An early childhood education degree is an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree that prepares you to work with infants or children up to 8 years old. Love being around children?. Buy BSc In Early Childhood Education Online to thrust you into your full potential. During this period, children learn a variety of essential life and social skills, including how to walk, talk, interact with others, add and subtract, and more. Degrees and courses in early childhood education degree programs help you learn how to teach children these skills and assess their progress.
If you enjoy working with children and teaching others, then an early childhood education degree might be right for you. In this article, you’ll learn what an early childhood education degree is, what you’ll learn, and tips on choosing the right one for you.
What is an early childhood education degree?
An early childhood education degree is an undergraduate or graduate degree focused on teaching degree holders how to educate infants and children as they undergo rapid cognitive and physical changes, such as learning to walk and count. Buy BSc In Early Childhood Education Online
Coursework within these degree programs addresses topics like developmentally appropriate teaching practices, early childhood education theories, and early childhood literacy, as well as general education courses. At some schools, the degree is a concentration under the larger umbrella of elementary education or child study.
Early childhood education degrees range from the associate to doctoral level. You can earn an associate degree in about two years. With this type of degree, you may qualify for entry-level positions in a childcare center. Having an associate degree can also be helpful if you later decide to earn a bachelor’s degree. The school may give you credit for the coursework you took to earn the associate degree.
Buy bachelor’s degree online takes most people four years to complete. If you plan to teach in a public or private school as a classroom teacher, you likely need at least a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the school you attend, you may choose between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. Both types of degrees typically require 120 credit hours of coursework, but the curriculum for a BA program tends to emphasize the humanities and arts while the BS program tends to emphasize math and science.
Graduate degrees in early childhood education include master’s and doctorate degrees that typically take between two and six years to complete. Common graduate degrees in early childhood education include:
Master of Arts (MA)
Master of Arts in Education (MAE)
Master of Science (MS)
Master of Education (MEd)
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Classroom teachers may earn graduate degrees to advance their careers or expand their knowledge, especially if they have a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education. People who pursue a doctorate in early childhood education usually want to work in the field as researchers or teaching future educators.
Some students choose to concentrate their early childhood education studies in a specific area of interest. For example, you may want to concentrate on bilingual or dual language education if you plan to work in a community with a large number of recent immigrants. Similarly, you may decide to concentrate on special education if your plans include working with children who have developmental delays or disabilities.
What you’ll study and sample coursework
The curriculum for early childhood education degree programs is similar to what you might expect to find in any education class, but with an emphasis on how they pertain to children who are 8 years old and younger. Professors tend to use a practical approach with plenty of hands-on application. Some of the core courses you may take include:
Classroom Management and Guidance of Young Children
Creative and Affective Experience for Young Children
Early Literacy Learning
Infant and Toddler Care
Math Content and Processes
Methods of Curriculum and Instruction
Play Development and Assessment
Young Children with Special Needs
In addition to the classroom experience, you also may have opportunities to observe teachers in preschool and elementary classrooms. Many programs include an internship that lets you experience firsthand what it’s like to be an early childhood education teacher. You’ll plan and implement lessons and practice managing a classroom. Some schools ask you to put together a portfolio demonstrating everything you’ve learned in the program.
Who needs an early childhood education degree?
Anyone who wants to work in a public school as a classroom teacher must have an early childhood education degree. In most states, a degree is one of the requirements for licensure. Some private schools and preschools also prefer teachers who have a degree.
What can you do with an early childhood education degree?
People who earn an early childhood education degree typically pursue careers in childcare centers or schools. Some of the careers you find in a public or private school setting include the following:
Preschool teacher: As a preschool teacher, you organize educational activities and work with children who are not yet old enough to enter kindergarten. Your job includes preparing and teaching lessons, supervising learning activities, and tracking student progress as they learn the skills and content needed for success in elementary school.
Special education teacher: Special education teachers work with children younger than 8 who have a diagnosed disability. Your job may be in a classroom, small group, or one-on-one setting and include tasks like evaluating students, setting academic goals, monitoring progress toward goals, instructing students, modifying materials for students, and co-teaching with the classroom teacher. You also may act as a liaison between the school and the parents.
Teacher assistant: A teacher assistant (TA) works under the supervision of a classroom teacher. In this role, you may help prepare materials, assist with tasks in the classroom, and manage students as they work in activities. The teacher may ask you to tutor individual or small groups of students who need additional support with their classwork.
Early childhood education jobs are also available outside traditional schools. Having an early childhood education degree is also helpful in other settings. They include the following:
Childcare center director: Managing a learning center for younger students is a supervisory role. You can hire, supervise, and monitor the teachers and other staff working in the facility to ensure they are meeting the needs of the students. In addition, you may handle tasks on the business side of things, such as tracking funding, processing payments, staying in compliance with regulations, and communicating with parents.
Childcare worker: Childcare workers have a similar role to that of preschool teachers, but they are more likely to work outside a traditional classroom setting. You may work in a neighborhood childcare facility, at a religious or civic organization, a corporation that offers on-site childcare for employees, or for a family. In this role, you may supervise children during the day, create schedules for them, and teach them new concepts.
Nanny: Nannies may work full or part-time taking care of the children in a single family, usually while parents are at work. As a nanny, you are fully invested in the child’s daily care. Your job may include preparing meals, transporting children to events, cleaning the house, organizing playdates, and supervising children in their homes. Depending on the needs of the family, you may live in the house with them or commute as required.
Early childhood education certification and licensure
Each state has requirements for licensing or certifying childcare workers. You may need to take childcare classes that cover topics like child development, nutrition, and safety (including how to detect signs of abuse or maltreatment) and pass a test demonstrating your knowledge.
Other required courses can include CPR for infants and children, medication administration, record maintenance, and business management. The laws governing childcare workers vary from state to state and can change during legislative sessions, so check with your state’s department of family or social services for the most current information.
Alternatives to an early childhood education degree
In some cases, you may not need an early childhood education degree. For example, you may be able to open a daycare in your own home as long as you meet the state and local requirements for this type of facility. In most cases, this does not require a degree.
It’s also possible to teach in a classroom without an early childhood education degree. Some states allow college graduates to apply for a teaching license even if they majored in a different subject area. If you choose this route, you still have to meet all of the requirements for a license, which can include passing exams and taking some education courses specified in the statutes. You also may find it helpful to take some early childhood education courses to learn more about the most recent research