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Early Childhood Studies - A.S.

The Early Childhood Associate of Science Degree Program involves students in a course of study that integrates theory and practice, while offering a challenging curriculum that promotes the value of early childhood studies and the early care profession. The 2-year program is rigorous; students must complete 200 hours of student teaching experiences, 12 courses relative to Early Care and Education, and additional required courses to fulfill A.S. degree requirements.

Make a Difference - One Child at a Time

Read Aloud 15 MinutesThe Early Care and Education profession focuses on the most formative years of human development- caring for children from infancy to age 6. The intentional, purposeful, and meaningful experiences Early Childhood Educators provide to young children are critical for learning and growth. Research in the field of brain development tells us that the care and early learning experiences we provide for children lay the foundation for their future social, emotional, and academic success.

High-quality child care services, staffed with knowledgeable Early Childhood providers, contributes to the economic development of our community and workforce. When parents feel secure and comfortable with the child care services their children receive; they are more productive employees – having the ability to work knowing their children are receiving the best in early education and care. Children need adults who understand and support the early stages of development, as well as the needs of today’s professional parent. Trained early childhood professionals help children, families, and society - one child at a time.

A student teaches a toddler about farm animals with sensory toys.

Sound Like Something You Would Like to Do?

Come to SUNY Canton and we will show you how. Our curriculum in Early Childhood Studies is a challenging and rewarding combination of coursework, practical experiences, and off campus student teaching fieldwork. Undergraduates observe and work with children every semester and gain valuable hands-on experience that encourages you to put your knowledge to work. All that we do and teach is based on recognized principles of developmentally appropriate practice, family-centered care, and the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct. We hold ourselves and our students to high standards of best practices. Upon graduation you will be qualified to go directly to work or to transfer on to a 4 year degree. We take pride in working closely with individual students to tailor their degree and fieldwork to their career goals. With an A.S. degree in Early Childhood Studies you will not only help to shape the future of children's lives, you will shape your own.

Early Childhood Students

Students in this Major:

  • Participate in student teaching off campus field-based experiences in various child care environments including: Head Start Programs, Universal Pre-K and Kindergarten Public School Classrooms, Child Care Centers, Family Child Care Provider Homes, Nursery and Pre-School settings.
  • Enroll in a course of study offering 12 courses specific to Early Childhood Care and Education along with general Liberal Arts courses leading to an Associate of Science Degree.
  • Take part in professional development opportunities offered through seminars, workshops, and our full-day Annual Early Childhood Conference, held every fall on our campus.
  • Acquire knowledge and skills to prepare for student teaching experiences in our Early Childhood Undergraduate Teacher Center, offering resources for all subjects, and a large collection of children’s books.
  • Prepare for rewarding careers in Early Care & Education or for transfer to 4-year Teacher Ed. or Child Development Degree Programs.

Career Opportunities:

  • Pre-school & Child Care Center Lead Teacher, Assistant Teacher
  • Public School: Teacher Assistant
  • Head Start: Lead Teacher, Ass't Teacher
  • Self Employed: Child Care or Nursery School Owner
  • Family Child Care Provider
  • Au Pair
  • Child Care Center Director (Bachelor’s Degree required)
Placement Rates

Employment statistics are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014-2024 Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Career Outlook:

  • U.S. Department of Labor lists Child Care Worker, Elementary Teacher and Teacher Assistant among the 30 occupations with the largest projected employment growth from 2010-2020.
  • Certification requirements are increasing for Early Care and Education providers. Associate and Bachelor Degrees are necessary to work in lead positions in child care facilities and Head Start programs.
  • Changes in society, economic community development initiatives, and the workforce demand an increase in the availability of high-quality early child care and education options for families and children from infancy to pre-kindergarten.

Transfer Opportunities:

  • SUNY Cobleskill*
  • SUNY Plattsburgh* (Child and Family Services)
  • SUNY Oneonta (Child Development and Family Studies)
  • SUNY Cortland
  • SUNY Brockport

* Articulation agreements in effect.

Admission Requirements:

  • Refer to the table of high school course prerequisites for admission.
  • Students must meet entrance requirements and be eligible for enrollment in: Composition and the Spoken Word  (ENGL 101) and a College-level GER 1 Math Course (MATH 106, *MATH 115 or MATH 121) recommended. *transfers to Bachelor Teacher Education Programs
  • Students who do not meet ECHD admission requirements may enroll in *preparatory level courses (*ENGL 097/101) and/or (*MATH 100/106) in the first semester.
  • Student must pass all preparatory courses and have a minimum 2.0 GPA for admittance to ECHD program.
  • Transfer students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA for admittance to the ECHD major.
  • Graduates of BOCES and Early Childhood Occupations programs may be eligible for 3–6 college credits toward the Early Childhood Program at SUNY Canton. Refer to the College Catalog for a list of BOCES Programs for which we have articulation agreements.


  • Students must receive a minimum 2.5 (C+) in Student Teaching Experience I (ECHD 201) to enroll in Student Teaching Experience II (ECHD 202).
  • All Early Childhood students must agree to be fingerprinted as part of a criminal background check mandated by the NYS Office of Children & Families.
  • Students are required to complete courses in Identification of Child Abuse & Neglect, First Aid, and CPR.
  • Early Childhood students must have evidence of a recent physical exam and updated immunizations and seek a Health Clearance from the College’s Davis Health Center.
  • For off-campus student teaching experiences (ECHD 201 and ECHD 202) students will need to arrange for transportation to their assigned placement sites.

Semester I Credits

ECHD 101 Introduction to Early Childhood 3
ENGL 101 Composition and the Spoken Word (GER 10) 3
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology (GER 3) 3
FYEP 101 First Year Experience 1
General Elective (GER 1-9) 3
Science Elective w/lab (GER 2)** 4

Semester II Credits

ECHD 121 Wellness in Young Children 3
ECHD 131 Infants and Toddlers 3
ENGL 216 Children's Literature (GER 7) 3
PSYC 220 Child Development 3
Math Elective (GER 1)** 3

Semester III Credits

ECHD 125 Curriculum Development 3
ECHD 201 Student Teaching Experience I w/ Seminar 4
ECHD 250 Children with Special Needs 3
  Arts Elective or Foreign Language (GER 8 or 9) 3-4
History Elective (GER 4, 5, or 6) 3

Semester IV Credits

ECHD 202 Student Teaching Experience II w/ Seminar 6
ECHD 200 Planning Prog. for Young Children 3
ECHD 285 Issues & Policies in Early Care & Education* 3
General Elective (GER 1-9) 3

* Fulfills writing intensive requirement.

** One college-level mathematics course (Intermediate Algebra, Math for Elementary Teachers, or Survey of Math recommended) and one science course with a lab are required.

GER = General Education Requirement

NOTE: Early Childhood students must meet seven out of ten General Education Requirements and successfully complete the SUNY Canton Computer Competency requirement.

Early Childhood Program
Dr. Maureen Powers-Maiocco

Ms. Christina Martin
Instructor & Student Teacher Supervisor
Office: Cook Hall 134