Early Childhood General Education
(birth through second grade)

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  • Master of Science in Education: 45 credits

Discover creative ways to help young children learn and grow

Earn certification in Early Childhood, birth through second grade.

Michelle MoralesMichele Morales
Pathway Director for
Student Teachers

Stan ChuStan Chu
Pathway Director for
Assistant Teachers

The Early Childhood General Education program is designed for teachers and prospective teachers who wish to work with young children from birth through grade two, focusing on nursery school through second grade. Young children are full of curiosity. For them, learning often takes the form of play, social interaction, rhythm and colors. Learning how children develop and grow can be fascinating work.

The program emphasizes collaborative ways of working with parents, other teachers, and professionals to help support the positive development and modes of learning in the young child. In this program, rich in curriculum in the areas of literacy and literature, experiential mathematics and science, and creative approaches to the arts and social studies, you will discover exciting ways to engage young children in active learning.

Distinctive Features

  • Learn from core graduate faculty mentors who are master teachers who have extensive backgrounds working with children in a range of settings.
  • Ground your work in a developmental-interaction approach to early childhood education that will teach you to support the growth, development and learning of the whole child.
  • Develop engaging curriculum that meets the needs of young children from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Certification in Education

When you graduate, you will be eligible for New York State initial certification at the early childhood (birth through grade 2) level.

After teaching for three years, you will be eligible for professional certification.


Courses at Bank Street provide students with the opportunity to engage in readings, discussions, direct experience, and reflection, encouraging a constant interplay between theory and practice. Explore the courses in the Early Childhood General Education master's program.

Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

The integration of coursework and field experiences is central to a Bank Street education. You will:

  • Work in an early childhood classroom as a full-time assistant or head teacher, or in three early childhood classroom settings (up through age 8) as a student teacher (3 full days each week).
  • Participate in a weekly collaborative conference group with your advisor and 5-7 other graduate students. You will have an opportunity to engage in ongoing in-depth conversations about teaching and learning.
  • Benefit from individual meetings with your advisor twice each month.
  • Attend periodic three-way meetings with your Bank Street advisor and with the cooperating teacher.

Career Opportunities

  • Graduates with Early Childhood General Education certification obtain jobs in the birth through second grade range, in either public, charter or independent schools. 
  • Those graduates who choose to teach outside of New York State are eligible for reciprocity for teaching certification in most other states.

Admission Requirements

  • Mature, self-aware, and committed individuals who are excited about teaching and learning. There is an expectation of an ability and willingness to be reflective about one's own practices and work with children.
  • Excellent academic record (at least 3.0) and references.
  • Breadth and depth in courses in liberal arts and sciences as required by New York State Department of Education.
  • See the Admissions Criteria.