A little soul searching should precede any preparation for a career in early childhood education. Take some time to think about your strengths and weaknesses, and then use that information to figure out what kinds of jobs would be best for you. In general, a good understanding of child development, patience, creativity, problem-solving ability, and excellent interpersonal skills are required for success in this field.
Teaching and providing daycare are two options for pursuing a career in early childhood education. There are even jobs in early childhood education that require you to work with other adults in the field rather than children. You could start your career in teaching or caregiving and work your way up to a more managerial position if you so desire.
There are numerous job boards, career guides, and profession-specific resources available online thanks to the Internet’s power. Use such websites to learn more about early childhood education careers and to figure out which ones you’re best suited for. This can help you figure out what kind of education and training you require.
If you want to work in early childhood education as a teacher, you’ll almost certainly need a bachelor’s degree. Early childhood educators in public schools in the United States must have a teaching license. Many states require bachelor’s degrees for teachers at this level, while others only require associate’s degrees. In most states, private schools, on the other hand, are free to set their own teacher requirements, which may or may not include a requirement for a degree or licensure.
Preschool teachers in public schools may be required to have associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education or a related field in some states. A certificate or diploma from an accredited early childhood education training program might be acceptable in other states. The requirements for private schools are usually less stringent. Many people, however, prefer to hire teachers who have earned a degree.
If you want to work as a teaching assistant, you may not need a bachelor’s degree. In some states, obtaining such a job only requires a high school diploma. In some cases, a college diploma, a teaching assistant certificate, or an associate’s degree may be required.
A master’s degree or higher may be required for higher-level positions, such as school principal. As a result, obtaining as much education as possible is prudent. Furthermore, many people begin their careers in education with advanced degrees. Getting a higher education can help you compete for the best jobs.
For those planning to run or work in family daycare homes or daycare centers, the requirements are different. State requirements differ, but many states require facility licensing for family daycare homes and group daycare centers. In most cases, family daycare workers are not required to have a college diploma. Though the same is often true for daycare centers, educational requirements for those working in daycare centers are sometimes more stringent than for those working in family daycare homes. Keep in mind that some states require daycare center directors to have at least a bachelor’s degree. It’s worth noting that daycare owners have the authority to impose educational requirements that aren’t governed state laws.
If you want to work as a preschool teacher, teaching assistant, or daycare worker in early childhood education, you should consider getting the Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate. This certificate is awarded a nationally accredited early childhood education program and is based on classroom training, experience working with children, and a competency evaluation. For those looking for work in an entry-level daycare or preschool, many employers will accept the CDA credential.