Early Childhood Education in Massachusetts

There are more than 30 schools within the State of Massachusetts that have early childhood education degree programs. Read an overview of 10 of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

Early childhood education degree and certificate programs prepare teachers to work with infants and toddlers in daycare and preschool settings. These programs are available at more than 30 Massachusetts colleges. Profiled below are 10 of the largest schools offering programs. Participants in some programs can qualify for Massachusetts licensure in early childhood education.

Boston College

Boston College in Chestnut Hill is a private, 4-year university with an annual student population of over 14,000. Boston College's Lynch School of Education provides two graduate degree programs for Massachusetts students interested in early childhood education careers. The Master of Education in Early Childhood Teaching program prepares students to teach children from the preschool level through the second grade. The curriculum includes courses that focus on the teaching of specific subjects as well as general teaching methods and theories. The program also includes courses on special education, diverse learners, and speech disorders. Students are required to obtain practical experience in classroom settings.

The Master of Arts - Early Childhood Specialist program prepares students to work with young children in areas such as intervention programs, day-care, hospital, research and government settings. The program focuses on development but allows students to construct a concentration through elective courses.

Boston University

Boston University is located in Boston and has an enrollment of more than 32,000. BU's School of Education prepares students for a variety of careers in the field; graduates can go on to work with young children as teachers and administrators, serving diverse student populations. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education program take early childhood education, psychology, and sociology courses. Opportunities to gain hands-on experience are provided by Boston University's Early Childhood Learning Laboratory, which also students to work with and observe a diverse group of children between the ages of 2 and 5.

Students in the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education program take courses in curriculum design, classroom-based assessment of young children and topics in child development. Master's students also work in the Early Childhood Learning Laboratory. The master's degree program prepares students to take the Massachusetts state licensing exam in early childhood education. Boston University also offers a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies program in early childhood education, and a concentration in early childhood education in the Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Teaching program.

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater State University is located in Bridgewater and enrolls more than 11,000 students annually. Bridgewater offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in early childhood education. Undergraduate students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education that is designed to prepare students for public school licensure. Students in this program will learn to teach science, social studies, reading, and math to young children. Students will also complete a semester long supervised teaching experience. Undergraduates also have the option of earning a Bachelor of Science in Early Education and Care, which does not include the option of public school licensure. Graduate students can earn a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. This program also offers two options, one with licensure and one without licensure. Students seeking licensure will complete 31 credits in courses that cover topics like research, curriculum, and advocacy.

Bunker Hill Community College

Bunker Hill Community College, a public school with an enrollment of nearly 13,000, is located in Boston Bunker Hill offers two early childhood education programs: an associate's degree and a certificate. Students in the Associate of Science in Early Childhood Development program are required to earn 61 credit hours. Courses offered cover topics such as guidance and discipline, curriculum, and families and community. Students in this program will also gain hands-on experience with a practicum. Students enrolled in the Child Development Certificate program will complete 24 credit hours. Students will study psychology, behavior, and program environments. Graduates will be prepared to work as lead teachers in preschools or daycare programs.

North Shore Community College

North Shore Community College is a 2-year college located in Danvers, with a student population of nearly 8,000. Students at north shore can earn the Early Care and Education Certificate for Infant and Toddler Childcare, which prepares students for working with children between infancy and three years of age. The certificate program requires students to complete five courses. Some of the required courses cover child growth and development, curriculum for infants and toddlers, and at-risk infants and toddlers. Students who intend to continue their early childhood education studies at a 4-year college may be interested in the Associate of Arts in Childhood Development degree program. This program is designed for students who plan to seek certification to work in public school settings. The 2-year program requires students to complete courses in child growth and development, special needs children, and math for elementary school teachers. The program also requires students to complete a practicum. North Shore also offers the Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education, designed for students who wish to be certified as lead teachers in non-public school settings. Students in this program will complete human services and psychology courses in addition to growth and development and early childhood education courses. A.S. students will also complete field experience.

Northern Essex Community College

Northern Essex Community College is located in Haverhill. The 2-year college enrolls over 7,000 students a year. The school offers one program for students interested in early childhood education, the Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education. The Associate of Science degree requires students to complete between 67 and 69 credit hours of coursework. Students in this program will need to complete classes in preschool curriculum, language and reading development, and expressive learning activity. Students will also complete field work and a practicum.

Salem State University

Salem State University is located in the city of Salem. The school had an enrollment of more than 9,000 students in 2011. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Education: Early Education and Care program that prepares graduates for work in child care settings, but doesn't lead to licensure to teach in a public school. The joint Bachelor of Science/Master of Education in Early Childhood Education does offer a path to licensure. Required courses cover topics like literacy development, theories of thinking and learning, and science and mathematics in early childhood education. Students are also required to complete a practicum.

Springfield Technical Community College

Springfield Technical Community College is a 2-year college located in the city of Springfield. The school enrolls close to 7,000 students a year. Springfield students interested in early childhood education can earn an Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education at STCC. This program is designed for students who intend to work in private daycares, kindergartens, or preschools or other non-public environments. Students in the early childhood education program will need to complete at least 64 credit hours of course work. Some required courses include child psychology, infant and toddler care, and sociology of the family. Students in this program will also need to complete fieldwork and a practicum.

University of Massachusetts - Boston

The University of Massachusetts in Boston is a large public school that enrolls over 15,000 students. The school offers undergraduate and graduate early childhood education programs. Undergraduate students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Early Education and Care in Inclusive Settings. This program is designed to prepare students to work with young children with a range of abilities in a variety of settings. Students in this program can choose from one of 5 concentrations: early intervention, infant and toddler care and education, preschool education and care, administration and supervision, youth and community outreach, and early childhood licensure. Graduate students can earn a Master of Education in Early Childhood. This program includes a licensure and non-licensure option. The licensure track requires students to complete 37 credit hours that includes a practicum. The non-licensure option requires 36 credit hours to complete.

Worcester State University

Worcester State University is a 4-year university located in the city of Worcester. The school enrolls more than 6,000 students a year. Undergraduates can earn Worcester's Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. This program requires students to complete 42 credit hours of early childhood education courses in addition to the general education requirements for a bachelor's degree. Required courses include foundations of reading, early childhood education science, and early childhood education math. Graduate students at Worcester can earn a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. This program requires students to complete 34 credit hours. Students can choose from a licensure or non-licensure track. Students will study topics like foundations of education and research in education.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Early Childhood Education Programs Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Boston College 4-year, private, not-for-profit; small city Master of Education in Early Childhood Teaching,
Master of Arts - Early Childhood Specialist
$26,262 (graduate)*
Boston University 4-year, private, not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education,
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education,
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Early Childhood Education,
Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Teaching with a specialization in Early Childhood Education.
$48,436 (undergraduate)*
Bridgewater State University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Early Education and Care,
Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education,
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
In-state: $8,903, out-of-state: $15,043 (undergraduate)*
Bunker Hill Community College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Science in Early Childhood Development,
Early Childhood Development Certificate
In-state: $3,384, out-of-state: $8,520*
North Shore Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Early Care and Education Certificate Infant/Toddler Child Care,
Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Development,
Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education
In-state: $4,536, out-of-state: $10,104*
Northern Essex Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education In-state: $4,560, out-of-state: $10,344*
Salem State University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Science in Education: Early Education and Care
Bachelor of Science/Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
In-state: $9,246, out-of-state: $15,508 (undergraduate)*
Springfield Technical Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education In-state: $5,436, out-of-state: $11,946*
University of Massachusetts - Boston 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Early Education and Care in Inclusive Settings,
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
In-state: $12,682, out-of-state: $29,920 (undergraduate)*
Worcester State University 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education,
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
In-state: $8,857, out-of-state: $14,937 (undergraduate)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.


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