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.
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.
During their learning experiences, ECE students must not jeopardize the safety or health of children or their families. ECE students in internship, externship, practicums, service learning, and clinical experiences must demonstrate sufficient emotional stability to withstand the stresses, uncertainties, and changing circumstances that accompany these responsibilities. Furthermore, ECE students are expected to have the emotional stability to exercise sound judgment and to accept directions and guidance from supervisors or faculty members. They must also be capable of establishing a professional rapport and maintaining sensitive interpersonal relationships and confidentiality with employees, children, and their families.
To participate in WMCC’s practicum, students must first submit to background checks and fingerprinting. Prospective students with special needs that may affect their practicum placement and/or potential employment prospects should discuss specific career goals with the department chair of program coordinator during the admissions process.
The health and safety of young children are of paramount concern to the ECE program. Prior to employment, applicants for positions in childcare, preschools, and other early childhood programs in New Hampshire must undergo background checks through the New Hampshire Department of Safety. Fingerprinting and criminal records checks are also required. Applicants with a criminal record, depending on the nature of this record, may not be eligible for field experience or employment. Applicants should discuss such matters during an admission interview to avoid confusion.
ECE courses are offered day and evening, online, hybrid, and face to face in class.