Are you looking to make a positive impact on the lives of young children? The early learning years shape a child’s perception of the world around them and a degree in early childhood education allows you to take part in building a healthy and strong foundation for children between the ages of birth and age five. An early childhood education associate degree could provide the right foundation for this career, giving you the knowledge and ability to effectively guide children in their learning and development while working alongside their families and the community.
What Is an Early Childhood Education Associate?
An early childhood education associate degree is a two-year degree that teaches students the basics of child development including how they grow socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively, looking at the whole child beginning at birth through age eight.
In an early childhood program students look at the importance of our families as well as the community and the essential role they play in a child’s development. The end result is knowing developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive approaches for teaching young children the social-emotional, cognitive, and physical skills they need for a solid foundation for their future education.
Why Get Your Early Childhood Education Associate Degree?
Earning an early childhood education associate degree could open the door to a variety of potential careers, but many who pursue this degree become infant, toddler, or preschool teachers. Early childhood professionals can get jobs as early childhood educators in childcare centers and a variety of other settings.
Income and job growth potential are just two reasons to consider a career in early childhood education. Another perk is the fact that you could start this career with a two-year degree in early childhood education.
In this career, you also get the chance to work with young children every day. Helping them reach their full potential at an early age and preparing them for their future education has a high degree of intrinsic reward. If you have a love of children, you will likely find it to be a rewarding career path as well.
Early Childhood Education Careers
What career options are possible for someone who majors in early childhood education? Consider these:
1. Head Start Teacher
Head Start is a program that targets preschool children in low-income families. By providing early childhood education, this program gives disadvantaged kids a good start to their education. Teachers are vital to the success of this program.
2. Home Visiting Teachers
These teachers provide preschool education and other support services, along with education for expectant parents, to children with special needs to aid parents and their children in their homes, where they may feel most comfortable.
3. Assistant Early Learning Teacher
Assistant teachers work in early learning centers to help teach social and basic academic skills.
4. Infant, Toddler, Preschool Teacher
A preschool teacher teaches early academics, like pre-reading and early math skills, in an early childhood setting.
Many parents want someone to live in their home and care for their young children, rather than sending them to daycare, and having early childhood training makes you well-qualified for this career path.
6. Childcare Consultant
A childcare consultant works with daycare centers and preschools to help them stay compliant with local laws and regulations, while also providing suggestions as to how they can improve operations.
7. Parent Educator
Parent educators use their knowledge of early childhood development to help young parents learn the skills they need to help their children develop well.
8. Children’s Museum Professional
Working in children’s museums requires a knowledge of child development, and this training comes through an early childhood education program. These professionals help develop exhibits and programs within a children’s museum.
Many organizations have products and services that target children, and a degree in early childhood education can make sales and marketing professionals more effective at reaching this demographic.
If you can picture yourself in one of these careers, then a degree in early childhood education could be right for you. Yet you will want to find the right program to ensure you are getting a quality education.
What to Look for in an Early Childhood Education Program
As you evaluate an early childhood education program, take a close look for coursework that incorporates diversity, equity, and inclusion, developmentally appropriate practice, and how to work in partnership with families and the community. Also search for coursework that touches on the impact of cultural differences on education. These all work together to create a well-rounded early childhood.
Find a program that focuses strongly on the development of young children that has programmatic accreditation, such as the Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education at Post University which is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This program, which is available online or on-campus, provides a strong foundation in early childhood education. It also teaches students to appreciate diversity within their communities as they seek to teach children. Students graduate with the knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice and commitment to ethical standards that is sought after in the field and can also choose to go on to complete a Bachelor of Science in Child Studies.
The AS in Early Childhood Education is not only perfect for those who want to begin a career in the field, but it is ideal for those who are already working in the field and are seeking to build their professional competence and prepare for career mobility.
Have questions? Reach out to an admissions counselor at Post University to learn more about an online associates degree in early childhood education.
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Please note jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions representative.