Early Childhood Education

Spring semester begins January 17. 2024

Join our Early Childhood Education Career Explorations program!

Learning cohorts are a team, group, or community of people with shared interests and goals who progress through an educational experience together. Their benefit is based upon certain educational theories of how people learn and the desire for support, teamwork, and shared resources. Our program uses a cohort-learning model to bring students together for professional development seminars, discussion groups, academic support, and wraparound services such as childcare, transportation, and language support.

For more information about Career Exploration programs, click here.

Course Offerings

ECE 110 Class (Child Growth and Development) – 3 Credits

This foundational, asynchronous online class is offered through Cape Cod Community College (4C’s). Asynchronous learning allows you to learn on your own schedule, within a certain timeframe. You can access and complete lectures, readings, homework and other learning materials at any time. This class is required in order to become licensed as an Early Childhood Education teacher. This course examines child development from conception to age 9 by considering the complex interaction between hereditary and environmental factors. Children’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development are discussed, as well as the implications for developmentally appropriate practice. It includes the theories of Erikson, Piaget, and Vygotsky. Students are required to observe children in a childcare setting. This course is restricted to applicants for State certification as a teacher of infants, toddlers, and/or preschool children.

For information about additional ECE coursework through Cape Cod Community College, please contact Deb Maher, Program Facilitator at deb@acemv.org.


This program is free of charge to Vineyard residents thanks to generous grants from the West Chop Community Fund and the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation; tuition, books, and all related costs are covered.

Check out this article in the MV Times about our grant from West Chop Community Fund:

Meet Deb Maher
ACE MV CET’s Early Childhood Education cohort facilitator

Deb Maher has been learning and teaching with other students of all ages and stages since playing school as a third grader back in 1953. She began her professional experience as a teaching assistant in the federally funded Follow Through Program in Cambridge, MA back in 1968, and has worked in many varied educational institutions, both public and private, in MA and RI, from pre-school through college levels, ever since. Moving to the Vineyard in 1974, Deb worked in MV Publics Schools as a teacher, staff and curriculum developer, and an administrator for twenty years. In 2016, Deb began her most recent, and still current position, as MV Outreach Coordinator/Counselor for Cape Cod Community College here on-Island.

Previously Deb was a member of the ACE MV Program Committee from 2012-15, and has enjoyed reconnecting to collaborate with MV CET recently to help launch the very successful and much needed Early Childhood Education (ECE) initiative to develop an ECE workforce for the Vineyard community. She is pleased to join MV CET now to help support and develop our MV ECE Cohort.

Deb earned her AS and BS Degrees in ECE from Wheelock College in 1973, and her Masters in Education from Lesley College (now University) in 1978, along with a cohort of educators here on the Vineyard. She has participated in and learned from many other professional development opportunities with other higher education institutions such Columbia Teachers College and at Harvard Graduate School of Education. She believes that her most effective learning experiences have always been with students themselves.

Deb is proud to have raised, as a single Mom, two creative and caring, now grown children, and is happily engaged with three young adult grandchildren, who are continuing to help her learn new things every day.

If you’re interested in joining this cohort and want us to contact you with more information and next steps, please fill out the form below: