There’s a rising demand for qualified educators who can work in the early childhood education setting. If you are interested in beginning a career in this field, then this guide on how to get a degree in early childhood education will be beneficial.
From childbirth to the age of eight, children are developing cognitive, social, and emotional skills. These early years are also a period where a lot of young children have little access to educational opportunities and good-quality care outside their homes. These crucial years of development have a huge impact on building a strong learning foundation that will help children grow up and achieve success over the course of their lifetime.
A degree in early childhood education equips you with the knowledge and skills to aid children to develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally. In this easy-to-digest article, you will get to know:
- What is an early childhood education degree called?
- What degree is best for early childhood education
- How long does it take to get a degree in early childhood education?
- How to get a degree in early childhood education (a step by step guide)
- Careers in early childhood education
- And lot’s more
To achieve this exciting goal, you will need to determine if the degree is right for you, meet the admissions criteria, and complete the degree requirements, including any practicum experiences.
What is Early Childhood Education?
Early childhood education is a type of education that focuses on instructing and helping in the social, intellectual, and emotional development of children from childbirth to approximately eight years of age. It is all about the care and curriculum provided in preschool, and daycare, kids who are still very young to begin kindergarten.
What degree is best for early childhood education
The best degree for an online Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education is a bachelor’s degree. An online Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education increases your opportunities for employment and advancement as a child educator.
The bachelor’s of early childhood education degree teaches and equips you with the knowledge, skills, practices, and field experiences needed to become a professional child educator. You will learn how to design a curriculum, create appropriate learning environments, and improve learning outcomes for children. Other online Bachelor’s Degree in early childhood education provides an in-depth understanding of child development in the foundational areas of parent empowerment, socio-cultural influences on learning and brain development, early cognition skills, peer cooperation and collaboration, emerging literacy, necessary developmental screening assessments, as well as child advocacy, and law and ethics.
Why earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education?
There are a number of reasons to earn a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. They include;
Advancement Opportunities: If you are already a child educator and want to advance to a higher role, a bachelor’s can equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to thrive on the job. The degree will show employers that you are committed to childhood education and to your students.
Career options: Some careers in early childhood education do not require a formal degree, but recently, employers now prefer bachelor-prepared candidates for many common positions.
Empowerment: No matter what your current goals or ambitions are, earning a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education online or on-campus is an empowering experience that will make you a professional child educator.
How long does it take to get a degree in early childhood education?
It takes four years to complete this degree. However, the duration depends on your course load, program, and the number of transfer units — if any — you have from other institutions.
There is also an online option to get a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education online. Online learning uses remote learning strategies to give you more flexibility in terms of when and where you complete your degree coursework.
How to get a degree in early childhood education (a step by step guide)
To get a degree in early childhood education, you have to start researching childhood education programs and complete any requirements you need to obtain admission to an accredited program in an accredited college or university. Accreditation means that an educational program meets the minimum quality standards. It is also an indication to employers that you got quality education and training
1: Consider If you want to be a child educator
Before you enroll in a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, online or on campus, you should first do your research and ask questions to be sure it is the right career for you. Getting some hands-on experience and spending time in the field as a child educator can be very helpful in this aspect. It will help you decide if it is the right choice for your career.
2: Meet the Admissions Criteria for a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
Just like any four-year degree program in a university or college course, there are certain criteria students must meet before getting admitted. Meet the Admissions Criteria
The admissions criteria for most bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education online programs are quite similar to that of university or college programs, and no previous experience in the field is required to apply (though it certainly does not hurt). However, a high school diploma or the equivalent is compulsory and you may be asked to complete a standardized test, such as the SAT or ACT.
Most childhood education programs will also ask for a personal statement that details why you wish to pursue this type of degree, and letters of recommendation from a teacher, employer, or mentor. Request these letters in advance so that your references have enough time to write them before the admission deadline.
3: Complete the requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
The requirements for completing your degree will vary by institution or college. Once you are accepted to an accredited school, you will have to complete the program to earn your degree. +
4: Start Your Career in Early Childhood Education
After obtaining your degree, the next step is to start working in the childhood education field. For some, this is a period when they spend time researching career options and job opportunities.
A bachelor’s degree in childhood education automatically qualifies you for many exciting roles that include, but are not limited to:
- Preschool teacher: Preschool teaching is one of the most popular choices for early childhood educators. As a preschool teacher, you will work with children under the age of 5, and help them improve their social, and language skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the demand for preschool teachers is predicted to rise by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, meaning that 50,100 new positions will be added to the market.
- Child care center aide: Child care center aides play a huge role in the development of young children. Daycare centers, after-school programs, and other organizations all offer employment opportunities for child care center aids.
- Head Start teacher: The federal Head Start program focuses on helping low-income children from birth to the age of 5 to develop emotionally, cognitively, and socially. Every state’s branch has many roles for professionals who wish to work as child educators.
- Special education teacher: A bachelor’s degree background in early childhood education will prepare you well to take care of children who have special learning needs in the classroom. However, this position will require a teaching license.
After finishing their bachelor’s, you may choose to further and pursue a graduate-level degree. A master’s degree in early childhood education is the most common option here. A master’s degree in early childhood education goes deeper into the theory behind many childhood education topics and focuses more on empowering graduates to effect change and take on leadership roles.
Careers in early childhood education for educators who have a master’s degree include the following:
Preschool or childcare center director: A career or job as a preschool or childcare center director of any early childhood education organization requires a master’s degree. Currently, there is a huge demand for these leadership roles. BLS has predicted an 11 percent increase between 2016 and 2026 and that 6,700 new positions will be added to the job market.
Consultant: A child education consultant is someone who helps other organizations improve their early childhood education services and products. With a master’s degree, you can work with an agency or start your own business and become a child education consultant who advises these groups or organizations.
Community college educator: With a master’s, you can become a community college educator who teaches at the community college level and educates adults as well as children.
A degree in early childhood education equips you with the knowledge and skills to aid children to develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally. Early childhood education is a type of education that focuses on instructing and helping in the social, intellectual, and emotional development of children from childbirth to approximately eight years of age.
Hopefully, you have gotten to know what an early childhood education degree is, what degree is best for early childhood education, how long it takes to get a degree in early childhood education, how to get a degree in early childhood education, and the careers in early childhood education
If you have any other questions on how to get a degree in early childhood education, let us know in the comments below.