Earning an Early Childhood Education Degree
Whether you’re just looking for a career change or want to start a family, an early childhood education degree may be the right choice for you. Earning an Associate’s degree can open up a variety of job opportunities. It can also allow you to earn a high income while gaining the skills you need to succeed. You’ll also get to study in a field that’s growing in popularity and is highly regarded by employers.
Choosing an early childhood education associate degree program can prepare you for a variety of career opportunities. These include childcare work, nanny, teaching assistant, preschool teacher, and daycare center director.
Accredited programs ensure that their courses meet or exceed professional standards. They also evaluate the quality of instruction and faculty credentials. In addition to accreditation, students may be able to transfer the credits they earn from an accredited program toward a bachelor’s degree.
The curriculum for an early childhood education associate degree should be based on developmentally appropriate approaches. It should also incorporate the values and principles of ethics. Some schools offer grants or scholarships that can lower the cost of a degree. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid can be used to apply for these types of financial aid.
Some accredited colleges and universities offer partnerships with local childcare centers, which may help students find placement. Students also gain hands-on experience in every semester.
Obtaining a degree in early childhood education is a great way to kick-start a rewarding career. The field is diverse and includes jobs as teachers, counselors, administrators, researchers, and more.
The average pay for a preschool teacher is $29,780 per year. However, the median pay is slightly less than half that.
A Master’s degree in early childhood education will give you the chance to earn a higher salary, as well as stand out among other early childhood educators. A Master’s degree in education will also help you get a foot in the door at competitive school districts.
A bachelor’s degree in education is a must if you want to teach elementary school. While the pay is not stellar, the job is a stepping stone to more advanced careers. A BS in education can provide you with the knowledge to teach all elementary grade levels, as well as to develop curriculums and other educational programs.
Getting accredited is no small feat. The process is rigorous, time consuming, and labor intensive. Some accrediting bodies monitor member institutions to ensure that they are meeting or exceeding national standards. Depending on the specific accreditation program, the processes may be a bit different.
One of the first organizations to accredit early learning programs was the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It has been in business for more than 30 years, certifying educational programs that meet industry and NAEYC standards.
There are many good programs that do not get the accolades, though. However, a program with a high degree of accreditation will be held to the highest standards of quality. This means employers will recognize the value of a degree.
Some programs have specializations that focus on a particular area of interest. These specializations can open up job opportunities for students interested in working with preschool aged children.
Whether you are just starting out or are already a teacher, an Early Childhood Education degree offers job opportunities for many types of careers. After earning your degree, you can work as an educational assistant, a classroom assistant, or a lead teacher.
With your degree, you can also pursue positions in child care or business. You can be a consultant who works for a public or private organization. In this job, you will be responsible for making decisions about the day-to-day operation of a child care center or other type of organization. In addition, you may have knowledge of human resources, employee benefits, and the markets for educational materials.
You can also work as a sales representative. In this position, you will work with parents to find the right educational materials. These individuals often have a background in marketing or sales.
You can also become a research professional. With this type of position, you will be able to design research methodologies and study the development of children. These researchers may work for universities or government agencies. They may also publish findings in scientific literature.