This program prepares students to be active researchers of children and how they learn. They learn to support families as each child’s first educator, make connections between theory and practice, and discover why this profession is the “backbone” of our workforce. Students are involved in immediate, hands-on training and provided opportunities to work beside highly trained early childhood teachers, practice the skills they are learning, and complete assignments directly related to their studies.

This program offers a sequence of stackable certificates. The entry-level certificate enables students to enter the early childhood profession in as few as three courses with the opportunity to build on their knowledge and skills and advance their career while building credits toward the associate degree.

All early childhood courses, except ECE 290C, require a weekly child care lab component where students actively engage with young children to make connections between theory and practice, carry out class assignments, and learn through observation and active play. Students taking concurrent courses can use the same lab time for all courses. Students completing practicum may use their practicum site as their lab hours for other courses taken concurrent with practicum.

This program can be completed entirely online!

Curriculum Abbreviations

  • CL – Number of lecture/classroom hours per week for the course
  • LAB – Number of simulation laboratory, laboratory or clinical hours per week for the course
  • CR – Number of credit hours for the course

First Year

Fall Semester
ECE 101CGrowth and Development of the Young Child1,2303
ECE 188CHealth, Safety, and Nutrition in Early Childhood Education1,2303
ENGL 101CEnglish Composition404
MATH 120CQuantitative Reasoning404
Spring Semester
ECE 143CTeaching and Learning – STEAM1,2303
ECE 167CPositive Behavior Guidance, Supporting Young Children w/ Challenging Behaviors1,2303
ECE 215CInfant/Toddler Development and Programming1,2303
ENGL 120MC/COMM 120MCCommunication: Mindful or   
ENGL xxxCEnglish Literature Elective303
PSYC 105CIntroduction to Psychology303

Second Year

Fall Semester
ECE 155CUsing Children’s Literature to Support Language, Literacy Development1,2303
ECE 275CPracticum 1 – Observation, Interpretation, Assessment, and Portfolio Documentation1274
XX xxxCHumanities/Fine Arts/Language elective303
XX xxxCLab Science elective3324
XX xxxCSocial Science elective3,4303
Spring Semester
ECE 242CChild, Family, and Community1303
ECE 270CTeaching Young Children with Exceptionalities1303
ECE 276CPracticum II – Exploring Teaching: Implementing Responsive Emergent Curriculum1274
ECE 290CEarly Childhood Leadership Seminar1101
XX xxxCGeneral elective303
Total Credits60

1Indicates major field course

2Students taking ECE 101C, ECE 143C, ECE 155C, ECE 167C, ECE 188C and ECE 215C will be charged a $25 NHTI ECE Lab fee for each class.

3BIOL 100C, CHEM 100C, and PHYS 100C do not meet this requirement.
4Any course with a prefix of ANTH, ECON, HIST, POLS, PSYC or SOCI (except HIST 104C and HIST 105C)

NOTE: Students whose placement test scores suggest difficulty with lengthy and complex assignments are strongly advised to complete the program in 3 or more years.

The Child and Family Studies program is hands-on, project-centered, and competency and evidence-based to facilitate the growth of future teachers and leaders preparing to work with children, families, and communities. Graduates are able to:

  • Understand young children’s characteristics and needs to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
  • Demonstrate that they know about, understand, and value the importance of creating respectful, reciprocal relationships to support and empower families in their communities.
  • Responsibly observe, document, and assess children in a manner that supports young children and families.
  • Understand developmentally effective approaches which emphasize positive relationships and supportive interactions to influence outcomes for individual children.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate learning experiences that promote a wide range of academic disciplines to build meaningful curriculum.
  • Identify and connect themselves as members of the early childhood profession.
  • Demonstrate a variety of early childhood field experiences.

Program Outcome Measures

# of Program Completers

Academic yearNumber of program completers% attending full-time at the time of completion% attending part-time at the time of completion

Program Completion Rate

Academic year in which fall cohort of full-time candidates enrolled % of candidates who completed
program within 150% of published time
% of candidates who completed program
within 100%, 200%, or 300% of published time
Fall 201639%48%
Fall 201760%60%
Fall 201850%55%

Institutional Selected Data: The fall-to-fall retention rate for the three most recently completed academic years

Academic Year% of part-time candidates enrolled in the program (% of total enrollment)Retention rate among part-time candidates% of full-time candidates enrolled in the program (% of total enrollment)Retention rate among
full-time candidates
Fall 2017-201855%53%45%67%
Fall 2018-201955%59%45%58%
Fall 2019-202071%47%29%85%


Graduates are prepared for immediate entry into the field of early childhood education as teachers in N.H.-licensed or NAEYC-accredited child care centers, Head Start or Early Head Start programs, family child care, and elementary schools as para-educators. Graduates may further their education at a four-year college for pre-K–grade 3 teacher certification or in other areas of the early childhood field. This degree meets the training and education requirements for the State of N.H. Early Childhood Teacher Credential, Level 5. 

The Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, The accreditation term runs from July 2019 through September 2026.

  • Students will spend designated hours each week with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or kindergarteners while taking early childhood courses. These hours will be considered a component of class participation.
  • Upon acceptance into the program, students must complete the following paperwork:
  • ° A complete set of electronic fingerprints completed by the Department of Safety
    • Submission of a criminal record check that comes back clear or non-disqualifying; the cost
      associated with the fingerprinting and criminal record check is the responsibility of the student.
    • Completion of the licensing child care personnel health form by a licensed health provider
      indicating the student is in good physical health and has no mental or emotional disturbances
      that would prohibit him/her from caring for children in a group setting
    • Signed confidentiality form
    • Other related documents distributed by the department chair
  • Out-of-state students who are taking classes 100% online will need to complete their state’s fingerprinting and background check, child health care form, and any other paperwork required by that state.
  • Students must have transportation to and from NHTI approved practicum sites in their senior year.
  • Students must have a flexible schedule that allows them to spend weekday mornings and/or afternoons at their practicum site while taking classes. Students should be prepared to plan work hours around their course schedule knowing that these hours will change each semester.
  • All students must have access to a digital camera and video-capturing device to complete assignments. Online students will record themselves during practicum to share with their practicum teachers online.

CCSNH partners with Granite State College to offer tuition assistance to child care providers who are entering or are currently working in the field of early care and education. Eligible individuals must be working at least 20 hours per week. For more information, contact Diana Menard, department chair of Child and Family Studies, at 603-271-6484 x4281 or For additional information, visit the CCSNH page on early childhood education tuition assistance here.

There is also a scholarship available for this program through T.E.A.C.H. NH (click here for flyer). The T.E.A.C.H. NH Scholarship Program supports the cost of tuition and books, offers paid release time from work for scholarship recipients, and has a bonus upon completing 9-12 credits within a 12-month period. To be eligible, applicants must live in N.H. and work at least 30 hours a week in a licensed childcare program. Information and applications are available on the N.H. Connections site.

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