Early Childhood Education Degree
Earning an early childhood education degree will prepare you for a rewarding career teaching young children, ranging in age from birth to eight or nine years old, which is traditionally about 3rd grade. Early childhood educators play a critical role in their students’ lives; they lay the foundation for a lifetime love of learning. They may also be expected to identify and instruct children with special needs, learning disabilities or developmental delays. The ideal candidate for an early childhood education job will be service oriented, with good communication and active listening skills. The job requires dependability, integrity and adaptability. Many schools offer an early childhood education degree online, which allow a student to study on their own time and at their own pace, often while maintaining regular employment.
How to Become an Early Childhood Teacher
Each state requires early childhood educators to have a bachelor’s degree and certification from a traditional or alternative teacher preparation program, and certification requirements vary from state to state. Some new teachers receive support from a mentoring program during their first year on the job.
Early Education Degree Curriculum
Coursework for a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education may include classes in language and literacy, child growth and development, equity and cultural diversity, curriculum design and theories in instruction. Most early childhood education programs will also require some student teaching. The schools featured on Teaching Certification Degrees are all accredited.
Typical classes in a early education degree program may include:
- Introduction to Early Childhood Education
- Language Development in Early Childhood
- Beginning Literacy
- Assessment and Evaluation in Early Childhood Education
- Language Arts and Reading for Early Childhood
- Science for Young Children
- Child Health and Safety
- Student Teaching and Professional Practicum
Early Childhood Education Degrees and Certification
Completing an early childhood education degree program will qualify you to seek a number of positions in both public and private schools. Daycare centers, preschools or kindergartens are the most common places of employment for those with a degree in early childhood education. Salary ranges widely, depending upon what kind of setting an educator works in. The median annual wage for preschool teachers is $23,870, while daycare workers earn a median salary of $33,300. The median annual salary for kindergarten teachers is $50,380.
Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
A bachelor’s degree in early childhood education prepares an instructor to teach small children, including infants and small children up to the third grade. They help children develop social, personal and academic skills to properly prepare them for upper levels of education. These teachers must prepare children for higher educational standards which are constantly changing and improving. These teachers are not only educators, but are also caregivers who care for small children in their parents’ absence and must have a natural affection for working with children. Self-motivation, creativity, patience, a love of teaching and the ability to demonstrate cooperation are attributes that complement this career. Teachers learn how to create a safe, educational and caring environment where children are able to maximize potential and achieve or surpass learning milestones and set goals.
Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
Students graduating with a master’s degree in early childhood education are prepared to work as a teacher in elementary school settings, teaching Pre-K through third grade. These candidates will have completed a bachelor’s degree, which does not necessarily have to be in an educational field; however, many universities only offer early childhood education degree programs to graduate students who are certified to teach in either elementary or secondary school. Many online degree programs offer master’s degrees in early childhood education. An early childhood education career requires a love of learning, a passion for teaching and children, patience to work with small children, and the subject matter knowledge required to complete the coursework and teach at the Pre-K-3 level.
Early Childhood Education Degree Online
Students can also pursue an online degree in early childhood education. An online early childhood education degree program can offer additional flexibility of time and place for individuals who prefer this option. Online education continues to improve with innovations like live streaming virtual classrooms with video conferencing and use of interactive social technologies that allow collaboration and discussion with classmates.
Top 50 Early Childhood Education Blogs
See our list with reviews of over 50 top early childhood education blogs that provide an inside look into the classrooms and thoughts of current early childhood education teachers.
Interviews with Early Childhood Education Teachers
See our teacher career interview series to read our interviews with current teachers who share their experiences, insights, and advice for early childhood education teachers.
Early Childhood Development Degrees and Programs
- M.A. in Education/Early Childhood Ed.
- B.S. in Education / Elementary Education
- A.A. in Elementary Education
- M.A. in Education/Elementary Teacher Education
- And more...
- M.S. in Early Childhood Studies - Teaching Adults in the Early Childhood Field
- Ed.S. in Early Childhood - General Program
- M.S. in Early Childhood Studies - Early Childhood Public Policy and Advocacy
- Doctor of Education - Early Childhood Education
- And more...
- B.S. in Early Childhood Education (Birth - 5 Years)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education
- Special Education (Early Childhood/Elementary)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Teacher Leadership
- And more...
- Early Childhood Education
- M.Ed. in Early Childhood (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
- B.S. in Early Childhood
- M.Ed. in Early Childhood (Does not lead to initial teacher licensure)
- M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
- And more...