The Early Childhood Education Birth through Eight Years Old Certificate provides students with both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills training necessary for working with typical and atypical children from birth through eight years old.

Program Overview

What Will You Learn?


Graduates will learn the skills needed to advance in an already established career in educating young children in early childhood program.


In-State Tuition: $223/credit

Out-of-State / International Tuition: $429/credit

Some programs have additional program fees


2 Semesters

21 credits

Learn Online

This program may be completed 80% or more online.


  • High School Diploma or GED/HiSET.
  • Students taking this certificate must have either a current Child Development Associate Credential or a letter verifying employment in an ECE program. This program does not offer or provide verification of students’ classroom experience. No classroom experience is given with this certificate.


  • This program may be completed at QCC Worcester (Main Campus).
  • This program may be completed face-to-face.


The following program(s) have connections that can be completed alongside or applied to this program:

Associate in Arts

Early Childhood Education - Birth through Eight Years Old Option (Evening Only)

The Early Childhood Education associate degree program prepares students for responsible positions in the field of early education and care or for careers in other child-related areas.

Career Stats

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More Info
Course TitleCourse #Semester OfferedCreditsPrerequisites

Semester 1 (Fall)

  • Apply and get accepted to this program (Program Code: ECBC).
  • Register for and successfully complete all courses to graduate in two semesters.
  • Meet with ECE Advisor to discuss requirements of program.
  • Take College Placement Test for English, as needed.
Introduction to Early Childhood EducationECE 101F/S/SU3Placement into college level English
Growth & Development of the Young ChildECE 102F/S/SU3Placement into college level English
Family Issues & DynamicsECE 112F/S/SU3Placement into college level English

Semester 2 (Spring)

  • Meet with ECE Advisor to register and discuss entry into degree program.
  • Submit an Intent to Graduate Form, located on The Q.
Using Observation for Authentic Assessment of Young ChildrenECE 250S3ECE 101, ECE 102, ECE 112
Discipline: Guiding Children's BehaviorECE 255F/S3ECE 102
Early Childhood CurriculumECE 258S3ECE 102
ECE Elective---F/S/SU3 
Total Credits Required:  21 

Program Goals:

The Early Childhood Education Birth through Eight Years Old Certificate provides students with both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills training necessary for working with typical and atypical children from birth through eight years old.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  • Describe young children’s characteristics and needs and the multiple influences on development and learning.
  • Apply knowledge of development to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of family and community characteristics and describe methods for involving families and communities in their children’s development and learning.
  • Employ positive guidance strategies that are developmentally appropriate.
  • Integrate content knowledge with other disciplines to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum that promotes positive outcomes for children.
  • Engage in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice.
  • Value ethical standards and professional guidelines.
  • Demonstrate informed advocacy for children and the profession.
  • Identify and utilize professional resources.
  • Demonstrate ability to write and speak effectively.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of perse cultures.

Admissions Process:

Admissions inquiries should be directed to Prospective students may apply to the program of their choice by following the enrollment steps at

Program Admissions Requirements:

Students should note that some first semester courses carry minimum prerequisites. Refer to the program grid.

  • High School Diploma or GED/HiSET.
  • A letter verifying employment in an ECE program. This program does not offer or provide verification of students’ classroom experience. No classroom experience is given with this certificate.

CORI, SORI, Finger Printing & Drug Testing:

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI), Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI), Department of Children & Families (DCF) background checks and/or fingerprinting are required for certain mandatory courses. Drug testing is not required. Depending on the contents of these criminal background check(s), a student’s participation in an academic program that involves working with children, the disabled, or the elderly, or which includes an observation, practicum, or field placement, may not be allowed, and therefore may impact a student’s ability to complete program requirements. For more information, visit the CORI/SORI page.

Additional Cost:

See the Program Fees page.

Technical Performance Standards:

See the Technical Performance Standards page. (Note: Not all programs have technical performance standards).

Credit for Prior Learning:

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) allows students to use skills they already have towards a college degree or certificate. Work, life, volunteer and military experience may be translated into credit, allowing students to take fewer classes and earn their degree faster. CPL eliminates redundancies for students who have already earned credentials or mastered skills required for their program of study. Email for more information and eligibility.

  • Students with certifications or graduates of technical high school programs may be eligible to earn credit for prior learning.

Career Outlook:

Please consult the Massachusetts Career Information System at or the Occupational Outlook Handbook at for specific occupational information. The CIP code for this program is 13.1210.

Transfer Articulations & Opportunities:

Prospective students may learn more about transfer articulation agreements at More information regarding transfer opportunities is available at

Additional Information:

  • Students must pass all ECE courses with a grade of “C” or higher.
  • Students cannot take any ECE course more than twice.
  • This program does not offer or provide verification of students’ classroom experience. No classroom experience is given with this certificate.
  • Many of the required courses can be applied to the associate degree option(s).
Program Page

The Early Childhood Education program prepares you for responsible positions in the field of early care and education or for careers in other child-related areas. As a graduate, you will be qualified for career opportunities in Early Education and cares as a lead teacher and, depending upon experience, as an assistant director or a director. During the course of study, you will develop professional competencies and knowledge of the philosophy of early childhood education through exposure to theory and practice. Practical experience will be provided through weekly off-campus field placements and at the Early Childhood Education Lab School in the Quinsigamond’s Child Study Center. You will gain a basic knowledge of the growth and development of young children, and an understanding of their learning processes in carefully planned environments. 

Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator: Greg Mullaney,, 508.854.4433.

NAEYC Program Outcomes Data

The AA 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 current accreditation term runs from September 2015 through September 2022.

The Number of Program Completers for the Early Childhood Education Program

Academic YearNumber of program completers% of program completers who were attending full-time (at the time of completion)% of program completers who were attending part-time[1](at the time of completion)

*source cognos IRaP

[1]Part-time status is defined by the institution.

The Program Completion Rate for Early Childhood Education Program

Academic year in which a Fall cohort of full-time candidates enrolled in the program (select three sequential years)

Full time students – EC major or enrolled in ECE 101

Percentage of those candidates who completed the program within 150% of the published timeframePercentage of those candidates who completed the program within 100%, 200% (twice) or 300% (three times) of the published timeframe - 100% rate



28% ((2+3)/18)=28%

11% (2/18=11%)

100% rate



26% ((2+3)/19)=26%

11% (2/19=11%)

100% rate



18% ((1+2)/17)=18%

6% (1/17=11%)

100% rate




10% (2/21=10%)

100% Rate

*source cognos IRaP

**N/A full data not available at this time

The Fall-to-Fall Retention Rate for Early Childhood Education Program

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

*COVID Global Pandemic started Spring 2020

Meghan Martin

Professor Meghan Martin has been teaching both adjunct and fulltime for 18 years. Meghan holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology from Framingham State College and Master’s in Education from Anna Maria College. Meghan has over 25 years of experience working with children and families. These experiences have included: Infant/Toddler and Preschool classroom teacher, Education Director for a Boys and Girls Club, Family Advocate, Grant Administrator and Director of a child care program. Meghan is a contributing author and editor to the Massachusetts Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers.  Meghan teaches multiple courses in ECE and works directly with teachers currently working in the field of Early Childhood Education. 

Greg Mullaney
508.853.2300 ext 4820

Dr. Mullaney graduated Bridgewater State College with a dual undergraduate degree in Special Education and Elementary Education. He left education after a few years of public-school work. With the birth of his second child, he began a career as a family childcare provider that spanned 20 years. Dr. Mullaney attended Lesley University to obtain a Master’s in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction and became the president of the Association for Family Child Care Providers of Massachusetts for two years. Dr. Mullaney served as the Co-Chair of the Charles River Community Partnership for Children for several years, establishing a collaborative relationship between the family childcare providers, center-based providers, and public pre-school teachers in six communities. In 2007 he completed his doctorate in Child, Youth, and Family studies at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and continued to operate a family childcare business while working part time at Quinsigamond Community College. While at QCC he began doing work for NAEYC as program reviewer for colleges seeking to get their Associate Degree programs in Early Childhood Education accredited and in 2014 he was hired as full time faculty.

Karen O'Neill, M.Ed.

Karen has worked in the field of Early Education and Care for over 35 years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in ECE from Rivier College in Nashua, NH.  Karen began her career as a preschool and toddler teacher in community-based childcare programs in NH.  In 1991, she moved to Massachusetts and joined the YMCA of Central Massachusetts where she spent nearly 20 years working with children and families of all ages.  In her role as Child Care and Family Services Director at the YMCA, Karen was responsible for managing multiple sites including infant, toddler, preschool, kindergarten and school age programs and camps. She provided leadership and guidance regarding health and safety, curriculum development, family engagement, staff development, licensing, and accreditation. During her tenure at the YMCA, Karen served as faculty for the YMCA of the USA Child Care Certification program.  She spent time actively engaged in many community boards and committees including the YMCA of MA Public Policy Committee, Community Partnerships for Children, Together for Kids, WAAEYC and the QCC Early Childhood Advisory Board.  

In 2011, Karen joined Quinsigamond Community College as the Associate Director at the Children’s School while pursuing and completing her MA Degree in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University.  She also volunteered and worked in Shrewsbury Public Schools.  Karen has worked as a consultant for Edward Street Child Services and for Head Start regarding early childhood transitions, alignment and NAEYC accreditation.  After completing her master’s degree in May 2013, Karen began teaching in the Early Childhood Department at QCC. She taught one year as an adjunct faculty before becoming a fulltime faculty member of the ECE Department in September 2014. 

Karen currently serves on the Board of Directors at Edward Street; a community organization that promotes early childhood success.

Julie Tzipori

Julie began teaching at QCC as Adjunct Faculty in 2005, teaching evening classes. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Sciences from La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia, and her Master’s in Education from Worcester State University. Julie has held a variety of positions throughout her career. She was the Fitness Director at the Worcester Jewish Community Center before taking on a position with the Department of Youth Services (DYS) as the Educational Coordinator. During her 10 years at DYS, Julie was responsible for developing and implementing individualized education plans for adjudicated youth, ages 12-20, supporting their return to community schools, graduating high school or GED completion. Julie also supported youth who were eligible to complete courses from various community colleges in the state. While at DYS Julie developed a trauma sensitive yoga program for the young men to support the life skills and clinical components of their treatment. Following DYS, Julie worked as the Quality Assurance Associate and Document Control Manager at Tufts University’s BSL III laboratory. While at Tufts she taught Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) best practices to students in the Master’s of Global Health and Infectious Diseases program. Throughout this time Julie continued to teach as adjunct faculty for the early childhood program until she was hired as full-time faculty at QCC, in 2017.

Typical Preschool Option Student

  • Career Goal- Wants to work as a teacher or lead teacher in an Early Education Program, Family Child Care Program or Head Start.
  • Student gets 300 hours of work with children here on Campus
  • ( ECE 253 and ECE 254) to meet DEEC requirements
  • Students who are currently working in the field with preschool aged children may be eligible to do some of their student teaching at their worksite

Typical Early Childhood Education Pre-K to Grade 2 Option  Student

  • Career Goal- to teach in the Public School System grades Preschool – 2
  • Students get 150 hours of work with children and ARE NOT lead teacher certified
  • Students do their preschool student teaching with us and will do student teaching in either Kindergarten, First or second grade at the 4 year school
  • Students would enroll in the Department of Education Teacher Licensor program at the 4 year school get a BA in  Liberal Arts and a minor in Education
  • Students must pass the Communication and Literacy portions of the MTEL test before they are admitted into the ECE program at a four year school

Typical Elementary Education Student

  • Career Goal- to teach in the Public School System grades 1-6
  • Students would enroll in the Department of Education Teacher Licensor program at the 4 year school get a BA in  Liberal Arts and a minor in Education
  • Students must pass the Communication and Literacy portions of the MTEL test before they are admitted into the Elementary Education program at a four year school

Certificate Students-  Assistant Teacher, Infant and Toddler, Leadership in Early Education and Care, and School Age

  • Career Goal- to teach in an early education setting as an assistant teacher, infant and toddler teacher or school age provider or an Early Education and Care Director I or II
  • Each certificate is designed to meet current Department of Early Education and Care qualifications

The Professional Development Grant program is funded by the Department of Early Education and Care to assist current teachers in Early Education and Care program with beginning and continuing their education. If you currently work in an early education and care program please contact Rachel Wallace at or 508.751.7934. Thank you for your participation

Dual Language Program

QCC is actively involved in a pilot program to address the needs of dual language early childhood educators.

We currently have 20 family childcare providers taking early childhood courses that are being taught in a combination of English and Spanish according to the needs of the students.

The goal of the program is to impart early childhood content first in the student’s native language with a gradual increase of English proficiency over the four course sequence.

Tutors support the students on a weekly basis, in class and out of class, to make this transition.

Contact Information: Greg Mullaney, 508.853.2300, ext. 4820,

Tech Prep Program

Tech Prep is a program of study, which begins in high school, continues at a postsecondary institution and culminates in an associate degree, two‐year certificate, apprenticeship, or further postsecondary study in a career and technical field. Tech Prep in Massachusetts is delivered through a state wide network of consortia, each comprised of secondary schools, postsecondary institutions, employment and training providers, and business and industry. Collaboratively, consortium members develop and implement an integrated curriculum in applied academics, occupational education and workplace experiences.

The Early Childhood Department has a very strong partnership with the Worcester Vocational Technical High School. Selected students for WVTHS will participate in a month long internship at QCC at the end of their junior and senior years. This allows for an extremely smooth transition to the ECE Program.

Access to more information for QCC Tech Prep is located on the home page at‐prep.

Workforce (Evening) Program

Students who currently work in a DEEC licensed infant, toddler, or preschool program at least 35 hours per week for a minimum of 1 year, may be eligible to complete student teaching in their worksite.

Quinsigamond Community College has always been dedicated to the extension of education to people currently in their chosen field. The Early Childhood Department is no different offering flexible coursework and a variety of
programs to expand the knowledge base of the Educators currently working in the field of Early Childhood.

Students currently working at an EEC licensed center, family childcare, or under the public school system may be eligible to participate in the “Evening Capstone” classes. Students are required to follow the same course work as a traditional day student. While completing the Capstone coursework workforce students will complete the Student Supervised Participation requirement at their place of employment while also attending the QCC Early Childhood Education Lab School intermittently through both Fall and Spring semesters.

In addition workforce students will be observed at their place of employment by their field supervisor intermittently through both Fall and Spring semesters. All visits and observations are planned well in advance so that students, the field supervisor, and the administration of the EEC program (place of employment) have a set schedule.

Contact Information: Meghan Martin, 508.854.4436,

Q: How long will this program take?

A: A student may complete the Associate degree programs in as short a time as four or five semesters or as long a time as it takes doing one course a semester.  Many of our students go part time and take their time doing the work as well.

Q When are the courses offered?

A:  Courses for all of our programs are offered during the day, in the evening, on the weekends.

Q:  May I receive a degree through the evening division?

A:  Yes, if you are working in the field in a DEEC licensed program for a minimum of 1 year with infants, toddlers, or preschoolers, you may be eligible to complete your entire program in the evening and use your worksite for your student teaching experience.

Q: Can I do this program on-line?

A:  You can do many of the General Education requirements and limited Early Childhood courses on line.  Most departmental courses are offered on ground to assure the classroom discussion is rich for learning and sharing.

Q:  When does this program start?

A: A student may start the program any time of year.  The Capstone courses, which are part of clusters C & D must begin in the fall for part one and continue into the spring for part two.

Q: Is this program Accredited?

A:  Yes, Quinsigamond’s  Early Childhood Program received its accreditation in July of 2008 for six years without conditions from NAEYC’s Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation.

Q:  How do I get into this program?

A: Students must apply for admission to the college and specify their chosen major.  A high school transcript is required by the Admissions department.  Students must take the CPT, College Placement test in both English and math before enrolling for courses..

Q:  How much do courses cost?

A:  You can contact the Admissions office at 508-854-4262 the Registrar’s Office at 508-854-4257 or Financial Aid at 508-854-4261 for answers to financial questions.

Q:  May I receive prior learning experience credit for working in the field for several years?

A:   Credit can be earned through a portfolio system for prior learning.  To learn more about this option you can contact Career Placement Services at 508-854-4439.