Our Early Childhood Education program prepares you to be an active researcher of children and how they learn. You will learn how to support families as each child’s first educator, make connections between theory and practice, and discover that our profession is the ‘backbone’ of our workforce.

Hands on Practice

You will be involved in immediate, hands-on training in our nationally accredited laboratory school, the Child and Family Development Center. You are provided opportunities to work beside highly trained early childhood teachers, practice the skills you are learning, and complete assignments directly related to your studies.

Start Small and Build

Our program offers a sequence of stackable certificates in early childhood. Our entry-level certificate enables you to enter the early childhood profession in as few as 3 courses with the opportunity to build on your knowledge and skills and advance in your career, while building credits toward the Associate degree. All classes are taught by instructors that are passionate in their own work and our course offerings are face to face, 100% online, and offered year-round.

Accreditation Information

Graduates are prepared for immediate entry as competent professionals into the field of early childhood education as teachers in NH licensed or NAEYC accredited child care centers, Head Start or Early Head Start programs, family child care, and as Para educators in elementary schools.  Graduates may also decide to further their education at a four-year college for Pre-K – Grade 3 teacher certification or in other areas of the early childhood field.

The Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education at NHTI – Concord’s 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 July 2019 through July 2021.

The Early Childhood Education Degree program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


The Child and Family Studies Department at NHTI, Concord’s Community College is a hands-on, project-centered, competency and evidence based program that facilitates the growth of future teachers and leaders who are preparing to work with children, families, and communities.


The faculty and teaching staff of the CFS department view teaching as both an emotional and intellectual process.  The program aims to develop within students the ability to be curious observers of children and to be thoughtful educators who develop knowledge with children through interactive learning and play.

All early childhood (ECE) courses, except ECE 290C, require a weekly child care lab component where students will actively engage with young children to make connections between theory and practice, to carry out class assignments, and to 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.

Courses are offered day and evening.  This program, along with the Early Childhood Education Certificate and Advanced Certificate Programs, is also available 100% online.

Early Childhood Education Degree


Course NumberCourse TitleCLLABCR
Fall Semester
#ECE 101CGrowth and Development of the Young Child* ^303
#ECE 188CHealth, Safety and Nutrition in Early Childhood Education ^303
 ENGL 101CEnglish Composition404
 MATH 120CQuantitative Reasoning404
Spring Semester
#ECE 143CTeaching and Learning – STEAM^303
#ECE 167CPositive Behavior Guidance and Supporting Young Children with Challenging Behaviors^303
#ECE 215CInfant/Toddler Development and Programming^303
 ENGL 120MCCommunication: Mindful or   
 ENGL xxxCEnglish Literature Elective303
 PSYC 105CIntroduction to Psychology303


Fall Semester
#ECE 155CUsing Children’s Literature to Support Young Children’s Language and Literacy Development^303
#ECE 275CPracticum 1 – Observation, Interpretation, Assessment and Portfolio Documentation274
 XX xxxCHumanities/Fine Arts/Foreign Language Elective303
 XX xxxCLab Science Elective+324
 XX xxxCSocial Science Elective++303
Spring Semester
#ECE 242CChild, Family and Community303
#ECE 270CTeaching Young Children with Exceptionalities303
#ECE 276CPracticum 2 – Exploring Teaching: Implementing Responsive Emergent Curriculum274
#ECE 290CEarly Childhood Leadership Seminar101
 XX xxxCGeneral Elective303
¥ Students whose placement test scores suggest difficulty with lengthy and complex assignments are strongly advised to complete the program in 3 or more years.
# Indicates major field courses.
+ BIOL 100C, CHEM 100C, and PHYS 100C do not meet this requirement.
++ Any course with a prefix of ANTH, ECON, HIST, POLS, PSYC or SOCI (except HIST 104C and HIST 105C).
^ All students taking the following courses ECE 101C, ECE 143C, ECE 155C, ECE 167C, ECE 188C and ECE 215C will be charged a $25 Child and Family Development Center Lab fee for each class.

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

Child and Family Development Center, NHTI, Concord, NH
Concord Early Head Start, Concord, NH
Concord Head Start, Concord, NH
East Side Learning Center, Concord, NH
Franklin Head Start, Franklin, NH
The Learning Center at Concord Hospital, Concord, NH
Live and Learn, Lee, NH
Woodside Preschool and Child Care, Concord, NH

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to: 

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

This degree meets the training and education requirements for the State of NH Early Childhood Teacher Credential (Level 5)

Outcome measures may be viewed here.

Program Specific Requirements

  1. Lab Hours – All 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 and additional CFDC lab video viewing fee applies for the following classes taken (ECE 101C, ECE 143C, ECE 155C, ECE 167C, ECE 188C, and ECE 215C).  NHTI has an NAEYC accredited child care center/lab school (The Child and Family Development Center) to meet the needs of these required lab hours.  All students are expected to use the Child and Family Development Center unless they work full-time in a licensed child care center or are 100% online and live at a distance from the NHTI campus that prohibits coming to the CFDC. (CFDC lab video viewing fee still applies)
  2. Upon acceptance into the program, students must complete the following paperwork (either for participation at CFDC or documentation from their placement in an approved child care center – working full time or 100% online):
  • A complete set of electronic fingerprints completed by the Department of Safety;
  • Submission of a criminal record check, the background check must come back clear or non-disqualifying; please note that the cost associated with completion of 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 that 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
  • Student must be aware of the Health, Character, and Techical Standards required for this program (here in PDF), and must sign this document stating your understanding of what is required;
  • 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, complete their state’s child health care form, and complete any other paperwork that is required by child care licensing in their state.

  1. Students must have their own transportation to and from NHTI approved practicum sites in their senior year (students living on campus without transportation may complete their practicum at the CFDC.)
  2. Students must have a flexible schedule that allows them to spend weekday mornings and/or afternoons at their practicum site while taking classes.  There are no evening or weekend practicum placements.  Students should be prepared to plan any work hours around their course schedule (including child care lab and practicum hours) knowing that these hours will change each semester.
  3. All students must have access to a digital camera and video-capturing device to complete homework assignments.  The CFS department cannot award a degree unless faculty have seen students working effectively with young children in practicum.  100% online students will be video-taping themselves in action with young children during practicum to share with their practicum teachers on-line.

Early Childhood Education Scholarship Program

The Community College System of NH in partnership with the Division for Children, Youth, and Families (DHHS)to offer tuition assistance to child care providers who are entering or are currently in the field of Early Care and Education.  If you provide family child care, or work at least part time in a child care setting in New Hampshire, you may be eligible to received tuition assistance for Early Childhood Education courses offered through the CCSNH. Additional information may be accessed here.

Practicum Considerations

NHTI has developed excellent practicum opportunities for our students to foster hands-on leaning with simultaneously receiving credit.  Nonetheless, the college’s first priority must be to ensure that patients/clients/children/families are not place in jeopardy by students during learning experiences.  Therefore, students in internship, externship, practicum, service learning, and clinical experiences must demonstrate sufficient emotional stability to withstand the stresses, uncertainties and changing circumstances that characterize patient/client/child/family responsibilities.  Furthermore, the student is expected to have the emotional stability required to exercise sound judgement, accept direction and guidance from a supervisor or faculty member, and establish rapport and maintain sensitive interpersonal relationships and confidentiality with employees, customers, and/or patients/clients/children and their families.


“NHTI felt like a great place to start. They are affordable, convenient, have a compassionate staff, and are community based. The Early Childhood Education program changed my life through the experiences it provided me and with the people who guided me through it.”

Kaitlyn Marcella (class of 2019)

“NHTI has given me the opportunity to grow as an individual and an educator, not only by providing excellent education but by being involved with staff that care about your success. The Early Childhood Education program is made up of driven professionals who are dedicated to you, which has made my experience excellent to say the least.”

Ashley Yeaton (class of 2020)


of students qualify for financial aid