Early Childhood Studies

The Early Childhood Studies (ECS) Program

The early years are a critical time in that the care and education received during this period will impact children’s academic and social trajectories throughout their lives. The Early Childhood Studies program is distinctive because the major emphasizes the first eight years of life and the significance of this period in children's overall development.

The strength of the ECS program redoubles Cal Poly Pomona’s commitment to the value of diversity in preparing future practitioners to be integrative thinkers and model leaders. Over the course of their studies, ECS students gain appropriate knowledge, skills, and dispositions that reflect the perspective of quality, equity, and fairness in their work with young children and families. Based on an understanding of diversity as an asset to be cultivated and celebrated, ECS students are prepared to promote social justice within early childhood education and on behalf of the children and families they serve.

While at Cal Poly Pomona, ECS students study processes important for early childhood development and identify implications of theory in the examination and application of principles and practices within diverse family, program, and community contexts. Program graduates are prepared to work with infants and toddlers, preschoolers, Transitional Kindergarten, and the early primary school years (kindergarten through grade 3). Graduates are also prepared for careers in home visiting, family support programs, and other professional contexts that focus on working with young children and families.


  • The Early Childhood program provides students the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive difference in the lives of children from prenatal to age eight and their families. We are dedicated to fostering a student-centered, active learning environment where student take theory into practice using a social justice lens that values inclusivity and diversity and advocates for ethnic/racial, gendered, and other underrepresented individuals in society,. 


  • Our program will be locally and nationally renowned for preparing leaders that make a difference as professionals in the field of early childhood. Out graduates will make a difference as professionals in the field of early childhood through their innovation, creativity, collaboration, and critical analytical skills that embrace diverse individuals and inclusivity in young children and their families.

Core Values

  • Academic Excellence – We promote academic quality, excellence, intellectual curiosity, and rigor through our students’ critical engagement with our programs evidence-based culture and our faculty’s teaching, scholarship, and creative activities.
  • Experiential Learning – The Early Childhood Program fosters an integrative approach through collaboration, discovery, learn-by-doing, community involvement, and the innovative use of technology. We value critical thinking, reflection, informed risk-taking, and lifelong learning.
  • Student Success – We are committed to educational and supportive experiences that engage and challenge our students, build on student strengths, culture, and funds of knwoledge, enhance personal well-being and growth, provide career opportunities in early childhood, and foster ethical citizenship.
  • Inclusiveness through affirmation and celebration of diversity – Our diversity reflects and enhances our community. We value, respect, and celebrate diversity and individuality. We promote social justice through equity, access, and advocacy.
  • Community Engagement and Collaboration– We develop reciprocal, meaningful, and socially-just relationships with community partners and stakeholders in all spheres of Early Childhood Studies.
  • Social and Environmental Responsibility – We are committed to socially responsive actions that reflect our commitment to the society and the environment as we shape the future in positive ways.

ECS Curriculum 

  • 180 semester units

Why Major in Early Childhood Studies?

The major in Early Childhood Studies prepares students with appropriate knowledge, skills and dispositions that reflect the perspective of quality, equity, and fairness in their work with children from birth to age eight and their families. Other skills acquired within the program consist of the following:

  • Students are prepared to teach programs serving children from birth through age 8
  • Students understand and relate to diversity of languages and cultures in and among children and families
  • Students can meet the diverse needs of all children including those with special needs
  • Students are reflective and deliberative practitioners
  • Students link content to pedagogy
  • Students actively engage children in learning
  • Students integrate research, theory and best practice into their professional work

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Early Childhood Studies provides an excellent foundation for a range of careers working with young children and their families in many areas, including education, health and human services. A BA degree in Early Childhood Studies is timely, given the increasing expectation that those working in early care and education possess a minimum of a BA degree.

The program will provide the subject matter preparation for the multiple subjects and special education teaching credentials, as well as related professional programs in health and human services such as child life specialists, home visitors, and family advocates. Graduates will also be prepared to pursue professional careers and graduate studies in related fields such as:

  • Teaching infants, toddlers and preschoolers
  • Early intervention
  • Administration of programs for young children families
  • Graduate studies in education, social work, human development and counseling
  • Community-based early care and education programs

For more information about this program, contact:

Dr. Nancy Hurlbut

Building 6, Room 105

Email: nhurlbut@cpp.edu

Phone: 909-869-3153