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Human Development and Family Sciences

Major in Early Childhood Education

What is the Early Childhood Education major?

Early Childhood Education (ECE) majors join the fast growing field of early care and education. There is great demand for certified early childhood and early childhood special education teachers. By combining intensive coursework with multiple student teaching placements, our students graduate with the skills necessary to succeed in inclusive classrooms. Students enrolled in the ECE program learn to:

  • teach children birth through second grade in inclusive and special education classrooms, develop curriculum, and collaborate with families and specialists in the community;
  • be an early interventionist, working with children with developmental disabilities
  • teach children by assessing their skills and using interventions to help them learn how to develop fully and to be successful; the program’s developmental emphasis teaches students how to match instructional strategies and materials to children’s social-psychological, cognitive and physical maturity.
  • apply for a 4+1 program, earning graduates an ECE undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in a specialty area.

Students participate in over 200 hours of field experiences, observing or working with young children in schools and programs beginning in their freshman year; culminating with 2 semesters of full-time student teaching in the senior year, with the opportunity for international student teaching experiences, including Athens, Greece.

Students train in programs that meet the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). This includes working on UD’s Children’s Campus, home to the Early Learning Center and the Laboratory Preschool.

Learn more about:ECE

ECE Handbook 16-17

The ECE major has been recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children as meeting their highest standards. Upon completion of our program our students are:

  • endorsed for certification in Early Childhood Education and in Early Childhood Special Education
  • employed in public and private schools, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, early care and education settings, early intervention programs, health and social service departments, and home-based programs after they graduate.

Teacher Education at the University of Delaware

Teacher Certification Information: Testing information, special state certification requirements, etc.

Contact Information:

Lynn Worden, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs


Department of Human Development & Family Sciences •  111 Alison Hall West •  Newark, DE 19716 •  USA • Phone: 302-831-6500 Fax: 302-831-8776 E-mail: hdfs-dept@udel.edu   © 2014