About our Early Childhood Education Associate Degree

The Early Childhood Education program is designed to prepare individuals as skilled professionals working with children 0-8 years of age. Graduates meet licensing standards for immediate entry into the field or to transfer to a four year institution. The coursework combines theory and practical experiences based on standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). In conjunction with the Early Childhood Education program, Spring Point Children’s Center provides quality educational experiences for preschool children, ages 3 to 5.

This on­-campus, NAEYC-accredited center is a valuable resource providing a laboratory setting for students in the program.

About our Education Programs

SMCC offers two education programs: Early Childhood Education and Education. The programs focus on different age/grade ranges, but both provide students with the foundational skills and experiences they need to enter their chosen fields. The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program is designed for students who are interested in teaching children from 0-8 years of age, including students in grades K-3. The Education (EDUC) program is designed for students who are interested in exploring education more broadly and/or those who wish to teach older students in specialized fields like English or Math. Both programs focus on the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions students need to make a difference in the lives of the children with whom they work. These skills are put to use as students engage in classroom settings and externships in the local community. Throughout each step of the way, students work with supportive and experienced faculty. Our goal is to create a community of learners who work (and play!) together with all students receiving the support they need to achieve their dreams.

Graduates of the ECE and EDUC programs pursue many different paths. Some enter the workforce as Ed. Tech. II in public school systems throughout the state. Others choose to become infant, toddler, or preschool teachers. Some open their own early childhood centers. Others continue on to earn their Bachelor’s Degree and become certified teachers. The University of Maine at Farmington delivers their Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at SMCC. Students in the EDUC program often choose to continue on for their Bachelor’s through the University of Maine system. For details about our Education program, visit our Education program webpage.

Out-of-State Licensure

If you are completing this program and will be seeking licensure in another state, please download our Out-of-State Licensure document.

Graduation Outcomes

  • Promote child development and learning.
  • Build family and community relationships.
  • Observe, document, and assess to support young children and families.
  • Demonstrate developmentally effective approaches.
  • Apply content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum.
  • Demonstrate professional characteristics.

What opportunities does this program provide?

SMCC graduates in this program have gone on to work as:

  • Preschool Teacher
  • Infant/Toddler Child Care Teacher
  • Child Care & Family Child Care Business Owner & Director
  • Early Childhood Program Administrator
  • Ed Tech 2

Continue Your Education

Available transfer agreements for this program include:

Estimated Full-Time Degree Completion Time


Please note, these estimates are based on a student taking an average of 15 credits per semester and do not include college preparatory or developmental courses.

Interested in viewing full program and course details?

Are you a current student?

Be sure to view the degree program requirements for your specific program. Log into MySMCC and click My Maine Guide, MyDegree to learn more.

Not ready to commit to a degree program? We may have other options that work for you.

Did you know that we offer a broad array of short-term workforce training programs that allow you to enter the workforce and start earning quickly? These programs are a great way to enter a career in your area of interest and to become accustomed to college classes. They are also often grant-funded (free of charge to trainees). And, if you find you want to keep going, we can help you find a related academic degree or certificate program of interest with which you can continue your education.

Learn More:


Costs & Financial Aid

This degree program may have specific associated costs which are important to know before attending. We encourage you to apply for financial aid which provides funds in the form of grants and scholarship (free), loans (need to repay) and student employment (earned money.)

Want to learn more?

Fill out a quick form and we’ll reach out to provide more info.

Ready to apply?

Learn how to apply and fill out our online application when you’re ready.

Contact Us:

Admissions: 207-741-5800 or 

Department Chair: Rachel Parse, 207-741-5729 or

A three-credit class averages


Full-time tuition & fees


*Additional program costs may apply.


South Portland, Brunswick & Online