Education: Early Childhood (Birth to 4th Grade)


The Education: Early Childhood (Birth to 4th Grade) Program develops the knowledge and competence of students interested in teaching or working in related careers with children birth through fourth grade. The Program provides a sound theoretical foundation in principles of child growth and development from the prenatal period through the primary years, as well as a functional understanding of programs and curricula appropriate for young children. Skills emphasized include child observation, curriculum planning for diverse learners, advocacy, and interpersonal and communication abilities.

Upon completion of the Program students receive an Associate in Arts degree and may either enter the workforce or transfer to a baccalaureate program in Education.

Because the curriculum supports the needs of those wishing to pursue a variety of options including transfer, it is highly recommended that students consult Program advisors, catalogs, and transfer worksheets available in the Career and Transfer Center in order to make appropriate course selections.

Graduates of the Program will be prepared to work as childcare practitioners and directors, parent educators, children's recreation staff, teacher assistants and instructional aides. Graduates who wish to become certified teachers will need to transfer to and complete a Pennsylvania Department of Education approved teacher certification program at a four year college or university. 

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Education: Early Childhood degree program graduates will be able to:

  • Identify key theories of child development 
  • Responsibly apply systemic observation, documentation, and other assessment techniques, in partnership with families and other professionals
  • Design, implement, and assess differentiated curricula and experiences to positively influence the development of every child
  • Demonstrate ethical and professional standards and make decisions as part of continuous collaborative learning, informed reflective practice, and diverse field experiences
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills in the discourse of the discipline.

Program Entry Requirements:

Students are required to satisfy placement at the time of admission. Students identified as needing developmental work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate developmental English and mathematics courses as part of the program.

Because students will be required to observe and work with young children the Program requires students to meet the requirements of the Child Protective Services Law, 23 Pa. C.S.A., section 6344 (relating to prospective child care personnel). Students must therefore present up-to-date Pennsylvania criminal history reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history reports, Department of Public Welfare (child abuse) reports, and health clearances, clearly stating that they are eligible to work with children. (Up-to-date clearance is defined as being no more than 12 months old on the first day of working with children.) Failure to produce up-to-date clearances or a change of clearance status may result in a student's removal from the program. A student who believes that an error of fact has been made in his/her removal may appeal that decision. Information regarding the appeal procedure will be provided with the letter of removal.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

To qualify for the Associate in Arts (A.A.) Degree in Education: Early Childhood (Birth-4th grade) program, a student must complete a minimum of 62 credit hours as described in the course listing below. Students enrolled this program who are also enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Proficiency Certificate must complete an additional course, ED 151: Health, Safety and Nutrition of Young Children, resulting in 65 credits. In addition, the student must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0, and a minimum grade of "C" in all Education courses. During their matriculation in the Education: Early Childhood (Birth-4th grade), it is strongly recommended that students meet with a designated Education academic advisor to choose their courses. Students whose behavior is viewed as inconsistent with professional standards may be dropped from the curriculum pending a departmental hearing.

Prior Learning Assessment:

Students may be eligible to apply for credits for prior learning. Interested students should contact the program coordinator for further information regarding the criteria and an application.

Course Sequence:

Semester 1

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
ENGL 101 - English Composition I   3 credits Writing, Research, Info Lit 1
CIS 103 - Computer Applications & Concepts   3 credits Technological Competency
ED 105 - Foundations of Early Childhood Education   3 credits  
PSYC 101 - Introduction to Psychology   3 credits Cultural Analysis & Interpretation
MATH 151 - Linear Mathematics or

MATH 152 - Probability or
MATH 123 - Mathematical Principles I

For MATH 151 or MATH 152:  FNMT 118 with a grade of "C" or better or placement in  MATH 161 or higher
For MATH 123: FNMT 017 or FNMT 019 completed or placement in FNMT 118 or higher

3 credits Quantitative Reasoning

Semester 2

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
ENGL 102 - The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade of "C" or better 3 credits Writing, Research, Info Lit 2
ED 135 - Family and Community Relationships   3 credits  
MATH 133 - Mathematical Principles II or
MATH 161 - Precalculus I 
For MATH 133: MATH 123
For MATH 161: FNMT 118 with a C or better or MATH 161(or higher) placement 
3 credits  
PSYC 201 - Child Psychology PSYC 101 3 credits  
ED 204 - Curriculum and Instruction: Engaging Young Children in the Learning Process or
ED 214 - Cognition and Learning in the Classroom
ED 105
ENGL 101 and ED 105 or ED 201
3 credits  

Semester 3

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
ED 222 - Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood PSYC 201ED 204 or
ED 214
3 credits  
ED 230 - Integrating the Arts into Early Childhood Education ED 105 3 credits  
ED 245 - Assessment of Young Children ED 204 or ED 214 3 credits  
BIOL 106 - General Biology I   4 credits Scientific Reasoning
ED 250 - Infant and Toddler Development and Curriculum ED 204 or ED 214 3 credits  

Semester 4

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.
ED 255 - Teaching English Language Learners ED 105 or ED 201 and ED 204 or ED 214 3 credits  
ED 265 - Introduction to Special Education and Inclusive Practices ED 105 or ED 201 and PSYC 201 or PSYC 209 or PSYC 215 3 credits  
HIST 101 - United States History: Colonial America through the Revolutionary Era or
HIST 102 - United States History: The Civil War and the 19th Century or
HIST 103 - United States History: The 20th Century and Beyond
  3 credits  
ED 290 - Early Childhood Education Practicum ED 222 and ED 245 3 credits  
ENGL 115 - Public Speaking   3 credits Oral Communication/Creative Expression

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate:


Directed Electives should be selected in consultation with an advisor based on career goals and requirements of the institution to which the student plans to transfer. Note that many baccalaureate programs in education require two semesters of college level math and two semesters of lab science.

Students who enter the College at the MATH 161 level or higher can complete this program in 62 credits. Students who enter the College at a lower level on the Math placement exam will need to take FNMT 118 - Intermediate Algebra and thus will need 65 credits to graduate.

Students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Proficiency Certificate should also complete ED 151 - Health, Safety and Nutrition of Young Children

General Education Requirements:

All general education requirements necessary for graduation are met through the courses in the program as indicated above. Students who wish to take courses that differ from the general education courses indicated above must complete a course substitution request form. To access the form, login to the MyCCP portal, and in the Student tab, under Electronic Forms, click on the Records and Registration Forms link, then choose Request For Course Substitution Of Graduation Requirement link. A more detailed explanation of the College’s general education requirements is also available.

For More Information, Contact:

The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8450; or call the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.