The University of Maine at Farmington Early Childhood Education major is a high quality program with extensive experiences in children’s settings. It has earned a national reputation for preparing highly qualified teachers.

Our Early Childhood Education program is well-respected in part because our students are required to practice in early childhood settings — putting classroom theory into observable hands-on practice.

Here, you’ll work directly with young children (birth to age eight) and their families at the on-campus Sweatt-Winter Early Care and Education Center, the UMF Preschool, the UMF / Mallet School Collaborative pre-Kindergarten and the UMF Infant Toddler programs.

Our program is based on National Association for the Education of Young Children standards for teacher preparation and CAEP accreditation.

You can choose one of three Early Childhood Education options:

  • Early Education and Care Option (non-certification) prepares you to work with children birth to age 5 and their families. You select a specialization of your choosing.
  • Birth to 5 Education Option (certification) leads to Maine Teacher Certification allowing you to teach in a variety of early childhood settings, including pre-Kindergarten classrooms in public schools.
  • K-3 Education Option (certification) leads to Maine Teacher Certification allowing you to teach in Early Childhood settings including Kindergarten through 3rd grade classrooms in public schools.

Graduates of our Early Childhood Education program are eligible for jobs in a variety of settings, including childcare, Head Start, pre-Kindergarten, community and recreational programs and grades K-3 in public schools.

The University of Maine at Farmington is considered one of the premier teacher education programs in New England.

At our founding in 1864, the University of Maine at Farmington (then called Western State Normal School) took an innovative approach to teacher education, integrating a strong liberal arts foundation into teacher training. Our founders believed that only those with a strong background in the liberal arts could effectively teach the arts and sciences. Obvious as that may seem, it was not the rule among teacher education programs of the time.

More than 150 years later, the University of Maine at Farmington continues to be recognized for its innovation and excellence in teacher preparation.

  • UMF is one of only three nationally accredited teacher education programs in Maine
  • UMF was the first in Maine to receive national CAEP accreditation (formerly NCATE) 
  • UMF received full Maine State Board of Education accreditation
  • UMF full-time faculty supervise you in your off-campus practicum and student-teaching field experiences

Here, you will work closely with faculty and supervising mentors to help apply your classroom theory into practice. You’ll also work with nearby schools and agencies, which will provide you with enriching real-world opportunities.

In addition, you’ll have full access to specialized on-campus education-focused resources such as UMF’s Children’s Programs and our Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center, which includes assistive technology resources, children’s literature, and early childhood curricula.

Bright From the Start: The Best Teachers Started at Farmington.

  • 2019 National Education Assoc. Foundation Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence recipient, Dan Ryder, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2017 Maine Elementary Principal of the Year, Jennifer McGee ’86, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year, Tammy Ranger ’99, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Dorman ’93, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2015 Maine Elementary School Principal of the Year, Tracy Williams ’82, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2014 Maine Elementary School Principal of the Year, Melanie Ellsworth ’84, is a UMF Education graduate
  • Since 2006 seven UMF Education graduates have been named Maine Teacher of the Year

Plus

  • UMF Education graduates have received the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
  • UMF Education graduates received the prestigious Milken Family Foundation Educator Award
  • UMF Education graduates have been named Maine History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehman Institute of America
  • A UMF Education graduate is an Adult Space Camp graduate and earned certification at the Google Teacher Academy in London
  • A UMF Education graduate received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Award
  • A UMF Education graduate received the prestigious Apple Design Award
  • UMF was featured as a Newsweek.com Great Teaching School

Farmington Education grads get hired.

According to the University of Maine at Farmington’s 2018 teacher education unit alumni survey, 84% of respondents indicate being employed as a teacher in the field and a majority being hired within one year of graduation. In addition, 98.9% of graduates responding to the survey said they were very satisfied or satisfied with their UMF program.