Instructor: Rachel Higgins
Early Childhood Education I prepares students for employment in early childhood education and related careers that involve working with children from birth to 8 years (3rd grade) and provides the foundations for study in higher education that leads to early childhood education and other child-related careers. A project-based approach that utilizes higher order thinking, communication, leadership, and management processes is recommended in order to integrate the study of suggested topics. Major course topics include: career paths in early childhood education; promoting child development and learning; building family and community relationships; observing, documenting, and assessing to support young children and families; using developmentally effective approaches; using content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum, and becoming an early childhood education professional. The course provides an overview of the history, theory, and foundations of early childhood education as well as exposure to types of programs, curricula, and services available to young children. Students examine basic principles of child development, importance of family, licensing, and elements of quality care of young children. The course addresses planning and guiding developmentally appropriate activities for young children in various childcare settings; developmentally appropriate practices of guidance and discipline; application of basic health, safety, and nutrition principles when working with children; overview of management and operation of licensed child care facilities or educational settings; child care regulations and licensing requirements; and employability skills. Intensive experiences in one or more early childhood settings, resumes, and career portfolios are required components. A standards-based plan for each student guides the laboratory/field experiences. Students are monitored in their laboratory/field experiences by the Early Childhood Education teacher. Student laboratory/field experiences may be either school-based or "on-the-job" in community-based early childhood education centers or in a combination of the two. Dual credit agreements with postsecondary programs are encouraged.
Early Childhood Education II prepares students for employment in early childhood education and related careers that involve working with children from birth to 8 years (3rd grade) and provides the foundations for study in higher education that leads to early childhood education and other child-related careers. ECE II is a sequential course that builds on the foundational knowledge and skills of Early Childhood Education I, which is a required prerequisite. In ECE II students further refine, develop, and document the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors gained in the foundational course. Major topics of ECE II include: overview of the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, safe and healthy learning environment, physical and intellectual competence, social and emotional development, relationships with families, program management, and professionalism. The course standards parallel the expectations and documentation required for Child Development Associate (CDA) credentialing. These include rigorous levels of self-critique and reflection; performance assessments by instructors, parents, and other professionals; comprehensive assessment of knowledge through a standardized exam; and other professional documentation. Extensive experiences in one or more early childhood education settings are required: a minimum total of 480 hours must be accrued in ECE I and ECE II. These experiences may be either school-based or "on-the-job" in community-based early childhood education centers, or in a combination of the two. A standards-based plan for each student guides the early childhood education experiences. Students are monitored in these experiences by the Early Childhood Education II teacher.