Working with children is a highly rewarding career path. From teachers to counselors, pediatricians to paraprofessionals, those who work with children have the opportunity to help and guide our future generations. If you have a special place in your heart for kids and you are caring, patient, and kind, you may be perfect for one of the many careers working with children.
As fun as these careers sound, they are also important ones. The first eight years of a child’s life as known as the formative years. These years are critical for cognitive, emotional, physical, and social development. Children learn more quickly in this phase of life than at any other time in their lives. If you are looking to play an impactful role in childhood development, you may consider pursuing a degree in the field of early childhood education or child studies.
Childhood studies is an interdisciplinary field that assesses the educational and developmental needs of young children. Early childhood education, meanwhile, is a field that involves teaching young children in childcare and school settings. In both lines of work, you can help to fulfill children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs as they grow.
What are some of the specific careers you can qualify for with these different childhood education degrees? Read on, as we explore 6 examples of careers working with children that you can choose to pursue after graduation.
- Child Advocate
A Child Advocate is a social worker who specializes in the placement of children into adoptive and foster homes. This professional ensures that the safety and best interests of the child are met and secured— from placement until the case is closed. Becoming a Child Advocate requires a bachelor’s degree, such as the bachelor’s degree in Child Study at Goodwin University. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this role earns a median salary of $51,760 each year.
- Preschool Teacher
Preschool teachers enjoy a fun and creative career. Each day brings new challenges and exciting adventures in the classroom. Preschool teachers help young children learn basic skills such as identifying colors, shapes, numbers, and letters. They help students develop those cognitive, social, fine, and gross motor skills. Private preschool teachers must have at least an associate degree in early childhood education, but in public schools, a bachelor’s degree is typically required.
- Early Childhood Director
Someone looking for a leadership role might set their sights on the role of an Early Childhood Director. These professionals supervise and lead staff, design educational programs, and prepare school budgets. They may work in schools or childcare centers. In either setting, they are the person in charge of their organization’s program, which might include before-school and after-school care. At some institutions, the director is also the owner, in which case they may be the ones making all the big-picture decisions for the school. The highest paid directors earn more than $86,000 a year, according to the BLS. This role also requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as Child Study.
A Paraprofessional Educator, also known as a teacher’s aide or classroom assistant, is a teaching-related position. This professional is responsible for concentrated assistance for students in elementary school. This role requires at least two years of college, according to the BLS, and is often a great way to start out in the early childhood education field. If you are looking at careers working with young children, but you are unsure of how much time you can devote to an education, this may be a great path for you. The associate degree in Early Childhood Education at Goodwin University prepares students to work effectively with children, using age-appropriate practice, observation, and communication.
- Infant or Toddler Teacher
If you desire to work with very young children, you may choose to pursue a career working with infants and toddlers. Daycare centers and private preschools offer programs catering to the needs of young children from birth through age two. These children require lots of attention, sensitivity, and tender, loving care. Diaper changes and bottle feedings are a part of the responsibilities, as well as naps, playtime, and interactive song-and-story time. An associate degree in Early Childhood Education can help prepare you for this role. At Goodwin, students must complete two capstone courses in Student Teaching before earning their associate degree.
- School Readiness Teacher (or Assistant Teacher)
A School Readiness Teacher is a teacher who prepares young children (from infancy to five-years-old) to engage in early learning for preschool or Kindergarten. These professionals must obtain at least an associate degree in Early Childhood Education, but many choose to earn a bachelor’s degree. School Readiness Teachers focus on the health and well-being of the students, as well as language, literacy, fine motor skills and social and emotional development. If you want to work closely with children, this is a great career choice because you can plan fun, engaging activities like storytelling, arts and crafts projects, or educational play.
These are just a few examples of the many careers working with young children. If you are interested in learning more about the early childhood degree programs at Goodwin University in Connecticut, call 800-899-3282 or visit us online for more information.
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.