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Early Childhood Education

  1. Program Overview
  2. Program Learning Outcomes
  3. Program Curriculums
  4. High School Course Recommendations
  5. Continuing Your Education

Program Overview

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program is designed to prepare individuals as skilled Early Childhood professionals. Graduates will meet state licensing standards for teaching in a variety of settings. The course work combines theory and practical experience to prepare graduates for immediate entry into the field. The curriculum is based upon standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

In conjunction with the Early Childhood Education program, the Spring Point Children’s Center provides quality educational experiences for preschool children, ages 3, 4 and 5. Spring Point Children’s Center is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs, a division of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. NAEYC accreditation is a rigorous, voluntary process by which early childhood programs demonstrate that they consistently meet national standards of excellence. This on campus center is a valuable resource providing a laboratory setting for students in the program.

Currently, there are three program options:

  1. the two-year associate degree program
  2. the part-time Certificate of Initial Proficiency (15 credits of the first year ECE classes); and,
  3. a one year certificate consisting of the first year of the two-year program.

Applicants for full-time status, in options two or three, will receive first priority. Part-time students, for day classes, will be considered on a space-available basis. Selected classes are also available evenings.

Solid basic reading, writing and computation skills are necessary for all applicants. Additional prerequisites are noted below.

NOTE: Successful completion of the Early Childhood Education program requires practicums and site visits each semester at childrenís child care facilities. The Maine Department of Human Services will not permit a student to participate in such activities if the student does not satisfy the Departmentís licensing criteria. Accordingly, a prerequisite for participation in the Early Childhood Education program is a studentís ability to meet the Department of Human Servicesí criteria. The criteria are designed to identify individuals whose actions or practices, in the past, could be deemed detrimental to the welfare of children. All students must sign a document stating that their personal background does not involve issues and/or incidents that will prohibit their participation in a licensed child care facility.

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Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of young children’s typical and atypical characteristics based upon multiple influences on development and learning (birth – age 8).
  • Apply theories of child development to plan inclusive, developmentally appropriate curriculum
  • Create environments that are healthy, respectful supportive and challenging for all children
  • Understand the value and importance children’s families and cultural communities in shaping the development of the child
  • Develop respectful and reciprocal relationships with families that encourage families to be involved in their child’s development and learning
  • Demonstrate the skills of observation and record keeping as an inherent component of planning for the on-going development of the child
  • Use the skills of positive guidance in their interactions with children based upon an understanding of the child’s social/emotional development
  • Use the standards of professional practice with children and adults based upon NAEYC’s Code of Ethical Conduct

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High School Course Recommendations

The following courses are not required for entrance into the program, but they are highly recommended.

Algebra I

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Continuing Your Education

Southern Maine Community College has a 2 + 2 articulation Agreement with the University of Maine at Augusta’s Mental Health and Human Services Program.

We are in the process of developing a formal articulation agreement with the University of Maine at Farmington. Credits often transfer to other colleges with similar programs.

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