For anyone who is interested in a career working with children, there are few things as joyful in life as seeing a young kid’s face light up when he or she has been inspired. Whether you imagine that child as excited by what she has just discovered, or envision him proud of a newly mastered skill, that feeling of imparting wisdom is second to none. If you agree, the early childhood education career path is undoubtedly for you.
Teaching is one thing, but the opportunities within the early childhood education field are vast, plentiful, and rewarding beyond belief. Early childhood education means helping children grow and learn through their most rapid period of brain development. From infancy to early childhood, they are developing cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally. It is the job of ECE teachers to support them throughout the process.
If you dream of working with little ones, whether in preschool or in third grade, you may be wondering what types of titles, roles, and workplaces are available to you. What will your options be after pursuing an early childhood education degree? As a recognized ECE school in Connecticut, Goodwin College has compiled a list of early childhood education careers in top demand, along with their requirements and the job outlook for each.
- Preschool Teacher
Preschool teachers educate and care for children who are typically between the ages of 3 and 5, who are not yet ready for Kindergarten. They focus on language, motor, and social skills development in young children. Oftentimes, preschool teachers encourage education through the power of play. As a preschool teacher, you can expect to oversee craft projects, outdoor games, and plenty of songs and movement. A successful preschool teacher has lots of love, patience, and energy for young children!
While education and training requirements can vary by state, most preschool teachers need at least an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education to begin their work. Preschool teachers of Head Start programs must have at least an Associate Degree, while public schools usually require preschool teachers have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field. Preschool teachers usually need to become certified, as well, as a state requirement.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the future is bright for preschool teachers. Employment for this role is expected to grow 10 percent over the next several years, faster than the average occupation! Early childhood education is important for the intellectual and social development of a little one. So it’s no surprise the demand for this job is on the rise.
- Family Resource Worker
If you have a desire to help young children facing adversity or struggles with home-life circumstances, you may be interested in a career as a Family Resource Worker. These workers provide social services to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families. Depending on your exact position, you may assist parents, arrange adoptions, or find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, you might address problems such as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. You may also advise teachers in this role. The BLS finds that Connecticut is the top paying state for this job, with a mean annual salary of $67,780.
The education requirements for this position can vary, depending on your exact goals and dream organization, but most Family Resource Workers must obtain at least an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. An accredited school such as Goodwin College, for example, can help prepare you for a demanding and rewarding career as a Family Resource Worker, with a range of career-focused early childhood education classes.
- Teacher’s Assistant
Don’t let the title fool you. Teachers’ assistants work just as much with young children as teachers themselves. They reinforce lessons taught, proper classroom behavior, and help students throughout each part of their day. Teachers’ assistants also help the teacher with record keeping, such as attendance and grading homework, and setting up lessons and activities for the day.
According to the BLS, employment for teachers’ assistants is expected to grow about 8 percent, about the average rate for all occupations. Increasing student enrollment, along with state and federal funding for education programs, are large contributors to this growth.
Most school districts require prospective Assistant Teachers to have completed at least two years of college coursework or have earned an associate’s degree.
- Infant and Toddler Teacher
Should you decide that preschool teaching isn’t for you, you may want to consider infant and toddler care. You can enjoy those coos and early moments, such as first steps or giggles, without the stress of disciplining preschool behavior. This job offers plenty of reward and joyful moments, while helping parents who need to work full time.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for this role to increase by 7 percent over the next several years.
While the requirements for childcare workers vary by state, many of today’s best daycare centers and early childcare facilities prefer to see applicants who have some sort of postsecondary education, such as an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. This kind of education will also help prepare you to work with young children as they develop their fine and gross motor skills, and advance within the classroom.
We hope this list of early childhood education careers has helped you narrow down your career and educational goals, but if you still have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. Rest assured that whichever career path you choose, a great Early Childhood Education program can help you land the job of your dreams. Learn more about Goodwin’s ECE program by calling 1-800-889-3282 today!
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.