Do you love working with young children? Are you flexible, compassionate, and interested in helping others succeed? Are you ready to be a role model? Early childhood education may be for you.
Every adventure has a beginning. And for each new endeavor, we must start at the beginning. Whether through baby steps, building blocks, or milestones, we can then take the necessary steps to get to where we want to go. As children, we need others to help us along the way.
For most children, their journey truly begins in nursery school, preschool, or kindergarten. For aspiring early childhood educators, your professional career begins in an Early Childhood Education program.
A college degree in Early Childhood Education will prepare you to teach and care for children at all walks of life. In your program, you will learn about child development and how to meet the fundamental and educational needs at each stage of their early lives. You will study how children operate, what they think, and how to help them reach their fullest potential.
With an Early Childhood Education degree, you will encounter a variety of different career options upon graduation. From infants to age 8, you can work with an array of age groups in a range of subjects, such as math, language arts, science, and even play. As you begin to carve your career path in early ed, ask yourself what role you would like to take on upon graduation. What kinds of children would you like to work with? In what type of environment would you like to work?
You do not have to know the answers to these questions right away. Sometimes it helps to know your many career options before choosing the best one for you. To guide you, Goodwin College has compiled a list of four popular careers you can pursue with an associate in Early Childhood Education.
- Childcare Head Teacher
Childcare teachers are responsible for creating safe environments for infants and toddlers up to age 2. If you choose to become a childcare head teacher, you have the option of working at a childcare center, a business needing childcare, or even in your own home. No matter the workplace, your duties will include supervising children, providing them healthy meals, changing diapers, preparing bottles, and a lot of multi-tasking! In childcare, you typically manage five to ten children at once. In this case, you will need to encourage social engagement among the children through group games and activities.
- Preschool Teacher
Arguably the most popular of early childhood education careers is a preschool teacher. In a preschool setting, you will work directly with children ages 3 to 5 teaching basic skills and concepts such as colors, numbers, and letters. You will develop activities and use teaching methods such as play to keep children engaged and interested in learning. In groups or one-on-one, you will work with children to enhance their motor skills, social development, and creative stimulation.
- School Readiness Teacher
Children typically enter kindergarten at the age of 5. Many children who meet this age criterion, however, are not ready to enter formal schooling just yet. Children vary in their pre-kindergarten education and experiences. Some may not know letters and numbers, some may be learning English as a second language, some have late birthdays that would make them considerably younger than their classmates. In cases such as these, school readiness teachers may be brought in to help prepare these children for school and academic success. As a school readiness teacher, you will work closely with children to ensure they are competent socially, verbally, and ready for the next step academically.
- Family Resource Advocate
Sometimes, families need assistance finding their children proper education or childcare. Some families need financial assistance to pay for that care. Other families facing health problems, emotional crises, divorce, or other related issues may need support services for their child. That is where a family resource advocate comes into play. Family resource advocates, also known as family advocates or family support specialists, help families access educational and caretaking services for their children through both private and public resources. They can work with a variety of agencies and providers in health care, mental health care, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, and education.
If you aspire to help children, teach children, and be an influence in young lives, then why wait? To learn about Goodwin College’s childhood education degrees in CT, call us at 800-889-3282. If you are interested in knowing your career possibilities with a bachelor’s degree, read our next blog, “What Can You Do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Studies?”