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Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education

students who major in early childhood education working in the Early Learning Center at UD

College of Education and Human Development

Department of Human Development and Family Sciences


Helping young children reach their potential

UD’s Early Childhood Education major prepares students to help young children--with and without special need--to reach their full potential. Graduates can teach in public and private schools and child care programs, become early interventionists and advocates, or work for community service agencies. 

Our coursework focuses on child development--teaching students how to identify appropriate instructional strategies and materials that meet each child’s social, cognitive, and physical characteristics. Students gain real-world experience, on our children’s campus and in community agencies and schools, working with young children from diverse backgrounds and with special needs.

Our graduates emerge well-prepared professionals, eligible for teaching certification in two areas—Early Childhood Education (birth – 2nd grade) and Early Childhood Special Education. Because the program is recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children as a blended Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education program (one of very few in the country), graduates are eligible for teaching certification in all 50 states.  

To help further their career, students can enroll in one of our 4+1 programs, leading to a bachelor's/master’s degree in just five years. 


Areas of study

  • Child Development
  • Classroom Management
  • Inclusive Curriculum
  • Diversity and Families
  • Literacy Instruction

Career options

  • Teacher in public/private school or Early Head Start program
  • Early Care Program director
  • Parent Education Specialist
  • Early Interventionist

Graduate Programs

  • Early Childhood Administration
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Autism & Severe Disabilities
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Human Development and Family Sciences

What’s special about this program?

Our ECE majors complete over 200 hours of supervised experience in UD’s Laboratory Preschool, Early Learning Center or in public school settings. In their final year of the program, students complete two full semesters of student teaching, educating young children with and without special learning needs.


We encourage our students to become global citizens and offer multiple opportunities to study abroad, including student teaching internationally or engaging in service-learning in winter session study abroad programs. 


ECE is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Council for Exceptional Children, meeting the highest standards for preparation of early childhood and early childhood special education teachers.

Get involved

We provide our students opportunities to grow academically, socially and professionally. Our advisement center, staffed by experienced advisors, helps ECE majors pursue their individual interests.


Ask your advisor about opportunities to study abroad, conduct undergraduate research, serve internships, or become a member of our service/honors/support clubs.  

Sample curriculum


Seminar in Composition




Life Span Development



Diversity and Families



Child Development I: Prenatal to Age 3




Child Development II: 3 to 10 years

Math for K-8 Teachers: Numbers and Operations



First Year Experience



History and Cultural Change Courses



Social or Behavioral Science Course


Science Elective


Beginning Literacy Instruction



Introduction to Exceptional Children



Intro to Inclusive Curriculum and Assessment: Birth-Grade 2



Practicum in Inclusive Curriculum: Birth-Grade 2



Professional Issues in Early Childhood Development and Education



Inclusive Curriculum: Infants and Toddlers



Field Experience: Infants and Toddlers



Families and Children at Risk



Math Elective



Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Technology (w/ lab)



English Course


  Elective Courses

Supporting Literacy in Early Childhood Education



EC Inclusive Math Curriculum and Assessment



EC Inclusive Science Curriculum and Assessment



Guidance and Behavior Support: Birth-Grade 2



Field Experience: Preschool-Kindergarten



Field Experience: Kindergarten- Grade 2



Programs for Children with Exceptionalities



Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Technology (w/ lab)



Creative Arts and Humanities Course


  History and Cultural Change

Student Teaching 1



Student Teaching 2



Professional Development Seminar I



Professional Development Seminar II



Advanced Inclusive Curriculum in EC I



Advanced Inclusive Curriculum in EC II


Ready for the next step? 


My Blue Hen Home

Go Global
at UD

Study Abroad

World Scholars 

See how recent Early Childhood Education grads are succeeding

Career Outcomes