The Early Childhood Education Program focuses on the education of young children (birth to age 8) in public and private schools and centers, homes, and other facilities in which children within this age range are served. Strong emphasis is also placed on developing relationships with the families of young children and working collaboratively with other professionals. The program offers a range of coursework encompassing infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary-aged children. Through student teaching, field placements, and practical learning, students develop competence in the use of developmentally appropriate practices. Main themes within the program include understanding and respecting family diversity, supporting families in their roles with young children, and addressing the needs of children with special needs in inclusive settings.
The program follows the personnel recommendations established by the Association for Teacher Educators (ATE), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).