Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Education, birth through age 8

The ECE³ Alliance believes that on its own, early childhood care and education is a professional discipline that requires deep commitment, rigorous study, and quality field experiences. Indeed, Hawaiʻi needs a stand-alone program that focuses solely on ECE (birth to 8) rather than one that combines ECE with elementary education.

Recognizing this, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education (UHM COE) faculty is designing a new statewide track: Bachelor in Education degree in Early Childhood Education, Birth to 8 (B.Ed. in ECE, B-8). Faculty are exploring how this degree can lead to a prekindergarten to third grade teacher license. Building on existing B.Ed. Degrees for ECE teachers, this newly designed track will be a culturally relevant and competency-based program for those interested in a career as an educator serving young children, birth through age 8, and their families in communities across Hawaiʻi.

This degree program will align with the NAEYC Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Education, the E Mālama i Nā Keiki, and the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium’s (InTASC) Model Core Teaching Standards and Learning Progressions for Teachers. The InTASC Standards are adopted by the Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board, who oversees teacher licensing and credentialing for Hawaiʻiʻs public school system.


Special Features of the Upcoming Program:

Available across islands

UHM COE plans to offer this course primarily online, which means teacher candidates from all islands are welcome to enroll! 

Online Early Evening Classes

To accommodate people who are already working with young children in schools and ECE programs, our plan is to offer these courses online and in the early evenings. We believe that your career should not be an obstacle to higher learning!


This new track is being designed to articulate smoothly with the ECE programs at HonCC, HCC, KauCC, and UHMC. Articulation agreements with the aforementioned community colleges acknowledge early childhood education Associate degree program completers by awarding college credit for select ECE core courses. That means prior ECE credits need not go to waste—more detailed information about our partnerships with the community colleges will be up soon.

Types of Field Placements
  • Traditional placements where teacher candidates observe and practice in a classroom with an experienced early childhood teacher
  • In-place placements for those already working in early learning settings and employed by the DOE or early childhood programs are being considered.
Cohorted program

To instill a sense of community and belonging, we plan to design the program in reasonably sized cohorts. While this program is still in the works, we are looking forward to welcoming our pioneering cohort! In the meantime, check out UHM COE’s existing Early Childhood Teacher Education programs.


High-Quality Field Experiences through Mentorships

Our students are required to participate in quality fieldwork or practicum experiences, which represent the vast array of ECE settings serving diverse B-8 children and families in Hawaiʻi. These settings include Family-Child Interaction Learning and Family Child Care programs and School and Center-based programs.

At every field placement, students are paired with mentor teachers who model effective practices and are closely supervised by college faculty. 

The ECE³ Project will strengthen the systems of support required to provide coursework and field-based learning experiences for students in early childhood teacher education programs. We aim to increase the number of quality field sites for teacher candidates by forming partnership agreements with early learning programs to serve as field sites for teacher candidates. In addition, we are strengthening the knowledge and skills of teachers to serve as mentor teachers in field sites.