaded into an Exit Portfolio. An Application to Practicum is required.
Practicum Seminar: Early Childhood
ECE 791 2 credit(s)
Practicum required concurrently. The seminar, based on the Professional Standards for Teachers in Massachusetts, provides opportunities for classroom experience and supports students' growth as they assume the teaching role. Candidates receive feedback on lesson plans, and develop instructional practice by analyzing case studies, engaging in role play and viewing of instructor-selected video tapes that depict examples of practice. Candidates upload required key assessments into an Exit Portfolio in TaskStream.

Program Chair

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor


  • 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)

Health Requirements for Massachusetts Students 

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.


School 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 

Please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more about transferring credits.



  • Credits for Licensure:
  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50 ($100 for international students)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $3,940 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.)
  • Internship/Practicum Fee:

Note: Rates are as of July, 2022, 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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