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Early
Childhood Education

Program Description

In the Early Childhood Education Program at the WRCC students will develop the knowledge, skills and experience to help you work effectively with young children aged birth to 8 and their families. These skills are based on industry standards and professional competencies in child development family and community, teaching and learning, health and safety, professionalism and program organization.

This program is great for you if you :are interested in the development of children, enjoy interpersonal communications and working with a variety of people, care about making a difference for children and families in your community, and you want to gain theoretical background and practical experience in the field of education and early education.

Participants in this program will learn how to practice and model effective communication, observation strategies, and develop partnerships with children and their families. They will learn how to employ strategies to maintain a safe, healthy and nurturing learning environment in childcare in school settings.

An important goal of this program will be to help students explore pathways and demonstrate preparedness for work and continuing study such as pursuing an AA degree with the Community College of Vermont and working towards Advanced Standing (Level III A) on the Vermont Early Childhood Career Ladder.

Level I

During year one of Early Childhood the focus will be on developing a fundamental understanding of early childhood education and preparing for work as an early childhood educator. The work of an early childhood educator is creative and intentional. Learning how to support the growth and development of young children through developmentally appropriate play experiences and practices enhances the success of the new early childhood educator. Course content includes, developing effective communication and relationship-building skills with individuals and small groups, designing, implementing and assessing early childhood environments, creating lesson plans and program materials.

Topics include the history of early childhood education, advocacy, family centered early childhood education, program and curriculum models, as well as development of the self as a professional. Students are required to participate in field work at local early childhood education programs.

Prerequisite: Students will need to have completed the equivalent credits to place them at the 11th grade level upon the time they enter the program. This means students need to have successfully completed a minimum two years of high school English; two years of high school math including Algebra, two years of Social Studies, one year of science, physical education and health requirements. Or the permission from the WRCC director to apply.

Students must have completed at least one core general education high school English course related to the pathway with a grade of 70 or better before they are eligible to apply for a program/pathway.

This course may also be offered for college credit. See Dual Enrollment Courses below.

Recommended reading level: Grade 9

Level II

In this course students will explore the development of the young child from conception to age eight, first through the lens of the typically developing child and then the child with diverse abilities. Course content includes: the development of the four learning domains; physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and language and the ways in which these developmental domains can be supported in all learners. Students will understand the importance of observation and assessment and will explore a variety of observation techniques and screening tools.

Topics include developmental theories, the history, philosophy, legislation, and recommended practices for supporting children with diverse abilities, family centered practice, early intervention, at risk populations, inclusion, and referrals. This course will be offered for college credit in Human Growth and Development and with completion, and one year experience working with groups of young children, make them eligible for work as an assistant teacher in an early childhood education program after graduation. Students are required to participate in field work at local early childhood education programs.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Early Childhood 1 with a grade of 75% or higher. Instructor recommendation.

This course may also be offered for college credit. See Dual Enrollment Courses below.

Your Instructor

Kim Freeman

I have been in the field of early childhood education for over thirty years working as a Family Child Care Provider, Lead Teacher, Center Director and Head Start Education Coordinator and a certified instructor for professional development through the Northern Lights Career Development Center. I am a member of the VtAEYC Task Force to professionalize the field of Early Childhood Education.

I decided to join WRCC as the Early Childhood Education instructor to round out my career where I started, as I was a student at the Windham Regional Career Center. I have a desire to help build the future early childhood education workforce and therefore impact young children for generations to come.