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Student teacher in an early childhood education classroom
There is great joy in working with young children, but there is also a great amount you need to know to effectively support their development. NECC’s Early Childhood Education Program provides the foundation for a career teaching kindergarten or preschool or working in other early childhood education programs.

Why Choose NECC?

Mass Transfer - links goes to the Mass Department of Ed Mass Transfer website

NECC’s program emphasizes the study of the young child as an individual, as part of a family system, and as a participant in group settings interacting with other children of similar age. In this program you will:

  • Understand how children grow, develop and learn through coursework and field experience
  • Participate in practicums and field placements, which allows you to apply theory and skills under guidance and supervision in classrooms and educational programs
  • Plan and implement lesson plans, learning activities, and developmentally appropriate curriculum
  • Take advantage of MassTransfer Pathways and other transfer agreements to save thousands of dollars on your bachelor’s degree

Because of NECC

You will be well prepared to both seek a job in an early childhood learning environment and to continue your education to pursue a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related filed. After completing this program you can:

  • Pursue entry-level positions in area pre-schools, kindergartens, and Head Start Programs
  • Seamlessly transfer earned credits to the public or private four-year college of your choice to pursue a bachelor’s degree
  • Go on to become a certified lead teacher or early childhood care center director



NECC has definitely helped me get the education I need at an affordable cost.”

Maeve Hurley, Early Childhood Education


Hear What Jody Carson, Early Childhood Education Faculty, Has to Say

View video on the NECC YouTube Channel.

Career Paths & Job Market

Career Paths

Career Paths

Career Options

Graduates of the Early Childhood Education Program will be prepared to assume a professional role in the education of young children. Professional Career Opportunities as state certified Lead Teachers and/or child care center Directors (depending on the length of experience) are available for ECE Program graduates.

State Certified Lead Teachers or Child Care Center Directors can receive more information via the Early Education & Care (EEC) website.

Students who want to teach in public schools and/or who would like more information regarding Massachusetts licensing requirements can visit the Department of Education (DOE) website.

Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes - Early Childhood Education Associate Degree

Student Learning Outcomes – Early Childhood Education Associate Degree

  • Integrate knowledge of child growth and development when working with young children birth to age 8
  • Determine appropriate guidance techniques for interacting with young children
  • Develop methods to build respectful, reciprocal relationships with families and community agencies on behalf of young children
  • Plan a safe and healthy environment for young children according to state and national standards
  • Create learning environments and design curriculum based on developmentally appropriate practice
  • Compare and contrast observation techniques to support the assessment of young children
  • Develop cooperative and collaborative relationships with colleagues in early childhood settings to ensure quality programming
  • Examine ethical standards expected of early childhood educators to determine professional responsibilities to children, families, colleagues, and communities.

Courses, Requirements, and Program Notes



NAEYC Accreditation SealThe AS Early Childhood Education Degree at Northern Essex is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The current accreditation term runs from August 2021 through September 2027.

Faculty & Contact

Program Coordinator

Program Coordinator

Deirdre Budzyna, B.A., M.Ed., Program Coordinator

Office: C-300C, (Spurk Building, Haverhill)
Phone: 978-556-3456

Director of Career Pathways in Early Childhood Education

Director of Career Pathways in Early Childhood Education

Doris L. Buckley, Ed.D., Director

Office: C-300-D, (Spurk Building, Haverhill)
Phone: 978-556-3374

Faculty Contact Information

Faculty Contact Information

Deirdre Budzyna, B.A., M.Ed., Program Coordinator

Office: C-300C, (Spurk Building, Haverhill)
Phone: 978-556-3456

Adjunct Faculty Contact Information

Adjunct Faculty Contact Information

Kathleen Bartolini

Kirsten Kortz

Barbara Moverman

Melanie Shipon

Office Hours

Please note: Office hours may change. If no office hours appear below use the contacts above to schedule an appointment.

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