Early Childhood Studies

As expectations for the educational preparation of workers in the fields of early care and education rise, SUNY Empire State College offers you the coursework 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, preschool programs, 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 studies or a related field.

SUNY Empire 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: SUNY Empire does not offer teacher certification programs at the undergraduate level 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 the New York State Office of Teaching Initiatives

Early Childhood Courses

Early childhood studies are offered in a variety of modes across the college including online courses, study groups, independent studies, and residencies. See below for a sample of courses. For a complete listing of all available studies and online courses, please visit the college catalog.

Examples of Courses Available

  • Attachment in Early Childhood
  • Child Development
  • Curriculum Models in Early Childhood Education
  • Curriculum and Environments for Infants and Toddlers
  • Curriculum and Environments for Preschoolers
  • Early Childhood Professionalism, Family, & Culture
  • Emergent Literacy
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition in Children’s Programs
  • Infant\Toddler Development
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • Meaning and Development of Play
  • Observation and Assessment of Children
  • Young Children and Technology

Early Childhood Credentials

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 NYAEYC for information.

Children’s Program Administrator Credential

The Children’s Programs Administrator Credential has been developed by the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children to assure that child care administrators have the knowledge and skills needed to provide excellent programs. The credential requires a combination of formal education and practical experience bound together by an individual portfolio. Empire State College has all of the courses needed in a variety of modes to meet the formal college education requirements. Please visit NYAEYC for information about how to apply for the credential and submit the portfolio.

Children’s Programs Administration Credential Required Courses

  • Children’s Programs: Administration
  • Children’s Programs: Financial Planning and Budgeting
  • Children’s Programs: Ethical and Professional Standards
  • Children’s Programs: Design and Supervision
  • Children’s Programs Administration: Capstone

Students have the option of pursuing the CPAC as part of an Educational Studies degree or as part of a Community and Human Services degree, depending upon their background, goals, and interests. Students are advised to work with their mentors to determine which area of study is the best fit. (Please link to appropriate page in CHS here.)

The Infant Toddler Care and Education Credential

The Infant Toddler Care and Education Credential of New York State is designed to provide for and be recognized as a standard by which to measure an individual’s competence in the following topics areas: Infant and Toddler Development; Observation and Recording; Environment and Curriculum; and Family and Culture. Please visit the New York Association for the Education of Young Children (NYAEYC) for information about how to apply for the credential and submit the portfolio.

Infant Toddler Care and Education Credential Required Courses

  • Infant/Toddler Development
  • Curriculum and Environments for Infants and Toddlers
  • Early Childhood Professionalism, Family, & Culture

Early Childhood Residency

During the January term, students can choose from several early childhood-related studies that use a blended model combining online or independent study component with one onsite meeting at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester.