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Master of Education in Early Childhood Education: Home

Early childhood education is a branch of education theory that relates to the teaching of children from birth up to the age of eight.

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education is a term that refers to educational programs and strategies geared toward children from birth to the age of eight.

This time period is widely considered the most vulnerable and crucial stage of a person's life.

Early childhood education often focuses on guiding children to learn through play. The term commonly refers to preschool or infant/child care programs.

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Early Childhood Education Careers

Careers in early childhood and education include:

  • Preschool Teacher: These teachers work with children ages three to five who are not yet in kindergarten. The educational requirements vary by state. Some require only a high school diploma and a certification, while others require a four-year degree.
  • Kindergarten Teacher: This position may be with a public or private school and may require a degree and certification, depending on the state.
  • Teacher for First, Second, and Third Grades: These elementary school positions are considered to be part of early childhood education. They teach a full range basic academic subjects to a class rather than specializing. A bachelor's degree is required and a certification may be needed, depending on the state.
  • Teacher Assistant or Paraeducator: The assistant works in the classroom under the direction of the lead teacher. Often they work with one or more students at a time. This position often does not require a degree.
  • Childcare Worker: Nannies, babysitters, and workers at childcare centers usually perform basic duties such as feeding and bathing in addition to play and activities that may be mentally stimulating. An associate's degree in early childhood development or a credential may result in a higher salary.
  • Childcare Center Administrator: The director of a childcare facility may be required by a state to have a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education or a certification in Child Development. This position trains and supervises the staff as well as performing the administrative duties of the facility.
  • Special Education Teacher: This position often requires additional certification beyond that for a teacher. The special education teacher would work with children who have special needs, including mental, physical, and emotional challenges.

Information from:

Study of Early Childhood Education at Lincoln University

Program Goals

The Early Childhood Education PreK-4 program at Lincoln University is designed to prepare students to become highly qualified ECE professionals in order to teach in the surrounding and urban school settings.  The goals of the program are to understand development, cognition, and learning for children from birth to age 9; master subject matter content and pedagogy for PreK-4; understand and administer assessment tools: PreK-4; develop the ability to establish family and community collaboration partnerships: PreK-4; be aware of professionalism required to serve in PreK-4 learning environments; and acquire knowledge about adaptations and accommodations for diverse learners, including English Language Learners, in inclusive settings. The program provides students with opportunities to develop the required skills, knowledge and dispositions to be competitive in acquiring teaching positions in public and private schools from PreK-4 and to be academically prepared to attend graduate school.

View/download Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Early Childhood Education summary document

Professional Licensure General Disclosure

  • develop/implement/modify curriculum and instruction that promote children’s development and learning (PDE I, NAEYC** 1, 4)
  • plan and deliver instruction in the content areas of language development, literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, arts and humanities, and motor development and health established by PDE Pre K – 4 Guidelines and PDE Academic Standards (PDE II, NAEYC 4, 5)
  • identify and administer a variety of assessment instruments and interpret results for the purpose of guiding instructional decisions (PDE III, NAEYC 3)
  • articulate and demonstrate means of partnering with families through effective communication and linking families to supportive community resources (PDE IV, NAEYC 2, 4)
  • establish a positive social context for learning, set developmentally appropriate expectations for all children, and provide appropriate behavior support (PDE V, NAEYC 1, 3, 6)
  • employ effective instructional strategies, accommodations, and adaptations to meet the needs of diverse learners (PDE Inclusion & ELL, NAEYC 1, 3)

*Student Learning Outcomes are based on competency categories as specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). SLO 6 is based on required PDE competencies for accommodations and adaptations for students with disabilities in an inclusive setting and competencies for meeting the instructional needs of English Language Learners (ELL)

**NAEYC = National Association for the Education of Young Children

Please see the University Catalog for program requirements.