Early Childhood Degree and Certificate
Associate of Science

Early Childhood Education

Earn a Degree Earn a Certificate

Program Overview

The Early Childhood Education Program at Naugatuck Valley Community College is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, www.naeyc.org. The accreditation term runs from March 2019 through March 2026.

Program Overview

Earn a degree

  • Degree options include:
  • Career-oriented students are prepared for beginning positions in Early Childhood Education. Typical positions for which graduates are qualified include: Lead Teacher or Assistant Teacher in a Birth-5 Early Childhood Program or a State of CT Certified Teacher, Pre-K-Grade 3 Program. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the Early Childhood Teacher Credential (ECTC), a competency-based credential awarded by the Connecticut State Office of Early Childhood, which allows the graduate to meet the educational requirements to work in a Connecticut state-funded preschool program. 
  • A variety of transfer options are available. 

Earn a certificate 

A Certificate in Early Childhood Education is available to students who do not wish to pursue a full two-year course of study.

Cynthia Meo
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Career Possibilities

Career Possibilities


Some career opportunities may require additional education beyond an associates degree.

Additional Details

Enter the job market, gain credentials for career advancement, or get on a path to transfer to a four-year teacher certification program.

If you’ve ever enjoyed working with young children, why not consider it as a career choice? If you’re already working with children, why not further your education in the field? Whether you enjoy working with infants or toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners or children in grades 1-3, our program may be just the place for you.

Our faculty have decades of experience working with young children, and can offer you not only theory, but real, practical classroom applications.  You will also have the opportunity to observe, participate and student teach with young children at the college’s Child Development Center Laboratory School, a nationally accredited center that serves children ages 18 months to 5 years of age, using the most current teaching techniques and curriculum.

To be formally admitted into the program, students must receive a grade of C- or better in each ECE course and meet the state requirements for background checks before working with young children.



Child Development Center Lab School

The Student Teacher Experience

In addition to providing high quality care and early childhood education, another important component of the Child Development Center laboratory school (CDC) is the student teaching experience.

Practicum Experiences

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program requirements include practicum experiences in CDC laboratory school classrooms as well as opportunities to observe and participate in a variety of early childhood programs. Student teachers are observers in the classroom settings as well as active participants, writing and implementing lessons approved by the student teaching supervisor. All lesson plans and activities are supervised by ECE faculty and CDC staff.

Practical Applications

The CDC affords student teachers the opportunity to take the theories and strategies that are taught in courses and practically apply their interpretations of them under the guidance and supervision of CDC staff and ECE faculty.

Students who have a current and valid Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) for preschool are eligible to receive up to 6 credits toward the ECE A.S. Degree Program. Students who are interested in obtaining a CDA from the Council for Professional Recognition can take 12 ECE credits (four 3-credit courses) that cover the CDA competency areas.  These credits would also apply to the ECE A.S. Degree Program.

Certificate Programs

Certificate Programs

The certificate program consists of thirty (30) credits in Early Childhood Education. These courses are designed to develop the basic skills and knowledge necessary in Early Childhood Education. The curriculum is a form of a connector, or intensified refresher program, for those who have either been away from academic studies for a while and/or have been engaged in group child care without formal training in the area. For further information, contact the Program Coordinator. 

Early Childhood Education- Related Programs

Student Success

Where does this take me?


Academic & Transfer

This program is eligible for Transfer to an ECE Teacher Certification Program at CT State Universities, to UConn's Human Development and Family Sciences Programs Program and to Charter Oak College's Child Studies Program. Talk to your advisor.

Career Paths

Our programs and certificates will prepare you to immediately enter the job market, credential you to advance in your career or put you on the path to transfer to a four-year teacher certification program. Whichever career path you choose, our Early Childhood Education program can give you a great start.

  • Lead Teacher or Assistant Teacher in a Birth-5 Early Childhood Program
  • State of CT Certified Teacher, Pre-K-Grade 3
  • Career Options such as Connecticut Birth-to-Three Providers and State of Connecticut Child Care Center Licensing Specialists and Public School Paraprofessionals 


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The Hundred Languages of Children