Our dedication to Racial Equality and Social Justice (RESJ) spans decades. Learn more about our RESJ Initiative

time exposed photo of headlights in urban center

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
Introduction to Graduate School
EDU 558 1 credit(s)

This course will assist the new student in planning and developing a graduate study program that is appropriate to the student's academic and professional needs. When a student is accepted into the program he/she should enroll immediately only in this course and work with an advisor to schedule additional courses. In addition, this course will offer opportunities for more direct advising, introduction to College protocols such as TaskStream and other opportunities for academic success.

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 Reading & Writing Skills for the Early Childhood & Elementary Curriculum
ELE 521 3 credit(s)

Prerequisite: ELE 500. This course emphasizes the development of children’s reading and writing skills in the primary to upper elementary grades 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 process and assessment will be reviewed and analyzed by the members of this course. In addition, participants will review and discuss the following topics: scientifically-based reading instruction, whole language, balanced literacy, effective teaching strategies, use of research-based programs, literature-based instruction, use of different assessment tools to inform instruction, standard-based instruction, federal funding, culture and democracy. Candidates implement well-structured lessons that reflect knowledge of the essential elements of scientifically-based reading instruction, formative assessment, differentiated instruction, cooperative learning, and the role of academic feedback, and questioning to support higher-order thinking. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.

Adapting Materials for Students w/Disabilities in Gen Ed Classrooms
ESP 592 1 credit(s)
In this course students adapt materials and modify curriculum to meet students' Individual Education Programs (IEP). Models of inclusion and teaching techniques for students with disabilities in general education classrooms are explored. Students examine academic interventions in mathematics, reading and writing and develop strategies to increase participation of their students in inclusive classrooms by acquiring teaching strategies to create a positive learning environment. They design reasonable classroom accommodations, identify realistic alternatives, propose classroom management techniques, routines and rituals to promote positive behavior, and adapt assessments to meet learners' diverse needs. Students demonstrate understanding through case study analysis and lesson presentation.
Collaboration and Consultation Techniques
ESP 594 2 credit(s)
The course explores the concept of school and community working together as partners to support each other in a strong coalition. A school district serves several smaller communities in one, and rarely does a community act as a single entity. To establish and sustain community and school linkage is critical to an effective partnership. The course explores the core mission of public schools and creates an environment that helps young people learn and achieve at high standards. The community school approach supports young people’s academic, social, and interpersonal goals by creating an effective learning atmosphere. Schools are a microcosm of societal values and community philosophy that daily affects students’ lives. The power structure of a community — its formal and informal networks and the people in them — that makes things happen is studied.
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-emotional competencies. 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. The impact of developmental theories on the education of children with disabilities is examined. Formulation of a developmentally appropriate Individual Educational Plan is required. Observation in a childcare center or preschool setting is a requirement of this course.
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.
Inclusion and Classroom Behavior Management
ESP 512 3 credit(s)
In this course students learn the basic components of an effective inclusionary program. They acquire knowledge of the etiology of learning problems and specific techniques to fully include special education students into the regular classroom. Course assignments connect theories to classroom practice. Emphasis is on learning behavior management skills that are effective with both regular and special education students. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Teaching Soc.Sci. Hist. & Multicul. Early Childhood & Elementary Curr.
ELE 656 3 credit(s)
This course prepares candidates to teach social studies that includes the multicultural contributions of the world. They gain a basis for researching issues in social studies and history that give their students more universal perspectives. The materials chosen are appropriate to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks/Common Core Standards in history and social studies. Educators will gain the basic information and know the principles for teaching social sciences, history and geography as outlined in the Massachusetts regulations for educator licensure. Candidates produce and implement well-structured lessons that center of core disciplinary ideas in the K-12 social studies curriculum, utilize primary source materials, and reflect knowledge of formative assessment, differentiated instruction, cooperative learning, and the role of academic feedback, and questioning to support higher-order thinking. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
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. Candidates implement well-structured lessons that reflect knowledge of the essential elements of scientifically-based reading instruction, formative assessment, differentiated instruction, cooperative learning, and the role of academic feedback, and questioning to support higher-order thinking. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Inclusion in Math Class
MAT700 3 credit(s)

Improving math instruction for students with disabilities: This course is designed to promote collaboration between mathematics and special educators to improve math instruction and outcomes for all students including students with disabilities. The course is intended to assist math instructors and special needs teachers by providing a structure for developing a shared vision, common language and foundational knowledge of mathematics instruction and the instructional needs of math students with disabilities. The course will focus on protocols developed as the result of a four-year collaboration between DESE Offices of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and the Special Education Planning and Policy at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, EDC and math and special educators from the districts participating in the Massachusetts Urban Math support Network. High quality core curriculum and instruction begins with the Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks. These protocols address the conceptual understandings and mathematical practices that are an essential part of rigorous math expectations for all students with disabilities when planning mathematics instruction, educators will be better able to address the needs of all learners.

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.
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 TaskStream components, other than the practicum documents, will be completed. MTELs will be completed. Those having difficulty with the MTELs will be directed for support. Field work 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; $100 for EdD)

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

See Admissions Requirements for School of Education

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.

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



  • Credits for Licensure:
  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50 ($100 for international students; $100 for EdD)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $3,962 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.

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

Take the Next Step Toward Your Early Childhood Teacher (PreK-2) Certification