Do you love working with children? An Associate Degree or Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Dean College will prepare you for a rewarding career in teaching or child care.

Program Overview

Designed especially for working adults, this part-time program combines a strong academic foundation with practical experience in the Children’s Center, Dean’s on-campus, accredited preschool. All of our faculty members hold certification from the Massachusetts Office for Child Care Services/Department of Early Education and Care. 

The mission of the Early Childhood Education program is to provide a theoretical and practical foundation for observing, understanding and meeting the diverse psychosocial development needs to the young child in the classroom.

Associate Degree 

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Request more information about the associate degree in Early Childhood Education. 


Below you will find a table of course numbers, course names and the credits required to earn an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Course Number  Course Name  Credit Required Total Credits 
ENG 111 Composition I  3  
ENG 112 Composition II  3  
SPC 101  Communication Fundamentals 3  
Core Distribution  Mathematics Elective  3  
Core Distribution  Lab Science Elective 4  
Core Distribution  Arts Elective  3  
Core Distribution  Humanities Elective  3  
Core Distribution  Natural Science and Mathematics Elective 3  
Core Distribution  Social Science Elective 3  
  Total Core    28
EDU 111 Introduction to Early Childhood Education  3  
EDU 130  Classroom Behavior Management 3  
EDU 231 Curriculum for Young Children  3  
EDU 280/281 Field Observation and Participation  3  
PSY 111 General Psychology  3  
EDU 251 or PSY 211 Child Growth and Development or Child Development  3  
EDU 261  The Diverse Learner  3  
PSY 240  Cognitive Psychology  3  
EDU 285  Observation and Behavior  3  
  Total Credits    27
  Elective (choose 2 at 3 credits each) 3  
  Total Electives    6
  Total Credits  61 61

Certificate Program

Launch your career as a child care provider or teacher with the Early Childhood Education certificate at Dean College. This 12-credit certificate program fulfills the requirements for qualification from the Massachusetts Office for Childcare Services/Department of Early Education and Care.

Learn more about the Early Childhood Education certificate program at Dean College.

Requirements for Certification 

Dean College offers an associate degree and bachelor’s degree in early childhood education which prepares students for certification through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) as Preschool Teacher, Lead Teacher and Infant-Toddler Teacher enabling students to prepare for career opportunities with young children from infancy through age six in the mixed delivery system outside the public schools. Students are provided with professional preparation in understanding the developmental stages of young children, developmentally appropriate teaching methodologies, adaptive curriculum planning, partnering with families and evaluation of children and programs.

The Early Childhood program is designed specifically for EEC certification in Massachusetts and certification may not be required for this purpose in other states. The institution has not determined whether this program meets other states’ requirements for certification or professional licensure. Dean College’s Program Coordinator of Early Childhood Education works individually with out of state students who are considering certification and will provide appropriate contact information for these students. For further information, please contact Joanne Hogan, Program Coordinator of Early Childhood Education at 508-541-1525 or Students should verify whether this program will meet their home state’s or their intended state’s practice requirements for licensure and/or certification.

Information regarding the Massachusetts certification process and Dean College’s Early Childhood Program can be found below.

Curriculum Overview

The certificate in Early Childhood Education is designed to provide students the perfect balance between practical and theoretical learning to prepare graduates for a career as a child care provider or for transfer to a baccalaureate program in education studies.


  • Child Growth and Development
  • Early Childhood Education Electives

The Early Childhood Education associate degree program at Dean is designed to provide you with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge in the fundamentals of childcare and education for young children. 


  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • Curriculum for Young Children
  • Field Observation and Participation
  • General Psychology
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Learning and Memory
  • Children's Literature

Skills Acquired

Through the course of study, students will be provided an opportunity to learn how to:

  • Objectively observe children's behavior and accurately record observations
  • Clearly articulate the connections between child development theory and observed behavior
  • Demonstrate a solid understanding of child development and be able to consistently apply this to their interactions with young children within the classroom
  • Set up and adapt educational environments addressing diversity of children to meet their social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs
  • Plan, implement then adapt developmental and active learning experiences, addressing diversity of children
  • Develop collaborative relationships with families of children, essentially linking home and school

Uniquely Dean 

  • A broad business foundation for a well-rounded and multi-faceted education.
  • A holistic approach that utilizes case studies, traditional and real-world learning to keep up with trends and remain current with the today’s fast-moving world. 
  • The opportunity to interact with business leaders through cutting-edge partnerships through in-class and out of class experiences second to none.