Children being greeted by proffessor and student at UMF child care center

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

Early Childhood Education – A White-Hot Career Path

Pre-COVID, the job market for Early Childhood Education teachers was hot. During and after COVID, the state of Maine, and indeed the nation, saw the need for Early Childhood professionals reach an all-time peak in demand. Right now, it’s a white-hot job market for Early Childhood Educators with no end in sight.

See some recent Early Childhood Education graduates, now teachers or education supervisors, describe why they chose Farmington.

Want to make a difference? Be a teacher in Early Childhood Education by earning your Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Ed at the University of Maine at Farmington. You’ll work closely with very young children (from infants to grade three) and their families at our new on-campus Childhood Lab School where you’ll gain the knowledge and real-world experience employers are seeking.

The job demand for Early Childhood teachers is huge with no end in sight and our grads get hired. The UMF Bachelor’s degree program in Early Childhood Education is a high-quality program that offers extensive experiences in children’s settings. Make a difference. Be a teacher.

Simply put, the demand for competent, professional educators of young children vastly outpaces the pool of job candidates. This is where the University of Maine at Farmington comes in.

Choose one of three Early Childhood Education certification 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.

What Can You Do With A Degree in Early Childhood Education?

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 and private schools.

Data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources. Median Salaries for positions in Maine typically fall below those of other New England states.

Farmington Education grads get hired.

According to a 2020 survey of UMF Education graduates over the past three years, 83% of respondents indicated being employed in the field of education — with 85% hired within a year of graduation — and 73% of them employed in just four months after graduating.

Students attending an on campus job fair
Students at an on campus Teacher Job Fair, an event drawing schools from Maine to Florida seeking the best new teachers. Many UMF Education students are interviewed and offered positions at the job fair — before they’ve even graduated.

Overall, 94.3% of respondents indicated they were Very Satisfied or Satisfied with their teacher education preparation at UMF.

This program will prepare you to be eligible for licensure in the State of Maine. Visit the UMaine System State Authorization & Licensure page to learn more about the licensure requirements in other states and territories, in addition to the contact information needed to inquire further into the licensure requirements associated with this program.

Allyson Conley Portrait
Allyson Conley graduated from UMF in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She is the Director at Spring Point Children’s Center on the SMCC campus in South Portland.

“As a UMF student, I did my Early Childhood Education internship right here at Spring Point Child Care Center in South Portland. Having those real-world, in-classroom hours and being able to say I have firsthand experience working in a classroom and being mentored by experienced teachers was so valuable.”

– Allyson Conley, Director at Spring Point Children’s Center

See Where Else Our Grads Teach

Investing in Early Childhood Education

Maine’s Governor, supported by the Maine Legislature and authorized by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, is investing the state’s share of federal American Rescue Plan relief funds into Early Childhood Education. Where is this investment happening? At the University of Maine at Farmington. Previously, the Sweatt-Winter expansion project received $1.4 million from a bond for UMaine System workforce development infrastructure approved by voters statewide in 2018. The Lennox Foundation also contributed $100,000.

“One of the highest priorities for higher education is preparing the next generation of educators,” said UMaine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “Maine families have to have access to reliable child care and great local schools. We are investing in programs and facilities that can help meet that need.”

To help meet that need, UMF is renovating a former call center at 274 Front Street (right across the street from campus) into the future home of its nationally accredited Sweatt-Winter Child Care and Early Education Center.

UMF Early Childhood Center
Located at 274 Front Street in Farmington, the new UMF Sweatt-Winter Child Care & Early Education Center

Expected to open in the Fall of 2023, the new 10,384 square foot state-of-the-art child care and academic facility will allow UMF to create at least 20 slots for high-quality infant and toddler care in Franklin County, and increase enrollment in its undergraduate and graduate Early Childhood Education programs by at least 20% in support of critical state workforce needs in the sector that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

This larger facility will replace and greatly expand the existing Sweatt-Winter Child Care and Early Education Center (which is at capacity), located on campus.

The new facility will be your new state-of-the-art learning & working lab — right across the street from campus.

Here, you’ll work with young children and their families, mentoring UMF professors and other professionals as you gain the real-world, hands-on experience and skill set employers are desperately seeking.

This is where classroom theory meets real education practice — you’ll experience first-hand why UMF Works.

The University of Maine at Farmington 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.

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

Our Education students describe their senior year Student Teaching assignment as the most meaningful experience of their UMF career. It’s when they’re teamed with a mentor school teacher (often a UMF alumnus) and they get to put into practice in a school classroom what they’ve learned in their UMF college classes.

See More About Student Teaching

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

The UMF Center for Assistive Technology is the only public or private university-based assistive technology lending and demonstration center in Maine.

Here, 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 materials.

Assistive Technology is any device or product that makes it easier for someone with a disability to live more independently.

Kimberly Collins, 2022 National Milken Educator Award winner. She is a 2009 UMF graduate and educator at Virginia Beach Middle School in Virginia.

The Best Teachers Start at Farmington

  • UMF Education graduates have been named Maine Teacher of the Year
  • UMF Education graduates have been named Maine Elementary School Principal of the Year
  • UMF Education graduates have received the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
  • UMF Education graduates have 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
  • UMF Education graduates received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Award
  • 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 the prestigious Apple Design Award

Save nearly $6,000 per year in tuition. This University of Maine at Farmington program will qualify for the New England Regional Program tuition discount beginning in Fall 2024.

This price break is for residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont for the 2024-2025 academic year — a savings of $5,880 per year.

Contact Us

Office of Admissions
University of Maine at Farmington
246 Main Street
Farmington, Maine USA 04938-1994
tel  207-778-7050
fax  207-778-8182
TYY (via Maine Relay Service) dial 711