Associate degree in early childhood education This 2-year degree qualifies you for many entry-level early childhood education jobs. It's the least expensive degree to earn and can often stay for the first two years of a bachelor's degree program if you choose to earn a full bachelor's degree. As the benefits of early childhood education become better understood, the demand for trained professionals who can work effectively with young children increases. Earning an early childhood education degree is an important step in entering this field.
We reviewed many undergraduate programs in early childhood education that can be completed online, on campus, or through a combination of the two. Online programs often require in-person training so that students can gain hands-on experience working with young children. Our list includes associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees to meet students' educational needs. The level that is most appropriate for you depends on your previous post-secondary education.
An early childhood education degree aims to prepare you to work in Head Start programs, preschools, daycare centers, and private homes. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for a teaching degree, and most early childhood education programs do not lead to a teaching certification. A teaching certification is generally required if you want to teach in a public school setting, and some private elementary and secondary schools also request one. All states set their own requirements for early childhood educators and directors.
Some states require educators to obtain the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, which involves 10 hours of learning covering eight different subjects. If your state requests it, be sure to choose a degree program that includes the credential in your curriculum. While online programs allow you to complete courses remotely, the vast majority of programs have a practical part to do in an early childhood education environment. The number of hours of practice you'll need varies, but you should consider this factor when evaluating programs in light of your personal programming needs.
Once you've chosen the programs of interest, check each program's website or contact each school directly for more information about their application process. You need to know what materials to send and their deadlines. Also, consider how you'll fund your degree. Research scholarship opportunities and ask programs about financial aid.
If you work in the field, find out if your employer has a referral or tuition reimbursement program. Enable smarter options to generate greater advantage, utility and satisfaction. The bachelor's degree in early childhood education develops comprehensive skills and knowledge through general education and core courses. Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences courses, which form the general education curriculum, strengthen critical thinking and communication skills.
Students prepare for the workforce or higher education by taking advanced courses that cover theoretical and practical topics. The highest degree in early childhood education is a doctorate. Those interested in working at the highest levels of administration and educational research are good doctoral candidates. It's very likely that those with a doctorate in early childhood education won't spend much time in the classroom, so keep that in mind if your passion is working with children one-on-one.
Early childhood educators work with children, from infancy to elementary school, sharing fundamental skills and knowledge. The bachelor's degree in education at Georgia Gwinnett College, a public institution, is among the best programs of its kind. Entry level requirements for employment typically include a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. Most of the time a bachelor's degree in early childhood education is required to teach preschool in public schools.
That degree can be in early childhood or elementary education, although some states require greater specialization in a subject, such as reading, mathematics, or social studies. Associate degrees in early childhood education can be earned online or in a local community or at a junior university. If you're passionate about shaping the minds of young people and helping them set the course for a better future, it's worth pursuing early childhood education, regardless of the degree you choose. A public institution, the University of Florida offers a first-rate degree in early childhood education.
After completing a bachelor's degree in early childhood education, some earn their master's degree in education or MEd. As a university professor, I design and teach early childhood and primary education courses. I have my doctorate in early childhood education, my master's degree in primary education from preschool to 6 years and a degree in psychology. Four former Saint Rose students who teach or serve as administrators in schools tell why they chose Saint Rose for their teaching degrees, the ways in which they still feel supported by Saint Rose faculty, and how they continue to apply the lessons learned at the university in their classrooms.