People who desire to work with children between the ages of birth and eight years might pursue a in early childhood education degree. Discover what you can accomplish with an early childhood education degree and the many careers available.
An associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in early childhood education prepares you to work with children aged birth to eight years old. During this time, children acquire a wide range of important life and social skills, such as how to walk, talk, interact with others, add and subtract, and so on. Courses in early childhood education degree programs teach you how to teach these skills to youngsters and measure their development.
What exactly is a early childhood education degree?
An undergraduate or graduate degree in early childhood education is available. These degree programs include coursework on topics such as developmentally appropriate teaching techniques, early childhood education philosophies, and early childhood reading, as well as general education courses. In some schools, the degree is a subset of the wider field of elementary education or child study.
Types of early childhood education degrees
Associate and doctorate degrees in early childhood education are available. An associate degree may be obtained in around two years. This degree may prepare you for entry-level work in a childcare center. An associate degree might also be useful if you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree later in life.
A bachelor’s degree most times takes four years to complete. A bachelor’s degree is usually required if you want to work as a classroom teacher in a public or private school. Depending on the school, you may pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. Both degrees normally require 120 credit hours of coursework, however the curriculum for a BA program emphasizes the humanities and arts, whereas the curriculum for a BS program emphasizes math and science.
Early childhood education masters degrees include master’s and doctoral degrees, which normally take two to six years to complete. The following are examples of common graduate in early childhood education degree:
- Master of Arts in Education (MAE)
- Master of Education (MEd)
- Master of Science (MS)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
- Doctor of Education (EdD)
- Master of Arts (MA)
Classroom tutors who hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education may pursue graduate degrees to enhance their careers or broaden their expertise. People who pursue a PhD in early childhood education typically aim to work in the area as researchers or educators of the future.
Concentrations by degree
Some students opt to focus their studies in early childhood education on a specific area of interest. If you want to work in a place with a big population of recent immigrants, you may wish to focus on bilingual or dual language instruction. Similarly, if you intend to deal with children who have developmental delays or disabilities, you may want to focus on special education.
What you’ll learn and some example courses
The curriculum for early childhood education degree programs is comparable to that of any other education class, but with an emphasis on how it applies to children aged 8 and under. Professors often employ a hands-on approach with a lot of practice.
You might take the following essential courses:
- Infant and Toddler Care
- Classroom Management and Guidance of Young Children
- Creative and Effective Experience for Young Children
- Child Development
- Early Literacy Learning
- Math Content and Processes
- Play Development and Assessment
- Methods of Curriculum and Instruction
- Young Children with Special Needs
Aside from classroom experience, you may be able to watch instructors in preschool and primary classes. Many programs offer an internship that allows you to gain personal experience as an early childhood education teacher. You will create and implement classes as well as practice classroom management. Some colleges require you to create a portfolio that demonstrates all you’ve learnt throughout the program.
Who needs early childhood education degree?
Anyone who wishes to work as a classroom teacher in a public school must have a degree in early childhood education. A degree is one of the prerequisites for licensing in most states. Some private schools and preschools also favor degree-holding teachers.
What can you accomplish with a in early childhood education degree?
People with an early childhood education degree often work in daycare facilities or schools. Some of the occupations available in a public or private school setting include:
Preschool teacher: You plan educational activities and deal with children who are not yet old enough to start kindergarten as a preschool teacher. Preparing and teaching lessons, overseeing learning activities, and tracking student progress as they learn the skills and information required for success in primary school are all part of your work.
Special education Teacher: Special education Teacher Deal with children under the age of eight who have a diagnosed impairment. Your duties may involve evaluating students, defining academic objectives, monitoring progress toward goals, instructing students, altering materials for students, and co-teaching with the classroom instructor in a classroom, small group, or one-on-one environment. You may also serve as a link between the school and the parents.
A teacher assistant (TA): A teacher assistant works directly under the supervision of a classroom instructor. You may help prepare materials, assist with chores in the classroom, and oversee students while they work on activities in this capacity. The teacher may request that you tutor individuals or small groups of students who require more assistance with their classwork.
There are also early childhood education careers accessible outside of regular institutions. A certificate in early childhood education degree is equally useful in other areas. Among them are the following:
Childcare Director : Managing a learning center for younger kids is a supervisory function. You can employ, oversee, and monitor teachers and other facility personnel to ensure they are fulfilling the requirements of the pupils. You may also be responsible for business-related activities such as tracking financing, processing payments, remaining in line with rules, and interacting with parents.
Childcare Worker: Child care worker have comparable duties to preschool instructors, although they are more likely to work outside of a typical classroom setting. You might work at a local childcare center, for a religious or civic group, for a firm that provides on-site daycare for employees, or for a family. You may oversee children during the day, set timetables for them, and teach them new ideas in this capacity.
As A Nanny: Nannies work full-time or part-time caring for children in a single home, generally while the parents are at work. You are entirely involved in the child’s everyday care as a nanny. Preparing meals, driving children to activities, cleaning the house, planning playdates, and overseeing children in their homes might all be part of your employment. You may reside in the house with the family or commute as needed, depending on their requirements.
Certification and licensing in early childhood education
Each state has its own regulations for licensure or certification of childcare employees. You may be required to complete childcare training covering issues such as child development, nutrition, and safety (including how to recognize symptoms of abuse or mistreatment) and pass a knowledge exam.
Other courses that may be necessary include baby and child CPR, pharmaceutical delivery, record keeping, and business management. Childcare worker rules vary by state and can change throughout legislative sessions, so check with your state’s department of family or social services for the most up-to-date information.
Alternatives to a early childhood education degree
In some situations, you may not require an early childhood education degree. For example, if you fulfill the state and municipal regulations for this sort of facility, you may be permitted to start a daycare in your own house. In most circumstances, no degree is required.
It is also feasible to work in a classroom without an early childhood degree. Some states enable college graduates who majored in a different topic to apply for a teaching license. If you choose this way, you must still complete all of the requirements for a license, which may involve passing examinations and completing some education courses as stipulated in the legislation. You could also benefit from taking some early childhood education classes to understand more about the most recent research in the subject.
How to Apply for Early Childhood Education Degree
Consider your future plans before applying to an early childhood education degree program. Your response to this question will help you decide what to do next. A bachelor’s degree, for example, is required if you want to work as a kindergarten teacher at a local elementary school. If you want to start a home-based daycare, you might start with an associate degree or certification program.
After you’ve decided on the sort of curriculum you want to pursue, look into colleges that offer it. Across the country, in-person and online programs are available. Examine the entrance criteria for each program.
Advice on Selecting an Early Childhood Education Degree Program
When selecting an early childhood education degree program, search for one that offers the sort of degree and courses that will help you achieve your professional objectives. The following questions will assist you in evaluating the program:
- Does the early childhood education degree program offer the specific courses or concentration that you really want?
- Is there any internship?
- Will a university accept an associate degree from this school?
- How soon after you graduate can you apply for certification?
- Are classes face-to-face or online?
- Are classes lecture-based or hands-on?
The answers to these questions will assist you in deciding which curriculum is ideal for you.