Early childhood education

Associates of Arts Degree (Day & DAPS)



Early Childhood Education Program at Fisher College

Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."  As a student in the Early Childhood Education Program at Fisher College, you will take the first steps to not only change your world, but to change the lives and worlds of many children. If you see yourself providing a developmentally appropriate, safe, and loving learning environment for children, then Fisher's Early Childhood Education Program is a perfect match for you. Small class sizes allow faculty to work very closely with students and really get to know them individually.

Students in the Early Childhood Education program not only enjoy guest speakers from the field of Early Childhood Education, but are able to take advantage of all the city of Boston has to offer.  Imagine how much fun it will be to take a group of children to The Boston Public Garden to experience Robert McCloskey's book, Make Way for Ducklings, first hand. Springtime is the perfect season to bring this tour to life.


Program Requirements

This program offers excellent preparation for a career in any child-care profession through a program with a broad base of theoretical and practical knowledge. Courses in this program follow the development of the child from birth through the preschool years. The intellectual, emotional, social and physical development of the child are explored, as are the needs experienced by children as they progress through these ages.

This degree program is comprised of courses and internship experiences which not only provide a solid academic background for the student, but a thorough preparation for a career as a child care professional. Our program satisfies course requirements for teacher certification by the Massachusetts Office for Child Care Services and competencies for the National Child Development Associate Certificate.

Early Childhood Education Program Requirements
First Year
Credit hours
CS101 Computer Concepts and Applications
ED103 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
ED104 Early childhood Education Seminar**
ED116 Health, Safety, and Nutrition for Young Children
ED120 or ED223
Infant/Toddler Curricula or
Administering Programs for Children*
ED121 Preschool Curricula
EN101 English I
EN102 English II
MA106 Elementary Algebra***
IS105 Common Experience
PS103 Child Development

Total Credits
Second Year
Credit hours
 CM105 Public Speaking
 ED200 Infant Toddler Internship Internship**** 4
 ED201 Preschool Internship****
 ED204 Strategies for Children's Behavior
 ED205 Children with Special Needs
  Humanities Elective s
  Math/Science Elective
  Free Elective**
  Total Credits

* Administering Programs for Children is for DAPS students only; Day Division students must get permission from the Program Director.
** Required only for Day Division students.
*** A higher level of math (MA107 MA109, MA110, or MA121) may be substituted.
**** Students may take ED 200 and ED 201 in any sequence; DAPS students may take ED 209 Early Childhood Advanced Internship as a substitute for either course; Day Division students must get permission from their Program Director.
Minimum credits required for graduation--63 for Day Division students and 62 for DAPS students.

Graduate Competencies

Upon successful completion of this program, the students will be able to:
  • Provide developmentally appropriate care for young children.
  • Qualify for entry-level teaching positions that have potential for advancement.
  • Matriculate to a four-year baccalaureate program in early education or related fields.

  • Associate of Arts Degree after two years
  • Professional certification from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care

Potential Careers & Earnings

  • Assistant Teacher
  • Teacher
  • Head Teacher
  • Nanny

  • Substitute or Teaching Assistant (Entry-level): $13.00 per hour
  • Floating Teacher: $20-24,000 annually
  • Teacher: $23-33,000 annually
  • Head Teacher: $25-45,000 annually
  • Assistant Director: $41-58,000 annually
  • Director: $54-$74,000 annually

Jobs Reported by Alumni
  • Assistant Teacher
  • Teacher
  • Head Teacher


The Early Childhood Education Internships afford students the opportunity to work with infants or toddlers and preschoolers in a diverse variety of settings. Internship placements include Beacon Hill Nursery School, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Commonwealth Children's Center, Government Center Childcare Corp., John Winthrop Nursery School, Kids-A-Lot, Laboure Child Care Center, Our Place, Radcliffe Childcare Center and Transportation Children's Center.

Boston Magazine, in its September 2007 issue, named two of our internship sites, Beacon Hill Nursery School and John Winthrop Nursery School, as two of "The Hubs Top Preschools for 2007."

Many of Fisher's ECE interns receive job offers from one or both of their internships. For those who choose to continue their education, the internships provide invaluable experience to help students succeed in a baccalaureate program.


Student Testimonials

Katelyn Bean, Class of 2008, Associate of Arts Degree, Early Childhood Education

An Early Childhood degree is of equal benefit whether you plan on pursuing a career as a teacher in the early childhood, elementary, or special education. If parenting is in your future, you will find the knowledge you've gained to be of great assistance. The classes are small, so the teachers get to know you by name. Because the faculty knows you so well, when the time comes for your internship placement, they are able to find the day care site that provides you with the best learning opportunities. I've acquired invaluable classroom experiences and knowledge that you can only gain from first hand experience. I can feel confident knowing that Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education I received from Fisher College prepared me to pursue a baccalaureate program.

Amber Curio, Class of 2007, Associate of Arts Degree, Early Childhood Education

As a student at Fisher College, I grew immensely under the guidance of a supportive and knowledgeable staff. Over the course of two years I became a well rounded young professional ready for a career in early childhood education. From my first day on campus, it was clear I was part of a close knit community. The intimate nature of my classes, with a great student to teacher ratio, allowed me to form strong and personal relationships with my teachers, as well as to receive one on one attention when needed. In my second year, Fisher helped to place me in internship sites that were a perfect fit for my individual needs. My experiences in these internships are some of my fondest memories and I'm so grateful for them as they opened the door for my professional career. My experience as an intern helped hone my professional skills and build my resume. Upon graduation, I was hired as a full time teacher in one of the sites I had interned in. Fisher's location in beautiful historic Back Bay allowed me to experience the heart of Boston, with the Boston Common, Public Garden and Newbury Street all just minutes away. Each day in the preschool classroom I work in I draw on the skills I learned at Fisher, which have made me a confident and successful early childhood teacher.


Faculty Profiles

Professor Linda Small, Program Director of Early Childhood Education

Having always enjoyed both children and learning, I knew back in high school that I wanted to incorporate both of these loves into whatever career I decided to pursue.  That career turned out to be in the education field, which allowed me to not only do what I love day after day, but to share what I've learned over the years with my students.

My greatest pleasure as an educator comes from seeing the enthusiasm of my students when they love what they do.  Watching them go from theoretical and practical classroom experiences to "hands-on" opportunities during their internships, and being able to share their successes when they come back to the classroom and say, "You know what we learned about guidance and behavior in class yesterday?  Well, I tried it and it worked." are some of the most rewarding parts of my job.


Industry Resources

Financial Aid Opportunities

Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program (opens in new window)
The Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program is designed to provide financial assistance for currently employed early childhood and out of school time educators and providers who enroll in an associate or bachelor degree program in Early Childhood Education or related programs. Visit the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance Web site to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements.

Web Sites



Program News

For the past four years the ECE Club and members of the Fisher College Community have sponsored homeless children and their families at Our Place, a day care center supported by The Salvation Army. We are extremely proud that the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Corps of The Salvation Army named Fisher College as one of the recipients of their Community Service Awards in May 2006. To quote from the thank you letter we received, "Your outstanding support has been an inspiration to all of us who serve the neediest members of the community. You, your fellow colleagues, and the students of Fisher College have made a significant impact on the lives of homeless children from Cambridge, Somerville, and other surrounding towns by providing gifts to families during the holidays by investing your time and energy."  

Children Learn what They Live

If children live with criticism,
they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
they learn to fight.
If children live with fear,
they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity,
they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule,
they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy,
they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame,
they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement,
they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance,
they learn patience.
If children live with praise,
they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance,
they learn to love.
If children live with approval,
they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition,
they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing,
they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty,
they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness,
they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration,
they learn respect.
If children live with security,
they learn to have faith in themselves
and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness,
they learn the world is a nice place in which to live."

- Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D

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