Pursue an educational and career pathway in one of the most important and rewarding careers in society. The Early Childhood Education certificate program at WMCC is responding to the educational and programmatic needs of our city and towns youngest citizens. There has never been a greater need for well-qualified early childhood professionals.
Students may shape their program of studies to include courses and concentrations in Special Education and/or Early Intervention. The 12 credit Child Care Entry-Level and the 26 credit Early Childhood Education certificates provide a career lattice for students working in the field and/or exploring career options. Student interested an Associate Degree in Teacher Education/ECE may begin shaping the Certificate by adding liberal arts requirements and continuing the following year.
Admitted students will receive an information packet with specific details regarding program requirements. Requirements must be fulfilled by the end of the first week of classes.
1. Students will be working with children at the WMCC campus Child Development Center, beginning with first semester early childhood courses. Applicants are advised that the New Hampshire Bureau of Child Care Licensing requires certain paperwork to be on file at centers for employees and others who regularly work in child care centers. Completion of paperwork from the Bureau of Child Care Licensing must occur by the end of the first week of classes. This includes the following:
- submission of a criminal background check;
- a complete set of fingerprints;
- completion of the licensing Child Care Personnel Health Form by a licensed health provider.
2. The cost of the Criminal background check and fingerprinting is the responsibility of the student. They must come back as clear or non-disqualifying and the health form must indicate that the student is in good physical health and has no mental or emotional disturbances that would prohibit him/her from caring for children. Otherwise the student will be dismissed from the program.
WMCC has developed excellent practicum opportunities for our students to foster hands-on learning while simultaneously receiving credit. Nonetheless, the college’s first priority must be to ensure that children and families are safe, secure and receiving professional care and education. Students are required to abide by the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s’ Code of Ethical Conduct. The NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct offers guidelines for responsible behavior and sets forth a common basis for resolving the principal ethical dilemmas encountered in early childhood care and education and in WMCC ECE classrooms.
The college must ensure that families and children are not placed in jeopardy by students during learning experiences. Therefore, students in practica, service learning and field studies must demonstrate sufficient emotional stability to withstand the stresses, uncertainties and changing circumstances that characterize patient/client/child care responsibilities. Furthermore, the student is expected to have the emotional stability required to exercise sound judgment, accept direction and guidance from a supervisor or faculty member, and establish rapport and maintain sensitive interpersonal relationships with employees and customers as well as with families and children and their families.
Candidates for positions and careers in early childhood education are encouraged to explore health requirements associated with employment in child care, preschool and related settings for young children. Prospective students with special needs requiring accommodations that may affect their practicum placement and/or potential employment prospects are advised to discuss specific career goals with the department head during the admissions process.
The health and safety of young children is of paramount concern to the Department of Early Childhood Education. Applicants for positions in childcare, preschools and many other early childhood programs in New Hampshire should be aware that Criminal background checks through the New Hampshire Department of Safety must be completed by potential employers prior to employment. Fingerprinting and criminal background checks are required.
Applicants, who have been in difficulty with the law, depending upon the nature of the problem, may not be employable or even eligible for practica. Applicants are advised that such matters will be discussed during the admissions interview so that future goals will not be compromised.
Program available in Berlin, Littleton, and North Conway.