Early Childhood Educator Schools
Early childhood educators are instrumental in the lives of children. It is recognized among child development experts that the first few years of a child's life are the most important and impressionable.
Do you think you might be interested in becoming an early childhood educator? This article will look at the many options for those who major in early childhood, what those positions entail, the training required at early childhood educator schools for each job in this field, and the overall early childhood field outlook.
What are career options for Early Childhood majors? Early Childhood majors may choose to teach preschool or kindergarten in a public school or private school, teach in a childcare center or head start center, manage a childcare facility, work as a teacher assistant in a school or daycare, or work as a nanny. There are also jobs for those who would like to teach specialized courses in the community for young children such as dance, gymnastics, arts and crafts classes, music, or to provide summer day camp or literacy programs for young children, or community play groups for families and children. Other options include working in early intervention programs that provide specialized instruction or daily living assistance for young children with developmental delays or diagnosed disabilities, working in community after-school programs like Boys and Girls Clubs or 4-H, or providing parenting or breastfeeding classes for parents. Office jobs for early childhood majors include assisting families in finding resources for their children like daycare, or providing technical or educational assistance to childcare centers to improve quality or access grant-funding. Early childhood educators are also needed at early childhood educator colleges to teach students studying early childhood.
What is the required training? Early childhood educator schools include community colleges and four-year early childhood educator colleges. In order to teach pre-kindergarten or kindergarten in public schools, most states require a teaching license, such as a Birth-Kindergarten Teaching License, acquired in an early childhood teacher educator program at a four-year school. Still a community college may be a good place to start, as they are typically much less expensive than four-year colleges and nearly all have transfer programs. Daycare managers may have an associate degree or bachelor degree. Early interventionists usually possess a bachelor degree or higher for specialized therapists (speech, physical therapy, etc).
What is the salary for early childhood educators? Typically in this field, schools pay better than childcare centers, and more education usually equals more advanced positions and higher pay. Salaries for daycare workers with minimal credentials tend to make closer to minimum wage, while administrators, teachers in schools, and those working in libraries or in early intervention or resource and referral agencies tend to make professional salaries, upwards of $30,000 with a median salary of about $55,000 nationally for public school teachers, according to the US Dept of Labor Website.
What is the predicted future outlook for the early childhood field? This is a growing field. Naturally areas with more families and young children have a greater need for early childhood educators. Many parents reach out to an expert for advice in preparing for a newborn such as taking an infant parenting class or for care or other services for their young child. Early childhood educators have a unique opportunity to be involved with both parents and children to make better experiences for young children and make a difference in their communities.