Early Childhood Education: Infant to Grade 4

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Teaching young children is rewarding and inspiring! Our highly qualified faculty prepares students to be effective teachers of children aged infant to nine years. Graduates may transfer seamlessly to four-year institutions or immediately enter the early care and education profession.

Graduates who transfer within Pennsylvania may enter a four-year institution at the junior level where they will earn a baccalaureate degree and Pre-K to Grade 4 Pennsylvania certification required to teach pre-kindergarten to grade four in public and private schools.

Graduates who enter the early care and education profession are qualified to work as lead teachers in child care centers, Head Start programs, nursery schools, and assistant teachers in pre-kindergarten classrooms. With experience and additional education, graduates may be employed as program directors.


NCC's Early Childhood program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The entire program is available both on the Bethlehem and Monroe campuses, and online. English Language Learner (ELL) competencies are introduced in three courses and integrated in other early childhood courses. Knowledge and skills related to cultural, linguistic, ability diversity are also embedded in all courses. Observational and supervised field experiences with children from infancy through age nine occur in accredited campus lab schools, work-site classrooms and/or approved off-campus locations. As part of the field experience, students taking courses online are required to submit video documentation of their teaching. Students need access to digital video and still cameras.

The arts are integrated across all courses as symbol systems used to represent, express and construct meaning and understanding. The program's conceptual framework, Art as a Way of Learning®, was developed in partnership with Crayola LLC.

Proof of current health, child abuse, FBI, and criminal record clearances are required prior to enrolling in a course. Two letters of reference are also required.


  • Promoting Child Development and Learning: Students use evidence based knowledge of child development and learning to understand that each child's learning and development is unique based on cultural, linguistic, and ability diversity as well as other interacting influences to create safe, healthy, respectful and inclusive learning environments that provide responsive, developmentally appropriate arts integrated learning opportunities.
  • Building Family and Community Relationships: Students use evidence based knowledge to understand complex and diverse characteristics of families and communities using multiple perspectives to support each child's development and learning through collaborative relationships. 
  • Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families: Students use evidence based knowledge about systematic observation and the goals, benefits, and appropriate uses of assessment in partnership with families and other professionals to understand and make decisions about environments, curriculum, and interactions to support each child's development and learning.
  • Using Developmentally Effective Approaches: Students use evidence based knowledge to understand and build positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with children and families. Students apply arts integrated and developmentally appropriate approaches and Universal Design for Learning to support each child's development and learning.
  • Using Content to Build Meaningful Curriculum: Students use evidence based knowledge of subject areas, Universal Design for Learning, inquiry tools, and resources to design, implement, and evaluate curriculum and experiences to support each child's development and learning. 
  • Becoming a Professional: Students use evidence based knowledge of ethical guidelines and professional standards. They engage in continuous, collaborative learning and demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives to make informed decisions about advocating for sound practices and policies in early education.


A student must maintain a grade of "C" or better in all Early Childhood Education courses.