Earning an early childhood education degree gives future educators many options to teach young children. Early childhood educators may work in various grades or in different educational environments, but no matter where they work, graduates with an early childhood education degree will have the chance to make a real difference in the lives of children.
What Is Early Childhood Education?
An early childhood education degree program addresses education in pre-kindergarten through third grade, or around age eight. Quality preschools offer developmentally appropriate curriculum to help children develop social and emotional skills and learn basics such as colors, numbers and letters. Early childhood educators in grades kindergarten through third build on that basic information and help children form the basis for their future mathematical, reading, writing, science, history and art knowledge.
Jobs for Early Childhood Education Degree Holders
A preschool teacher incorporates a developmentally appropriate early childhood education curriculum to help develop students’ foundational skills. They may work with students individually and in small groups and track their progress. Early childhood education graduates who work as preschool teachers spend a majority of their time planning educational learning experiences that are engaging and relevant for young children. A great deal of these may include play-based learning which is developmentally- and age-appropriate at the preschool level.
Preschool teachers can begin their careers with an associate degree in early childhood education before earning a bachelor of art or science in early childhood education. Preschool teachers generally find work at daycares or state, local or private preschools. Preschool teachers can also work in private homes or religious institutions.
Elementary School Teacher
An elementary school teacher with an early childhood education degree may work in kindergarten through third grade. At the kindergarten level, the tasks for an elementary school teacher may closely mirror those of a preschool teacher. They focus on some academic skills through play-based learning and include emotional and social development lessons to help students learn how to work with others in the classroom.
An early childhood education degree may have more of a focus on academics. In many states, standardized testing begins for children in third grade, so elementary school teachers help prepare students for their first experiences with state testing.
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers can work in both public and private schools, daycare centers, charter schools, religious-based schools or as homeschoolers.
Childcare Center Director
Preschools and childcare centers need directors who step back from the classroom and manage the entire center. These people directly supervise the teachers and other employees. They may own the center or be employees of a larger organization.
Childcare center workers generally work under the supervision of a teacher or the childcare center director. Oftentimes, childcare workers are interested in earning their early childhood degree to further their career.
Nannies work for private employers and care for children. Nannies with early childhood education degrees are uniquely qualified to not only look after children but to provide them with educational experiences. Nannies may bring children to and from events and help them with housework, but those with an early childhood education degree can also provide lessons and academic help for the children that they look after.
Nannies work in private homes and some may even live in those homes in order to take care of the children at any time of day. Live-in nannies tend to earn more money because they are on call 24 hours a day.
If you want to help young children develop foundational skills that will be with them for the rest of their lives, learn more about the Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education degree program at Grand Canyon University. Visit our website to learn more about our teaching and school administration degree programs today.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.