Early Childhood

Early childhood-the period from birth through age eight-is a distinct period of life that has value in itself as well as creating foundations for later years. (National Association for the Education of Young Children). According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of pre-school teachers is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2008-2018. Continued emphasis on the importance of early childhood education has led many states to offer full day and universal pre-school. This program provides job-related skills that are in high demand.

The early childhood degree program provides coursework and field experience to help you be a knowledgeable and competent early childhood professional. You will learn a philosophy of teaching and learning, child development, and how to design and provide experiences for children in science, social studies, literature, math, music, and art.

The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of working early childhood professionals who need further education, and the needs of recent high school graduates who wish to pursue a career in the early childhood field.

Field Experience

Extensive field experience is a vital and required piece of the early childhood degree. You will complete a minimum 112 hours of supervised field experience in a licensed or certified day care center, pre-kindergarten - 2nd grade, or nursery school. In addition, ECHD 206 requires a minimum 45 hours of supervised field experience.

Careers on Career Coach

The early childhood degree program provides in-demand skills. Graduates of this program are trained for positions as teachers at a child care center or nursery school, family child care providers, family workers, and teacher’s assistants in special education, elementary school, or Head Start.

Select a career below to connect to Career Coach and find information about that career including median salary and job postings.

Explore more career options: A.A.S.

Program Chair

Faculty - Anna Regula

Anna Regula

Associate Professor, Reading

Read more

Transfer Options

Among transfer options are programs offered at:

  • SUNY College at Cortland
  • Elmira College
  • Ithaca College
  • SUNY New Paltz
  • Keuka College
  • Roberts Wesleyan College

Degree Requirements

A.A.S.
Minimum Credits for Graduation: 61 credits

Fall Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15

ECHD110, Children and the Arts, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ECHD 110.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
ECHD125, Introduction to Early Childhood Education, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ECHD 125.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
ENGL100, Academic Writing I, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ENGL 100. A student exempted from ENGL 100 must substitute a 3-credit Liberal Arts Elective. The course should be selected in consultation with the student's advisor.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PSYC103, Introduction to Psychology, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
MATH@
Use Schedule Search for electives

Spring Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15

ECHD225, Early Childhood Curriculum Development, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ECHD 225.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
ENGL101, Academic Writing II, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
HSTY201, American History to 1877 Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
HSTY202, American History Since 1877 Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
ASTR101, Introductory Astronomy Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
BIOL114, Essentials of Nutrition Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ENVS101, Introduction to Environmental Science Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ENVS102, Technology and the Environment Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
RECR150, Play Across Cultures Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
SOCE150, Play Across Cultures Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi

Fall Term 2

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15

ECHD206, Infant/Toddler Environments and Curriculum, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ECHD 206.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
ENGL102, Approaches to Literature, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PSYC205, Childhood Psychology, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
SOCI201, Sociology of the Family, 3 cr.
Per Social Science Department approval, Early Childhood majors do not need to complete SOCI 101 prior to enrolling in SOCI 201.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
ART120, Drawing I Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ART130, Ceramics Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi

Spring Term 2

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 16

ECHD240, Techniques for Observing and Recording Young Children's Development, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ECHD 240.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
ECHD242, Guided Field Work - Early Childhood Education, 4 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ECHD 242. Honors option offered. See Program Chair.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
ENGL220, Literature for Children, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
ENGL201, Fundamentals of Speech Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ENGL204, Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
@
Use Schedule Search for electives


SUNY General Education & Tompkins Cortland Liberal Arts courses

Note: The @ symbol represents any course number or discipline. For example, BIOL @ means any course with a Biology course prefix. An @ alone means one course in any course discipline with any course number.

Degree Requirements

Micro-Credential: Early Childhood Assistant*
Minimum Credits for Graduation: 12 credits

ECHD 125           Introduction to Early Childhood Education                         3

ECHD 110           Children and the Arts                                                              3

ECHD 206           Infant/Toddler Environments and Curriculum                    3

ECHD 225           Early Childhood Curriculum Development                          3

Introduction to Early Childhood Education

Cross-listed as HUMS 125. This course focuses on the functioning of the total child, stressing the importance of early childhood education in a diverse society. Emphasis is placed upon the need to understand child growth and development, developmentally appropriate practices, positive guidance, and the importance of working with families. The students use observational worksheets in natural settings. Educational philosophy, legislation, public policy concerning the young child, and an overview of child care services are also discussed. The NYS (New York State) Common Core standards will be discussed. Students will be required to spend 20 hours of observation and participation in an early childhood setting throughout the semester.

Children and the Arts

This course is a study of the creative arts processes in visual art, drama, literature, music, and movement for students preparing to work with young children. Opportunities are given to identify and develop programs, lessons and activities to meet young children's needs in the area of creative arts. The value of the arts in early childhood, both as an important end and as tools for success in other areas is discussed (NAEYC).

Infant/Toddler Environments and Curriculum

Focuses on the education and care of infants and toddlers. The course examines the principles of planning a developmentally appropriate, safe, and healthy environment for children younger than three years old, and takes an in-depth look at the impact of cultures on the learning environment. The relationship between the infant/toddler learning environment and the curriculum is thoroughly investigated. The intent of the course is to develop a curriculum for infants and toddlers, that evolves around care-giving tasks and play (with the resulting adult-child interactions) that create meaningful growth-producing learning experiences for young children. Students spend 45 hours throughout the semester in an infant/toddler field placement.

Early Childhood Curriculum Development

Introduces and examines recent research in the field of early childhood development and uses it to develop curriculum for young children. Emergent, developmentally appropriate, anti-bias, and creative curriculum are discussed and integrated. Students demonstrate situations and analyze possible effects of methods discussed in class. Readings on methods and materials in the early childhood classroom are required.

* Please contact admissions. Financial aid restrictions apply. Student must complete 50% of micro-credential coursework at TC3 to earn credential.

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