Your experience in the Early Childhood Education certificate program provides you with beginning knowledge and skills to implement positive learning experiences for young children. Six college classes, including one Practicum and two ECE electives, meet the requirements for lead teacher in an early childhood child care program in New Hampshire.

  • Experienced faculty and highly qualified, mentoring teachers in community placements provide real life opportunities to put college classroom learning into action
  • Partnerships for Practicum placements located throughout Rockingham and Strafford County.
  • Student starting in the ECE Certificate or Advanced Certificate can apply credits towards the degree at any point

Transfer Credit Policy 

In addition to Great Bay transfer credit policies, transfer of courses in Early Childhood Education more than five years old from the time of acceptance will be evaluated by the program coordinator on an individual basis.

Career Options

(fields of work someone with the degree might likely pursue)

  • Lead teacher or associate teacher in child care program
  • Placement in a before and after school program serving children K-6
  • Paraprofessional for a child with special needs in a public school
  • Paraprofessional in special education preschool or early intervention infant/toddler program

Related Degrees 

(other programs at the college in similar field of study)

Early Childhood Education Certificate

Course IDCourseTheoryLabCredits
ECE100GEarly Childhood Growth and Development303
ECE112GCurriculum Planning and Environments in ECE334
ECE206GSupporting the Special Needs Child303
ECE210GChild, Family and Community Relationships303
ECEXXXGEarly Childhood Education Elective*303
ECEXXXGEarly Childhood Education Elective*303
Total Credits19

*ECEXXX: ECE109, ECE116, ECE200, ECE203, ECE204, ECE214 or TCHP215, ECE250

Program-Specific Requirements

Students enrolled in the ECE program must demonstrate emotional stability to withstand the ever-changing circumstances and are able to respond quickly and appropriately as events require in the early childhood environment. Students are also expected to have the maturity to accept direction and guidance, exercise sound judgment, and maintain confidentiality and sensitive interpersonal relationships with teachers, fellow students, children and families.

Admissions Criteria

All students are welcome to enroll in Early Childhood classes; however, when enrolled in ECE112G, where field placement is required, they must be able to meet technical standards for the field and New Hampshire Child Care Licensing Bureau requirements for health and background checks for child care personnel.  It is recommended that students begin the background check process upon entering the ECE program if not already employed in a NH child care program.  See the department chair for more information. 

Prospective students with special needs requiring accommodations that may affect their practicum placement or employment options are advised to discuss specific career objectives with the program coordinator during the admissions process.

Technical Requirements

Technical Standards have been established to provide insight to students as to the skills and abilities required to function successfully in the ECE program and eventually the profession. Applicants who do not feel they can successfully meet these should contact the ECE program coordinator before applying to the program. Students enrolling in the Early Childhood Education program must have sufficient strength, stamina, motor coordination, and sensory capabilities to perform the following:

  • Standing for sustained periods of time, walking, running, bending, sitting on the floor and on child-size furniture to meet the child’s needs and accomplish tasks.
  • Frequent lifting, moving and transferring children, especially infants and toddlers.
  • Sufficient visual and hearing acuity to ensure a safe environment and the ability to respond quickly to children, colleagues, and professional partners in the event of an emergency.
  • Sufficient verbal ability to express and exchange information and ideas as well as to interpret important instructions to and from children, colleagues and parents.
  • Sufficient skills in written expression to accurately record children’s daily progress and milestones as well as medications administered, accident and suspected child abuse/neglect reports, etc.
  • Ability to work with frequent interruptions, to respond appropriately in unexpected situations, and to cope with extreme variations in workload and stress levels.
  • Students must have reliable transportation to travel to and from practicum settings and have sustained health as outlined in Child Care Personnel Health form to fulfill time commitment as agreed in the Practicum contract.
  • Ability to respond to children’s personal needs, including changing diapers, in a manner that safeguards the health and safety of the student, children, and staff.
  • Ability to work in a professional and respectful manner with a diverse range of children and their families including those from different races, cultures, religions, and ethnicities as well as children with a wide range of disabling conditions.
  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries in both the school and home environments.
  • Ability and disposition to adhere to and practice the Code of Ethical Conduct set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children http://www.naeyc.org/positionstatements/ethical_conduct.

Health and Practicum Considerations

  • Required GBCC Health Form on file with the Department chair prior to ECE112G if not completing site hours in work settings.
  • Required New Hampshire Child Care Personnel Health Form on file that indicates that the student has no apparent health problems that would prohibit him/her from caring for children prior to practicum.
  • Required background check of “clear” or “non-disqualifying” prior to practicum. The cost of the record check and fingerprinting is the responsibility of the student.
  • Completion of practicum hours during regular morning hours in order to meet the course requirements.
  • Transportation to and from the practicum site is the responsibility of the student.
  • Participation in an internship requires the student to follow the College Immunization Policy. Depending upon the site, the student may be required to possess and maintain professional liability insurance.
  • For unpaid internships, the student must possess and maintain accident insurance.
  • Faculty work closely to with students to identify appropriate placements for Practicum and take into consideration location of the facility, licensing status, mentor qualification and ages of children served. Current job sites may not be an option for all placements.
  • All practicum sites are subject to practicum coordinator approval.

Note: Students who do not successfully complete the health and background requirements will not be able to successfully complete the program.

Program Outcomes

The Early Childhood Education program meets the standards for teacher preparation according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Standard 1: Promoting Child Development and Learning

Students will explain and demonstrate the ability to support children in their development and learning by providing appropriate opportunities for physical, social, emotional, language and cognitive development.

Standard 2: Building Family and Community Relationships

Students will establish and maintain positive, productive and reciprocal relationships with colleagues, families and other professionals, work effectively as a member of an instructional team and communicate effectively with others to support development, learning and well-being. 

Standard 3: Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families

Students will be reflective practitioners who understand the goals, benefits and purposes of assessment.  They will be able to utilize a variety of assessment and evaluative strategies and tools, in partnership with families and other professionals in order to positively influence child development, including overall and individualized curriculum.

Standard 4: Using Developmentally Effective Approaches to Connect with Children and Families

Students will be able to establish and maintain positive, productive relationships with families, respect family choices and goals for children, communicate effectively and meaningfully with families and use families as a primary source of information in planning and meeting the needs of individual children and families. 

Standard 5: Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum

Students will design, implement and evaluate a meaningful, challenging and developmentally appropriate curriculum that demonstrates a wide array of teaching practices that reflect multiple content areas and academic subject as well as the child’s and family’s needs and interests. 

Standard 6: Becoming a Professional

Students will be active practitioners who continually evaluate their choices and actions on others, seek out opportunities to grow professionally, serve as advocates for young children and their families, improve quality of programs and service for young children, and demonstrate an awareness of and follow the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct.

Standard 7: Early Childhood Field Experience

Students will actively apply the knowledge and skills learned throughout their program in order to successfully promote the development and learning across all developmental domains for children in the early childhood years.

Early Childhood Education Tuition Assistance

This grant program is available through a partnership with Granite State College and the Division of Children Youth & Families, Department of Health and Human Resources. The goal of this program is to enable individuals working in the field of Early Care and Education to increase knowledge and skills, to obtain and maintain the NH Early Childhood Professional Credential. CCSNH students, working at least 20 hours per week in a NH licensed early childhood program are invited to apply. Eligible students may receive assistance for one ECE Course per term.

More information and the application can be located on the CCSNH website. https://www.ccsnh.edu/ccnh-foundation/early-childhood-education-tuition-assistance

Practicum Placement Sites

Here are examples of community sites where students have completed Practicum

  • Seacoast Community School
  • Live and Learn Early Learning Center
  • Stratham Circle Learning Center
  • Robin’s Childsplace
  • Imprints Day School
  • Appleseeds Day School
  • Strafford County Head Start
  • Great Bay Kids & Co.
  • Portsmouth Head Start
  • Portsmouth Early Education Program
  • Nurture and Nature Children’s Center
  • Rochester Child Care Center
  • My School
  • Kingston Children’s Center


Contact an Admissions Representative at (603) 427-7600 ex 7500 or gbadmissions@ccsnh.edu