Social and Behavioral Sciences

Minor in Early Childhood Studies

Early Childhood Studies Minor

The Early Childhood Studies Minor is available to any student regardless of major, as well as to SBS majors. The minor provides the skills needed of professionals working with young children and their families, developing perspectives and critical thinking skills needed to understand the multilayered influences that shape human development. Contemporary content prepares students for the growing challenges facing young children in the 21st century, when early childhood professionals are increasingly called upon to understand not only healthy child development, but also: brain development in the first years of life; parenting; cultural and societal contexts; immigration; social, emotional, and mental health concerns including trauma-informed care; poverty; and policies that support or restrict development in this critical period. The six content categories included in the minor are based upon the recommendations of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and our community advisors.  Any substitutions must be approved by a faculty advisor.

Important: Please note that Early Childhood Studies is also available as a concentration within the SBS major. A concentration is simply a way for SBS majors to organize their six SBS electives. A minor requires additional coursework beyond the requirements of the major. This page describes the Early Childhood Studies Minor. See the page on the SBS Early Childhood Studies Concentration for information on the concentration.

SBS has suspended admissions to its Maine 081 Early Childhood Teacher Endorsement pathway temporarily, pending anticipated changes to the 081 certificate at the State level.  If you are interested in pursuing the 081, please contact the State of Maine Department of Education website: Teacher credentialing for updates/further information.

Students pursuing Early Childhood Studies (ECS) as either a minor or a concentration must complete the necessary paperwork in the Student Success Center so that ECS appears on their MaineStreet Academic Plan.

Early Childhood Studies Minor

In addition to the requirements listed in the BA (see BA page), the following requirements apply to the Early Childhood Studies Minor.

Non-SBS students complete the ECS minor with one course from the six categories described below.  SBS students wanting to complete the ECS Minor must complete one course in each of the six categories described below plus four additional courses in SBS.

Choose one course from each of the following six categories: child development, family, leadership and professionalism, systems, children and evaluation, and teaching/preparing children for learning. 

1. Child Development

SBS/HRD 200 Multicultural Human Development
SBS 305 Child Development

2. Family

SBS 341 The Family*

3. Leadership and Professionalism
SBS 301 Group Dynamics
SBS 302 Interpersonal Behavior

4. Systems
EDU 100 Education in the U.S
SBS 310 Childhood and Society*
SBS 346 Introduction to Social Services

5. Children and Evaluation
SBS 350 Psychosocial Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence
SBS 375 Infant Mental Health & Attachment*
SBS 450 Approaches to Assessing Individual Differences in Children

6. Teaching / Preparing Children for Learning
EDU 336 Children’s Literature*
SBS 340 Language Acquisition and Development*
SBS 391 Mathematics in Early Childhood Education*
SBS 392 Science in Early Childhood Education*
SBS 393 Exceptionality in Early Childhood Education*

* Courses denoted with an asterisk (*) continue to meet ECT 081 certification requirements

SBS ECS Program Courses APPROVED for Maine Department of Education EC CERTIFICATION

(081 Early Childhood Teacher Endorsement) Credit: 

SBS 200J Human Growth & Development approved to meet the 3 credits required in child development or developmental psychology.

SBS 305 Child Development approved to meet the 3 credits required in child development or developmental psychology.
SBS 310 Childhood and Society can be applied to advanced child development under "completed a minimum of 6 semester hours in at least two of the following areas:

  • creative arts
  • family studies
  • observation of the young child/assessment of the young child
  • social studies for the young child/advanced child development
  • early learning environments
  • additional early literacy "

EDU 336 Children's Literature approved to meet the children's literature requirement of 3 semester hours.
SBS 341 The Family approved to meet family studies under advanced child development.

SBS 375 Infant Mental Health: Zero to Six Years approved to meet the "infant/toddler development" requirement of 3 semester hours.

SBS 399 Resilience in Early Childhood and Across the Lifespan accepted for the 081 endorsement under "early learning environments" within advanced child development.

SBS 450 Assessing Individual Differences in Children to meet the assessment of the young child under advanced child development