The Office of Early Childhood recognizes the 2010 "Common Standard" agreement between the Connecticut
departments of Education, Social Services, Higher Education, and Public Health to assess the early
childhood education content in credits and degrees. This revised version is updated to reflect the
change in state departments and divisions. The Common Standard is used to determine all credits and
degrees including but not limited to their application toward the Connecticut early childhood career
ladder, licensing Head Teacher certificate, the Early Childhood Teacher Credential (ECTC), and technical
Definition of Common Standard for Assessing Early Childhood Education Credits and Degrees
Who will implement the Common Standard?
Answer: Effective January 1, 2010, the Connecticut Early Childhood Professional Registry will
be the sole determiner of whether coursework and degrees meet the Common Standard, and will report to state agencies
and the public using the Common Standard.
Does the Common Standard accept courses that cover a wider age span?
Yes. Life span development courses would be included as long as the course content specifically includes children
under the age of five years in a substantive and comprehensive manner. Courses only in kindergarten, elementary
education, or adolescent development would not be included.
Does the Common Standard require that a course / degree include study of the entire age range from birth to under five years?
Answer: No. For example, a course or degree that is specifically solely about education and / or
development of infants or solely about education and / or development of 3- and 4-year-old children will be included.
Can courses be about one or more areas of child development?
Answer: Yes. Courses can be general or specific and can cover one or more areas of child development for children
under the age of five years. For example, courses in language, social emotional or cognitive development of children
under the age of five years, or the play behaviors of children under the age of five years would be included.
Can courses about teaching children age birth to less than five years of age, either in general or specifically,
in a subject area be included?
Yes. Courses about teaching literacy, science, math or social studies or other subjects to children under the age of five would be included. Courses that are solely about teaching children of kindergarten age or older would not be included.
Does the Common Standard include courses on how to work with families or the community?
Yes. As long as the course is specific to teaching strategies working with children under the age of five years in early
care and education settings or child development.
Does the Common Standard include courses dealing with the administration of an early childhood program (birth to
less than five years of age)?
Yes. As long as the course content is specific to administering and supervising an early childhood program (OEC licensed of comparable setting) with staff who work with children under the age of five years.
The OEC uses 12 ECE (Early Childhood Education) credits as a benchmark. Does each entire course of the 12
credits have to focus solely on children age birth to under five years?
No. The OEC will enter up to 6 college credits that includes the education and development of children under age 5
but is not the sole focus of the course. For example, a psychology class that specifically reports covering early
childhood (birth to under 5 years of age) to adulthood. For all other courses, the majority of the course must be
specific to children under the age of five years and specific to early care and education / child development in
early childhood education.
Do classes and degrees have to be specific to the education and development of children age birth to less than 5 years?
The OEC will use the Common Standard to assess the applicability of the content to directly assessing and planning
for, leading, and working with children under the age of five in licensed early care and education programs or
How does OEC assess a degree under the Common Standard?
There are multiple paths in the OEC's assessment of a degree which are used collectively.
The OEC uses a data system that contains college specific degree and course level data for many degrees and
courses over many years. The OEC may request additional detail from the account holder in its assessment.
A formal appeal process is also available should the account holder gain access to additional information
after the initial review is completed.
The major for a conferred degree may specifically indicate early childhood education or child development
(children under the age of five) and a degree check confirms this.
The college's published degree documentation may indicate the major and concentration, i.e. General
Studies with a concentration in early childhood education which includes comprehensive credits in ECE.
The degree may contain the nationally recognized equivalencies:
- Associate degree: a conferred degree with at least 30 credits specifically in early childhood education
Bachelor's degree: a conferred degree with at least 36 credits specifically in early childhood
education; a review for a practicum is include
Do teacher preparation programs leading to a state teaching endorsement count?
The Common Standard is used to assess the specific degree and courses (see other FAQs). Teaching endorsements have to
be specific to children under the age of 5 years. The OEC worked in partnership with the Connecticut Department of
Education to assess which teaching endorsements count as early childhood education in our state:
- 112 Integrated Early Childhood/Special Ed., Birth - K
- 113 Integrated Early Childhood/Special Ed., N/K through grade 3
- 01 PreK-Grade 8
- 02 PreK-Grade 6
- 03 PreK-Grade 3
- 08 PreK-K
- 065 Comprehensive Special Education PreK-Grade 12
Does the Common Standard specify particular courses that have to be included?
No. However, if an individual is only meeting the 12 ECE credits, the OEC strongly
recommends that the individual have a solid ECE foundation by distributing courses as follows:
- 3-credits in child development and learning of children under the age of 5 years
3-credits in teaching pedagogy of children under the age of 5 years (examples: introduction
to early childhood education; methods for teaching young children under the age of five years;
methods for teaching infants and toddlers)
6-credits in any of the content areas identified by the early childhood professional
organization, the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC), listed below:
- Child development and learning for children under the age of five
- Family and community relationships in early childhood programs serving children under the age of five
- Observing, documenting, and assessing children under the age of five
- Teaching and learning (pedagogy) of children under the age of five
Becoming an early childhood professional where early childhood is the care and education of
children under the age of five