“Early Education is the key to the betterment of society.” – Maria Montessori
Early childhood is such an important time for learning. This phase – which spans the first 8 years of life – is the most rapid period of development for children, and therefore a crucial time for cognitive, emotional, physical, and social development. From the day they are born, children are absorbing information like a sponge and using it to inform the person they will become. Early childhood educators, for this reason, play a key role in helping our children grow.
If early childhood education piques your interest, and you have a lot of patience and love for children, you may be perfect for a role as an Early Childhood Education (ECE) Teacher.
Make no mistake – choosing to become a teacher to such young children is no small feat. You must be prepared for a lot of the highs and lows that come with this age range. But along with the challenges come the incredible rewards. Having the capability to inspire, motivate, and educate such little humans is important work. Between the ages of 3 and 5, a child’s vocabulary grows from 300 words to 2,500. And the early social interactions among peers and with grown-ups can leave a lasting impression. These findings have led to a greater awareness in the importance of early childhood education, and that awareness has led to more demand for great educators. More and more parents today are enrolling their children in preschool and daycare programs to get a jump on this critical period of development.
Before diving into your career, you will need to be prepared. As demand for pre-K education increases, so does the need for competent and qualified teachers. This field is expected to present plenty of opportunity for professionals over the next several years. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the U.S. to see 1.9 million job openings for teachers of preschool through postsecondary school. So if you are wondering how to become an ECE teacher in Connecticut, read on. We will share some of the teaching positions you will want to consider, and the steps you need to take to get there.
How to Become an Early Childhood Education Teacher
So you want to work with young children. First thing’s first – in order to teach kids anywhere between infancy and age 8, you will need to find early childhood education program that can help you get there. Education requirements for new ECE teachers vary by the specific job title. Those who want to teach preschool or work with children even younger than age 3 typically need at least an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. Teaching careers for grades K-12 typically need at least a bachelor’s degree.
There are many choices for work once you have earned your degree in Early Childhood Education. With an associate degree in Early Childhood Ed, for example, you may choose to work in the following positions:
- Family Resource Worker
- Infant & Toddler Teacher
- Preschool Teacher
- Teacher’s Assistant
If you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree, such as the Child Study degree at Goodwin College, you may also qualify for advanced teaching positions such as:
- Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Teacher
- School Readiness Teacher
- Curriculum Coordinator
- Early Childhood Director
Here in Connecticut, all public preschool and elementary school teachers must also obtain certain certifications before entering the field. Should you decide to pursue an early childhood education program like the one at Goodwin College, you will be prepared to pursue the Early Childhood Teacher credential through the school’s associate and bachelor degree programs. Students who complete either of the childhood education degrees automatically qualify for this state-required certification. Once you have graduated, you just need to file a short application with Connecticut Charts-a-Course to become a registered preschool teacher within the state of CT.
In addition to the educational and certification requirements that come with becoming a teacher, you must also be prepared for a physically and mentally demanding job. Working with young children requires plenty of patience, stamina, and creative problem-solving skills. It is certainly not a role for the weak of heart. But when you reach a small child and help open their mind, you will change their world and see the rewards from those two little eyes looking up at you. You can also be motivated by the fact that you will be helping shape young minds and, in turn, the future of our world!
“The first five years have so much to do with how the next 80 turn out.” – Bill Gates
Start your career as an Early Childhood Educator at Goodwin College today! Call 800-889-3282 to learn about our early childhood education program in the state of Connecticut.
Goodwin College 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 College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.