Perhaps the most important time of a child’s life is in the early years. They are learning how to talk, socialize with others and sometimes, learning the “potty training” process is their biggest challenge. As a teacher in the field of early childhood education, you will become their best friend and supporter, cheering them on as they grow into the next phase. Ages for early childhood consideration range from between infancy to about eight years old, which is around the third grade.
With an online Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, which is the preferred degree in this field, you will qualify for many employment opportunities, such as, a daycare provider, as a teacher in a preschool or an elementary school setting, or perhaps, as a childcare center administrator. Some teaching opportunities allow you to venture into the realm of elementary school principal or vice-principal. If you would like to work with children that have special needs, a career as an early childhood Special Education Teacher is a challenging, yet possibly the most rewarding, career choice for you.
Which is best, certification or bachelor’s degree? This is a question that is relative in today’s world where most people are in the need of furthering their education, but need to start working as soon as possible. Without a doubt, obtaining your online Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education is the way to go, if you can. Although, typically, it will take you two to five years to complete, it is worth it, however, if you don’t have the time, online certification programs are available. Through these programs, you will gain useful knowledge and skills that will allow you entry-level jobs as a childcare facility worker or a position as a substitute teacher, a camp instructor or other type of learning center mentor. The difference is, however, if you obtain your online Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, you can become a licensed teacher. The good news is, the time and energy you put into certification classes can be possibly rolled over into the earning of your bachelor’s degree, depending on your program. Of course, the prerequisite for either of these programs is a High School diploma or the equivalent.
Although there are several areas of concentration you may choose from, for example, early child development, infant/toddler caregiver, early childhood administration or teaching at the elementary or special education level, the core classes are generally the same for each specialization. They may include child growth and development, psychology of education, theory and practices in early childhood special education, diversity and cultures, health and nutrition, educational technology, administration of early childhood programs, diversity and world culture, as well as, the study of infant/toddler development and education. Depending on your area of concentration and desired teaching level, you will also study teaching methods in math, science, social studies and literature, in addition to, how to create effective early childhood curriculum and how to carefully observe and evaluate your students.
As a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education is readily available through online programs, certain aspects of student teaching must be done as an in-person practical learning component. Your online program may be able to help you obtain the internship that is right for you. And of course, along with your degree to teach, you must gain applicable licensure per your states requirements.
If you are interested in this field of expertise, please feel free to check out our list of the Top Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Online Degree Programs.