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Early Childhood Education Major

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Why Study Early Childhood Education?

The Early Childhood Education major teaches the tools needed to help a young child establish an educational foundation for the rest of their lives. The first five years of a person’s life are pivotal to their long-term development. As an early childhood educator, you can contribute to a child’s most significant period of cognitive, social and emotional development. Your skills will always be in demand and your expertise will truly make the difference in the life of a child.

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Why Study Early Childhood Education at Eastern?

Eastern graduates the greatest number of Early Childhood majors in Connecticut. Early Childhood students become communities of learners as they prepare to become future teachers in a cohort model. Faculty members and teacher candidates are active participants in the nationally renowned Center for Early Childhood Education and the nationally accredited model preschool Child and Family Development Resource Center, and as partners in regional schools throughout eastern Connecticut. Graduates can earn their advanced master’s degree in Education at Eastern with one additional year of study.

Teacher and children playing
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Salary Potential


Median salary Elementary Education


Salary range Elementary Education

* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hands-on Learning

Teacher in classroom

Undergraduate Research

Students serve as assistants on research projects through the Center for Early Childhood Education. They use sophisticated recording technology to observe, record and interpret preschoolers' behavior to enhance teaching methods. They also attend national conferences to present their research with faculty mentors.

Student teacher reading a book to children

Student Teaching

Early Childhood Education majors complete part of their clinical experience at the on-campus Child and Family Development Resource Center, working closely with pre-school children and professional staff.

Members of the education club

Education Club

The Education Club sponsors activities and events to inform students about careers in education while providing members with professional development opportunities in the field of education.

Eastern Aspiring Educators

Career Options

Students who pursue undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood Education can have rewarding and successful careers in a variety of positions, including:

  • Preschool Teacher
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • First, Second and Third-Grade Teacher
  • Childcare Provider
  • Childcare Center Director
  • Special Education Teacher (Preschool/Kindergarten)

Successful Alumni

Graduates of Eastern’s Early Childhood Education program are teachers and leaders in many of Connecticut’s schools. In recent years, more than half of graduates have secured early childhood education positions shortly after completing the program. Other graduates serve as reading consultants, technology coordinators and mentor teachers.

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For more information

Dr. Theresa Bouley
(860) 465-0069

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Alumni Testimonials

Alyssa Zebrowski ’15

Alyssa Zebrowski ’15

Early Childhood Education and English double-major Alyssa Zebrowski recently earned a master’s degree in bilingual/multicultural education and now works with young English language learners in Stamford. “Eastern’s early childhood education program fully prepared me to be a classroom teacher right out of college. The unique research experiences I had as an undergraduate have given me an alternative perspective to teaching that I use each day.”

Kristin Hambidge ’07

Kristin Hambidge ’07

Psychology major Kristin Hambidge is a psychologist at MedOptions and the University of Connecticut. “At Eastern, I completed an internship at a local psychiatric hospital, which was my first experience providing direct clinical services for those with mental health concerns. Eastern’s psychology faculty always made me feel welcome and supported in my academic and professional endeavors.”

Chamari Davis ’14
Dream Charter School

Chamari Davis ’14

Early Childhood Education and Sociology double-major Chamari Davis is a third-grade teacher at Dream Charter School in New York City. “Eastern’s education program provided me the opportunity to gain experience in different classrooms throughout Connecticut. I was able to develop my own teaching philosophy and put theory into practice.”

Kimberly Depaolis ’15
Newington Public Schools

Kimberly Depaolis ’15

Early Childhood Education and Psychology double-major Kimberly Depaolis is a third-grade teacher at Newington Public Schools. “I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher and help learners grow into empathetic human beings. Through a wide range of fieldwork experiences and the opportunity to work closely with professors, I became the teacher I am today!”

Heather Standish ’15
Development Resource Center

Heather Standish ’15

Early Childhood Education and Psychology double-major Heather Standish is a lead preschool teacher at Eastern’s Child and Family Development Resource Center. “Through the programs I studied, I was able to practice teaching in a diverse community, engage in academic research and give national presentations. I now have unique skills and experiences that I can use to mold future teachers.”

Jennifer Wolff ’12
Wallingford Public Schools

Jennifer Wolff ’12

Early Childhood Education and Sociology double-major Jennifer Wolff teaches at Cook Hill Elementary School in Wallingford. “I transferred to Eastern after discovering the phenomenal opportunities available in the Center for Early Childhood Education. I was involved in many research projects and gained priceless experience in the field of education.”