Early Childhood Education

Associate in Applied Science Degree

Program Description:

Early Childhood Education is critical to child success in the classroom and influences life-long achievement. Through partnerships with families, reflective practice and evidence-based knowledge, students will graduate prepared to work with today’s children and families. The program curriculum emphasizes Developmentally Appropriate Practice and standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The ENTIRE program is offered on-line and live to meet the needs of any aspiring educator looking to earn their Associate in Applied Science Early Childhood Degree. Even the field experience courses!

“I have learned how to provide a better space, enriching activities, plan whole units around a child's interest versus just a day to day plan, and to make sure developmentally appropriate toys and diverse toys are provided. I can become a teacher, or I can become a great teacher by going above and beyond, by tackling harder tasks, by pushing myself. I have seen what I am truly capable of doing for myself. I have seen what I have to offer to the field. ”
—Brandy Stanley, second year student in Early Childhood Education

Students also have the unique opportunity to request field placement at our on-campus Family Lab and Nature Exploration Center where families and their young children come together on the Hinckley campus to engage in nature-based learning and thought provoking, Early Childhood STEAM activities.

Through these hands on learning experiences, our early childhood students will:

  • Foster growth in all developmental domains for children birth to age eight
  • Demonstrate ethical behavior set by the NAEYC
  • Partner with families to ensure childhood success
  • Observe and assess child skills and development
  • Use observation to inform curriculum planning

More information on Early Childhood Education

Mission & Outcomes

The primary goal of the Education Program is to prepare a skilled and knowledgeable workforce for young children. By supplying high quality training, the Education Program can positively influence the lives of children, enabling them to perform at their personal best academically as well as socially. All students are urged to work closely with their Advisor to ensure they meet all prerequisites and are prepared to be successful in practica.

KVCC ECE Program Curriculum and Philosophy Encompasses…

  • Standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Current Trends
  • Evidence-based Practice
  • Developmentally Appropriate Practice
  • Educators as Lifelong Learners
  • Integration of nature, agriculture, STEM, and wellness into the Early Childhood experience



  •  All students will demonstrate professional and ethical behaviors with children, colleagues, and families in early childhood settings grounded in the history, NAEYC Code of Ethics, and generally accepted ongoing evolution of the field.
  •  All students will demonstrate with increasing skill, a philosophy of working with  young children in a developmentally appropriate manner considering the children’s age, individual development and social and cultural context.
  •  All students will demonstrate skill in completing observations of children, recording them in an objective manner, and applying the data gathered to planning for typically and atypically developing children.
  •  All students will plan and implement environments, lesson plans and curriculum to support young children’s development in all domains.
  •  All students will identify community resources available to support themselves, children and families for ongoing growth and development.



  • The outcomes above list what you will achieve by the end of your coursework in the Early Childhood Education degree program at KVCC.
  • We know you will have learned a great deal in your coursework, have changed some of your ideas about young children and will have new ideas of how to work with them.
  • The practicums will give you many hours of hands-on practice to grow in skills.
  • We urge you to join  the Early Childhood program at KVCC.  It will make a difference in your life and in the lives of the children and families with whom you work!

Graduation Requirements

FALL FIRST SEMESTER (ECE offered online and face to face) CREDIT HOURS
ECE 131 Introduction to Early Childhood Education 3
ECE 132 Early Language and Literacy Development 3
ECE 136 An Introduction to Field Placement and Program Success 1
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology 3
COM 104 or 105 Introduction to Communication / Interpersonal Communication 3
ENG 101 College Composition 3
SPRING SECOND SEMESTER (ECE offered online & face to face)
ECE 156 Practicum I Observing and Recording in the field (90 hours in the field – 30 in class) (prerequisite ECE131, ECE132 and ECE136) 4
ECE 152 Children’s Literature 3
ECE 140 Development: Infants and Toddlers 3
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology 3
MAT 111 Elements of Math 3
FALL THIRD SEMESTER (ECE offered online and face to face)
ECE 200 Practicum II (90 hours in the field – 30 in class) (prerequisite ECE131, ECE132 ECE156 and ECE136) 4
ECE 158 Including Children with Special Needs 3
ECE 145 Development: Preschool and Primary Ages 3
PSY 215 Developmental Psychology 3
Elective: Humanities 3
SPRING FOURTH SEMESTER (ECE offered online and face to face)
ECE 250 Practicum III (180 hours in the field – 30 in class) (prerequisite ECE131, ECE 132, ECE156 ECE200 and ECE136) 6
ECE 210 Classroom Management 3
ECE 215 Weaving in STEAM Education 3
Elective: Lab Science 4
Total Credits  63

Field Placements

ECE 156

Field Placement I – The Use of Observation in the Field

This 90-hour field placement provides students with an introductory experience in an early childhood setting. Through various observation methods, students will gain a deeper understanding of disabilities, as well as behavior and discipline in early childhood.  Observations of curricula, environments, activity plans and child development will inform teaching practices with intentionality. Students will apply essential skills in an Early Childhood Setting such as professionalism, intentionality and reflection.  The Code of Ethical Conduct guides this first experience in the early childhood field and supports interactions with children, families and the supervising teacher.  Students will participate in 30 hours of discussions to reflect on their field experiences.  Students must pass fingerprinting and DHHS background checks to participate in this course.


ECE 200

Field Experience II – Partnerships in Early Childhood  

This 90-hour field experience provides collaborative opportunities to gain a better understanding of children with disabilities in addition to behavior and discipline strategies.  Students will create goals and amend their educational philosophy to reflect their growth across this fieldwork experience.  Observations of children will inform lesson planning and implementation with a focus on STEAM.  The Code of Ethical Conduct influences this experience on a deeper level through the student’s interactions with colleagues, para-professionals, collaborators and support staff in addition to children and families.  Students will participate in 30 hours of discussions to reflect on their field experiences.  Students must pass fingerprinting and DHHS background checks to participate in this course.

ECE 250

Field Experience III – A Focus on Families and Professional Development     

This 180 hour field experience focuses on partnerships with families and professional development topics. Students will use self-reflection to become an effective educator.  They will create goals and finalize their educational philosophy to reflect their growth across the ECE program.  The Code of Ethical Conduct influences this experience as students work with their cooperating teacher to attend home visits, parent/teacher conferences, family events and other opportunities.  Students will participate in 30 hours of discussions to reflect on their field experiences.  Students must pass fingerprinting and DHHS background checks to participate in this course.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students must pass a DHHS background check, completed yearly. In addition, students must apply to receive fingerprinting clearance from the Maine Department Education prior to registering for their first field experience, ECE 156. This card expires five years from the date of issue. The total cost for the process is $75 and this fee will processed through financial aid. You may apply for a waiver if you can provide a current fingerprinting card. Individual students who have engaged in certain criminal activity could be denied access to gainful employment in their intended field. Field placement sites may also deny access to their site if they have been convicted of certain crimes or substantiated cases found by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Career Opportunities & Placement

Below are some careers that might match your interests, education, and lifestyle:

  • School based employment as an Education Technician II
  • Developmental therapist with a young child with disabilities
  • Classroom teacher in a privately owned child care, nursery school, or preschool business
  • Nanny
  • Head Start Assistant Teacher or Classroom Aide
  • Starting your own Family Child Care business


Online Degree Option

Earn your Associates of Science in  Early Childhood Education Online!

Thanks to the Samuel L. Cohen Foundation, KVCC received a grant to develop and offer an online degree option for early childhood education. The grant provides opportunities for educators already working with children in early childhood settings to have an opportunity to continue learning and enhance the quality of their early childhood environments.

  • The courses are the same as on campus with the same assignments, books, grading, and experiences.
  • In many instances, practicums can be completed in your work site.
  • Apply on the KVCC website.
  • For more information contact the Early Childhood Education program at ece@kvcc.me.edu


Online Practica
Program Faculty use technology to enable students to participate in their Practicums from anywhere! Students who are working in the field may be able to use their current Early Childhood work environment for  their field placement.

Why would you consider earning your degree online?

  • It’s a good option for those working full time.
  • This program meets family needs.
  • It is a great opportunity to earn a degree from a distance.
  • It is especially good if you live further away.
  • It fits into a busy lifestyle.
  • This is a great option if you are self motivated and don’t get overwhelmed easily.


Call us at 207-453-3602, or email at ece@kvcc.me.edu 
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