Early childhood education is one of the most important and impactful careers you can pursue. And if you ask any early childhood educator, they’ll likely tell you how much they love what they do.
Right now, you might have a passion for working with children, and a love for all the wonder they carry. Still, you may be wondering if teaching, or early childhood education in general, is the right career path for you. As you consider your future (and your college degree), “why” is always a critical question to ask.
For some, the love of children and knowledge-sharing is reason enough to pursue an early childhood education degree. However, if you are still asking yourself “why,” keep reading. Below Goodwin outlines some of the top reasons to study early childhood education today.
- It is a very rewarding field, where you can truly make a difference.
Perhaps the top reason people choose to pursue early childhood education is the personal reward and satisfaction that it brings. Early childhood educators have the very real opportunity to make a difference in young lives, and also influence future generations. They get to ensure that children get off a good start in their lives and in their learning. They get to teach students things that they’ll carry for life. They get to help children explore and succeed, and witness incredible achievements like, “I did it!” in the end.
Children want to learn anything and everything. They want to be able to do things themselves—a big part of growing up. Early childhood educators get to watch these children grow, and help them realize their potential along the way.
As we talked about in a previous article, the younger years are some of the most critical in a child’s life – In fact, the most rapid period of brain development is from birth to age 8. Early childhood educators have the very important job of working with children during this rapid developmental phase. The impression and the impact that early educators have on children during these years is unparalleled.
- Early childhood education is a very hands-on and creative career path.
When you walk into an early childhood classroom, whether it’s a Head Start program or a Reggio Emilia preschool setting, you can usually expect to see a room blossoming with creativity and inspiration: there is color, there is art displayed on the walls, there are materials that can help students create and visualize their learning. Not everyone can say they work in a place like this.
And as an early childhood educator, you can expect to be fully involved in the creative happenings throughout the classroom. In fact, you might be the one creating that curriculum as part of your role. On top of that, you might find yourself creating materials for a lesson, making bulletin boards for parents, or planning decorations for the classroom. In the classroom, you might find yourself building blocks, counting jellybeans, playing with nature, and/or painting with children. Early childhood educators have the benefit of working right alongside children in a very stimulating environment, which they’ll often say helps to “bring out their inner child.”
- The career outlook is bright for early childhood educators.
There is always – and will always be – a need for education. If you are looking for an in-demand career, with opportunities now and in the future, early childhood education is a very viable option. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, early childhood educators and workers can expect a bright job outlook:
- Preschool teachers can expect 10% growth in employment nationwide (faster than the average for all other occupations)
- Kindergarten teachers can expect an 8% rise in job opportunities nationwide by 2026
- Over 84,000 jobs will become available nationwide for childcare workers
- Preschool and childcare center directors can expect employment to grow 11% over the next several years
Job security, and the opportunity for advancement over the years, is a key reason why someone will pursue a certain career path. For early childhood educators, the need, the security, and the room for growth are all there already, and will continue to be there for many years to come.
- There are an array of job options within the field.
Not only is the field of early childhood education constantly growing and expanding, it also provides an array of opportunities for those just starting out. When you choose to study early childhood education, that does not mean you are choosing a single career like a preschool or daycare teacher. Rather, the field stretches far beyond that. Within early childhood ed, you can pursue careers such as:
- School readiness teacher (or assistant teacher)
- Family resource worker
- Infant, toddler, or preschool teacher
- Child specialist with the DCF
- Curriculum coordinator for young children
- Early childhood director
There are many reasons to become an early childhood educator today, and these four just scratch the surface. If you have a passion for working with children, if teaching is your calling, or if you simply wish to find a secure career that you love, early childhood education might just be the answer. Now you just need to take the steps to get there.
To become an early childhood educator today, you must have a postsecondary degree in a related field. Some careers require a bachelor’s degree in child study or ECE, while others require an associate degree in early childhood education. You can learn more about the career requirements here. In terms of skills, there certain qualities a great childhood educator will have – patience, understanding, humor, good communication, and creativity are just some of the few. Do you have what it takes?
Learn more about studying early childhood education in Connecticut by contacting Goodwin College at 800-889-3282. You may also visit us online to request more information.
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.