What does an Early Childhood Educator do?

An early childhood educator is qualified to work with and educate children aged birth to eight years old. The term is most commonly applied to teachers, but it can also refer to a daycare provider, a teaching assistant, or a school administrator. To work as an early childhood educator, you will typically need a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education as well as a teaching certificate or license in your state. Additionally, anyone working with children is almost always required to undergo a background check.

An early childhood educator may work in a preschool, kindergarten, or elementary school; a daycare or childcare center; or as part of a community’s head start program. Early childhood education classes are typically much smaller than later school years, allowing the educator to spend as much time as possible with each student. The educator’s daily responsibilities include creating lesson plans and teaching students in ways that children learn best, such as interactive play and hands-on activities.

In addition, an early childhood educator is responsible for appropriately disciplining children, keeping them safe, and evaluating their progress on a regular basis. In general, early childhood teachers must prepare reports on their students’ progress and abilities for parents and school administrators. Early childhood education jobs require more childcare than jobs teaching older, more independent children, so educators must be patient, communicative, and truly enjoy working with children and teaching in a creative and engaging manner.

Arts and crafts, story time, problem solving with games or puzzles, group activities to help children develop social skills, and activities that teach basic skills such as numbers or the alphabet are all examples of activities that an early childhood educator might do with children. Early childhood education includes music, and many educators begin teaching their students basic musical instruments and rhythm.

Of course, early childhood education requirements vary depending on the ages of the children being taught, as well as the curriculum guidelines of each state. Every educator should be willing to meet with parents on a regular basis to discuss what the kids are learning and how they are progressing. Because young children are very receptive to learning and enjoy coming to school every day, most people in this position genuinely enjoy their jobs.