Presque Isle Regional Career & Technical Center

Presque Isle • Mapleton • Chapman • Castle Hill • Westfield

Education in MSAD #1 will empower students to reach their potential as critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators.

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Instructor/Director: Trudy Gorneault

PURPOSE OF PROGRAM

The primary goal of the Early Childhood Education Program is to provide students with knowledge and experiences that will begin to prepare them for a variety of childhood related career opportunities. The program also benefits any potential parents.

Research has shown that the most learning in a child’s life occurs between the ages of one and five. Increased demand for early childhood teachers and childcare workers plus the need to replace workers who leave the occupation are creating many new positions and are expected to create numerous openings in the future. With research stressing how important quality, developmentally appropriate care is in the formative years, more positions will be available and requirements for training will become more intensive. Persons who are interested in this work and suited for it should have little trouble finding employment.

This program provides the background, experiences and encouragement to lead students to choose a career in the area of Early Childhood Education.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

People with careers in early childhood development and services nurture and teach children. They provide services in public schools childcare centers, nursery schools, preschools, private households, family childcare homes and before- and after- school programs. About two out of five childcare workers are self-employed. Pay depends on the educational attainment of the worker and type of establishment.

Students may also use their knowledge of early childhood development as a base for continuing their education in fields such as speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, and nursing – specializing in working with young children.

SAMPLE OCCUPATIONS

Public Preschool Teacher
Elementary School Teacher
Head Start Teacher
Speech Therapist
Childcare Assistant/Worker
Occupational Therapist
Teacher’s Assistant/Ed Tech
Physical Therapist
Educator for Parents
Social Worker
Nanny
Pediatric Nurse
Child Psychologist
Director or Asst. Director, Childcare Facility

 

Early Childhood Development is designed to begin the process of teaching grades 11 and 12 students the skills required to work with young children. Students study the growth and development of children from birth to age eight and have the opportunity to assist in a nationally accredited childcare facility, in the PIRCTC/ACAP Collaborative Head Start classroom, Pine Street Elementary School, and/or local childcare centers in Head Start, Pre-K, and childcare classrooms for children ranging in age from infants through 4. Students become certified in Pediatric First Aid and CPR/AED and can earn their 10 hour OSHA certificate. This is a clinical-based program, which includes a laboratory experience for applying learning as well as time for observing, assessing, and interacting with children. Students work directly with young children in designated classrooms assisting with arts and crafts, science, motor skills, dramatic play, table manners, reading, story time, music and movement activities and behavior management. Students also assist with daily cleanup duties and classroom maintenance. In addition, students have daily classroom instruction to learn how to enhance a child’s social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development. Classroom lessons help students gain the knowledge they need to provide children with positive guidance, to observe and assess a child’s development, and to plan and implement a variety of learning activities in a developmentally appropriate manner. Portfolios are used to record and assess the student’s work.

Early Childhood Education/Occupations is a more in-depth study of safety, health, nutrition, child guidance, observations, and program management/professionalism. This class also has a heightened emphasis on the history of child development theories and research. The course is hands-on with students doing a combination of class work and implementation of learning on-site in the PIRCTC/ACAP Collaborative Head Start classroom, Pine Street Elementary School, and/or local childcare centers in Head Start, Pre-K, and childcare classrooms for children ranging in age from infants through 4. For example, students will develop lesson plans and have an opportunity to conduct at least one of their lessons with the children. Students become certified in Pediatric First Aid and CPR/AED and can earn their 10-hour OSHA certificate.

Early Childhood Development, in combination with Early Childhood Education/Occupations, is based on the requirements for the Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) and may also be used by eligible students for dual enrollment at NMCC for 9 college credits.

Dual Enrollment for College Credit include:

Northern Maine Community College:

  • ECE 101 Healthy Learning Environments for Children (3 Credits)
  • ECE 105 Advancing Intel. & Social Development in the Young Child (3 Credits)
  • ECE 192 Field Experience in Early Childhood Education (3 Credits)
  • MAT 125 College Algebra (3 Credits)