Graduates of a program in Early Childhood Education work with children of different age groups, depending on their area of specialization. Students typically specialize in a certain field and are able to educate young children in that field. A love for working with children, strong interpersonal skills, and an excellent ability to communicate are essential to success in this discipline. Due to increasing school enrollment, career prospects are very high in this field. Many graduates continue on to higher education in order to enhance their qualifications and secure better jobs.
Earning your early childhood education degree allows you to help children reach their full potential. From the moment a child is born, they are learning about the world around them. Early childhood educators have the opportunity to foster that learning at an early age.
There are numerous opportunities to earn online degrees in early childhood education. Certificates in early childhood education are sometimes suitable, though many employers expect applicants to have an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in the field. For states that set aside special funding for pre-kindergarten programs, a firm degree requirement could be in place.
The requirements for child care workers vary from state to state. Some states allow a person to begin working with children before they complete high school, while other states require completion of accredited degree programs in early childhood education and a current license. For those who must have a license, a background check and current immunizations are usually required.
Early childhood (from birth until age 10) represents an extremely critical time during which formative learning, skill building, and social growth take place. Children who have successfully mastered these areas are much better equipped to navigate their way through the academic and societal rigors that confront all students and professionals later in life. This is why schools, families, and local governments place such a heavy premium on early childhood education degree programs.
Thanks to the Internet technology, many of these programs have gone online, thus offering you greater convenience and flexibility as you work towards an associate's, master's, or doctorate diploma. These programs cater to adults balancing other life commitments such as full-time jobs and raising a family. Classes may be completed on the student's own schedule from home.
Early childhood education programs range from certificates to doctoral degrees.
The certificate is a brief course introducing the basics of child development. It is geared to students seeking an entry-level assistant position in a preschool or day care facility.
The associate's degree offers a broader curriculum, including both general liberal arts and science courses and applied instruction in early childhood education. Courses include teaching methods for young children and child growth and development. The two-year associate's degree qualifies graduates for a teaching position in a preschool or day care center.
A bachelor's degree in early childhood education is the standard qualification for public school teachers. The four-year program begins with core liberal arts and science requirements, before moving to specific childhood education courses. The focus at the bachelor's level is on classroom management skills, elementary instruction methods, and literacy education.
The Master of Education (MEd) in Early Childhood Education is the predominant qualification among early childhood education administrators, curriculum developers, and program directors. Teachers are increasingly pursuing master's degrees, particularly those in advanced areas of child education such as special education. Graduate master's degree programs generally take two years to complete. Courses focus on the theory of childhood development, research on child pedagogy, as well as practical classroom techniques. In addition, master's students may specialize in an area of their choice, such as curriculum design, educational technology, or educational leadership.
The PhD in Early Childhood Education is appropriate for aspiring educational researchers, professors, educational policymakers, and high-ranking administrators. Coursework at this level focuses on specific areas such as administrative issues, policy development, child psychology, research methods, and curriculum development.
The outlook is good for early childhood education careers. The changing dynamics of the modern household promises rising demand for trained educators. Because parents are working longer hours, parents are placing greater emphasis on qualified childcare providers and educators.