Attending university after finishing high school is a path that many students take. Deciding on the major to choose is often quite difficult for prospective students. If you happen to enjoy working with kids and plan on studying something in this direction, your choices are narrowed to certain degrees.
One of the fulfilling degrees of this field that you should consider is definitely Early Childhood Development. If you’re not quite familiar with it yet, this comprehensive guide will give you details regarding the importance of early childhood development and provide information on how you can become an educator. Moreover, you will discover the courses you can take, the best programs you can choose and also the types of jobs you can do.
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Importance of Early Childhood Development
Early childhood is one of the most critical periods of a child’s life. It starts from birth, continuing until the age of 8-9. During this period, it is the parent that has the greatest importance in the child’s development; they are considered to be their first teacher. Parents are the ones who teach them all the firsts: how to speak, how to feed themselves, etc. However, for the child to have a healthy growth, they need active stimulation and interaction with others. Here is the part where the need for early childhood education is noticed.
Early childhood education focuses mostly on “learning through play”. During this time, great help is provided by the educator who becomes a second parent to the child by teaching them concepts that will stay with them throughout their whole life.
Becoming an Educator
To even consider becoming an educator, first, you need to ask yourself if you have the right temperament for this type of job. Children can challenge your patience sometimes. You would have to be a person who can control their emotions, be creative and sensitive, have excellent skills in communication, and have the ability to connect with others. Prior to making a decision, make sure to do your research before applying to any universities or programs.
Early Childhood Development (ECD) Courses
If you have decided to become a preschool or kindergarten teacher, here is a list of early childhood education courses that would help you in your path:
Infant and Toddler Assessment and Intervention Course
This course includes classes where you would study the development stages of young children and also methods that determine if they have any learning issues.
Language Development Course
Includes studying methods for teaching students spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.
Role of the Parents Course
Through this course, you will learn the importance of keeping relations with the parents of their future students.
Preschool and Kindergarten Student Teaching Course
Throughout this course, you would have the chance to practice teaching in a classroom environment.
Choosing the Best Program to Study ECD
One of the first and foremost steps that you need to take before deciding about your degree program is to familiarize yourself with different options and understand what each program means.
Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Development
This 2-year degree will give you the needed knowledge for entry-level jobs. It is one of the least costly degrees, that will make it possible for you to have a general teaching job. An Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development will prepare you very well for upcoming jobs but you have to keep in mind that further advancements in your career are limited.
This degree requires 3-4 years to finish, depending on the university. A Bachelor’s degree gives you the opportunity to get more advanced academically and get higher pay than the one with an Associate’s degree.
Graduate Degrees, including Master’s and Doctoral Degrees
It requires 2-6 years to finish and is mainly for people who decide that they want to specialize in a certain field, upgrade their current salary, or do research on the field of Early Childhood Education.
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Early Childhood Development Jobs
There are several jobs that you can do with an Early Childhood Development degree after you acquire the right qualifications:
You will be able to give the child the first formal learning experience.
Salary: $29,780 per year
Childcare center director
You will get to work with children but not on a personal level as the teacher does. The main job would be to supervise the childcare workers and teachers as well.
Salary: $47,940 per year
You will have full responsibility for taking care of the child. The job includes feeding, washing, teaching, maintaining schedules, and creating different activities for the child..
Salary: $23,240 per year
Special education teacher
You will have the chance to work with children who have learning, emotional, mental, and physical disabilities.
Salary: $59,780 per year
Some of the jobs that you can do with this degree can become lifelong careers and have a significant impact on your life. Now that you know the essential parts of this field, take your time to think about it and decide if you want to pursue it or not!
You can always contact us for more information on our Associate’s or Bachelor of Science Degrees in Early Childhood Development, or apply now.