Working with kids has an obvious appeal. Those funny, inspiring and exciting little learners are certainly a handful, but their infectious enthusiasm is also as good of a reason as any to come into work every day with a smile.
If you’ve got an inherent passion and ability to connect with young children, then you might be wondering if a career in early childhood education is right for you. While you love the idea of helping give kids the best possible start in life, you’re also probably curious about what you can do with a degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE).
Keep reading to learn more about the variety of early childhood education careers a degree could lead to, and get a taste of what’s included in an ECE degree program.
What can you expect from an Early Childhood Education degree program?
Before enrolling in any program, you want to know what you’re going to get out of it. A degree in this field will provide you with the building blocks for ECE principles, while furthering your leadership and administrative skills. Not only will you be prepared to help develop young children, but you’ll also gain business know-how and advocacy fundamentals as well.
Curious about what types of topics are covered in an ECE degree program? Here’s a taste of some of the common courses included:
- Communications and Connections for Early Childhood Professionals
- Observation and Assessment for Effective Curriculum Planning
- Positive Behavior Guidance for Young Children
- Technology and Developmentally Appropriate Practices
- Supporting Exceptional Children and Families
Many ECE programs allow you to complete your degree online, which makes for an even easier transition into the career of your dreams. The knowledge and training you acquire will prepare you for a variety of different careers, depending on what you’re seeking.
So what can you do with an Early Childhood Education degree? Here are just a few of the careers you might consider:
1. Preschool teacher
Preschool teachers are some of the first people to truly have an impact on a child’s life. These professionals care for and educate young children–typically ages three to five–and help them develop the foundations that will accompany them to their elementary years and beyond.
Preschool teachers teach a variety of subjects including math, science, writing, art and more. They can work in both public and private schools and often work in childcare centers or other organizations as well.
2. Teacher assistant
Teacher assistants in early childhood education aid ECE teachers by reinforcing lessons, enforcing classrooms rules, helping teachers prepare materials and assisting with anything else a teacher might need.
While the lead teacher generally presents the lessons to the class, the teacher assistant can aid small groups or individual students who have more questions during work time. Teacher assistants may also help with grading tests or checking over homework.