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Early Childhood Education Program



Two Concentration Options:

Early Childhood Development Prek-Primary Licensure


The UNF Early Childhood Education Program is accredited by NAEYC and coursework meets Florida Department of Education certification requirements and guidelines provided by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); the International Literary Association (ILA); and the Division of Early Childhood (DEC). The courses provide in-depth, research-based knowledge on key areas for early childhood professionals working with children from birth though age 8. The University of North Florida College of Education and Human Services Professional Development School network offers students an opportunity to work in a variety of school settings, including public, private and public charter school. For information about the program or scholarships, please contact Dr. Christian Winterbottom or Dr. Katrina W. Hall For the Masters in Early Childhood Educational Leadership, please contact Dr. Anne Swanson


Teacher reads to child

At the undergraduate level, the program offers two pathways to a bachelor's degree.


The PreK-Primary licensure concentration leads to state certification in prek-primary/age 3 to grade 3 with a TESOL endorsement. The concentration includes field work and a final semester-long internship at a public school. Graduates of this concentration are well-equipped for teaching in the public or private schools.


 The Early Childhood Development concentration is a non-licensure concentration that leads to a bachelor's degree. Much of this concentration is online and graduates are prepared for careers in early childhood or working with children in a variety of professions including as earl y learning teachers, directors, coaches and child advocates. This course includes a 6-credit practicum that can be done in a variety of settings. Graduate of this program go on to work in early learning centers, Head Start, Early Head Start, and child-centered non-profits. Graduates of this program may work with the faculty and advising office toward completing coursework that could be used to meet the requirements for obtaining Florida PreK-Primary teaching certificate.


The ECE program also offers a minor in early childhood that provides coursework useful for students in fields including psychology, sociology, criminal justice, pre-law, music, art, as well as elementary, ASL, deaf education and exceptional student education.


At the graduate level, the ECE offers a variety of options as well:

The graduate certificate in Early Childhood is an 18-credit program that provides a foundation for adults who want to pursue early learning coaching, training, and leadership positions in the private and public sector. Many of our students take the 18-credits in order to be able to teach early childhood courses at the undergraduate level in colleges and universities. While this certificate is stand-alone, students may work with an advisor and the graduate school to include this coursework as part of a larger masters or doctoral program.


The Elementary Education Professional Development Master's Degree with a concentration in Early Childhood is attractive for students who want to obtain a graduate degree with a focus in early childhood. This degree is suitable for teacher leaders, instructional coaches, and other positions in private and public sector.


The Early Childhood Educational Leadership Master's Degree housed in the educational leadership department includes a specialization in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy specifically in the area of early childhood. This specialization is an interdisciplinary program designed for people who work or wish to work as a leader in the field of early childhood education. The program supports the development of leadership skills for those who wish to serve in positions within community, state, and national agencies, in both the public and private sector to support the healthy development, growth, and education of families and children. This specialization provides grounding in social, historical, philosophical, developmental, educational, and international perspectives of leadership and early childhood education.