Undergraduate Areas of Study

Early Childhood Studies

As expectations for the educational preparation of workers in the fields of early child care and education rise, SUNY Empire State College offers you the course work that prepares you to work and advance in the early child care and education profession, such as day care programs, infant/toddler and nursery school settings, pre-K and Head Start.

Your individually designed degree program may be an associate or bachelor’s degree, or both. You may develop a concentration in early childhood or a related field.

Empire State College offers the flexibility a child care provider needs. You can choose from a variety of opportunities at the college, including study groups, online courses and guided independent study.

Note: Empire State College does not offer undergraduate teacher-certification programs to teach in public schools. To find out about the teaching-certification requirements in your state, contact your state education department. In New York state, go to www.nysed.gov.


In addition to degree programs, the college provides you with the college-level academic preparation required for the children’s program administrator credential and the infant-toddler care and education credential offered by the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children (NYSAEYC). Call NYSAEYC at 518-867-3517 or visit www.nysaeyc.org for information.

Early Childhood Course Options

Early childhood studies are offered in a variety of formats across the college, including online courses, study groups, independent studies and residencies. See below for a sample of course options. For a complete listing of all available studies and online courses, please visit the Annual Learning Opportunities Inventory (LOI) at www.esc.edu/MyESC. For advice on what is available at the nearest New York state location of Empire State College, please contact the local representative listed below.

Center for Distance Learning Online Courses

  • Attachment: Continuity and Separation: Advanced
  • Attachment in Early Childhood
  • Child Development
  • Developing Infant and Toddler Programs
  • Developmental Neurobiology: The Human Lifespan
  • Exploring the Professions: Child Care Advanced
  • Exploring the Professions: Child Care Introductory
  • Human Learning: A Developmental Approach
  • Infant and Toddler Development: Advanced
  • Infant and Toddler Development: Introductory
  • Play, Fantasy and Reality
  • Supervising Quality Child Care

Collegewide Independent Studies

  • Children’s Program Administration Capstone
  • Children’s Storytelling in Development: Vivian Paley’s Work
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Financial Planning and Management of Children’s Programs
  • Issues and Trends in Early Childhood
  • Seminar in Children’s Program Administration
  • Sociology of the Family

Collegewide Study Groups

  • Autism
  • Designing Programs that are for Children and Families

Collegewide Residencies

  • Early Childhood
  • Administration of Early Childhood and School-Age Programs
  • Financial Planning for Early Childhood and School-Age Programs
  • Infant and Toddler Development within the Context of Family and Culture
  • Operations Management of Early Childhood and School-Age Programs
  • Professional Practices in Early Care and Education: Environment, Curriculum, Assessment and Evaluation

Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid

Because Empire State College is a public college and part of the State University of New York, undergraduate tuition and fees are among the lowest in the region.

A number of state and federal financial-aid programs are available for qualifying students, such as scholarships, grants and federal loans.

For more information about scholarships, grants or loan programs at Empire State College, contact our financial aid office:

Educational Incentive Program

The Educational Incentive Program (EIP) provides financial awards to further your education if you are income-eligible and currently working in a registered or licensed child care program.

To apply for an EIP award, call 800-295-9616 or email eip@tsg.suny.edu for an application form.

More Information

To learn more about Empire State College’s early childhood studies program, please contact the representative nearest you:

Center for Distance Learning
Tracy Galuski
800-847-3000, ext.3892

Central New York Center
Desalyn De-Souza

Genesee Valley Center
Barbara Pollock

Hudson Valley Center
Arlene Rider
845-517-1294, ext. 3418

Long Island Center
Marianne Giardini

Metropolitan Center
Gina Torino
718-667-7524, ext. 1795

Niagara Frontier Center
Jacqui Berger

Northeast Center
Efrat Levy
518-279-5180, ext. 5915