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What Can I Do With a Degree In Early Childhood Education?

A degree in early childhood education prepares an individual to teach elementary school-aged students.
Someone with an early childhood education may work in a daycare environment.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 25 July 2014
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There are many careers a person can pursue with a degree in early childhood education. This type of degree prepares its holder for a number of jobs that involve nurturing children and helping them to learn. Someone with this degree may find job opportunities at daycare centers, preschools, and elementary schools. She may even find opportunities at camps, museums, and recreational centers. Essentially, the knowledge gained by earning an early childhood education degree may be applied wherever there is a need to care for or teach children from birth to about eight years of age.

Many people who earn early child education degrees use them to work in daycare centers. While many places don’t require daycare workers to have degrees, some employers are more likely to hire those who have earned them. Employers may advertise for childcare workers who have associate’s degrees in early childhood education, while others are willing to employ workers with certificates. There are even some willing to employ childcare workers who do not have degrees but have earned high school diplomas.

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A degree in early childhood education may also prepare the holder for a job as a preschool teacher. As with daycare works, many places do not have set degree requirements for preschool teachers, and a diploma or certificate may be acceptable. Some employers, however, prefer to hire teachers who have earned associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education or a related field. In fact, some employers require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for someone who wants to be the head or primary teacher in a preschool classroom.

An early childhood education degree might also be preparation for teaching in elementary schools. In many places in the United States, a person with a bachelor’s degree in this subject may teach in kindergarten or the first three grades of elementary school. Some privately-run schools may hire teachers with less education — especially for instructing kindergartners. Teachers with associate’s degrees or education certificates may also find jobs as teaching assistants in both government-run and private schools.

Sometimes, a person with a degree in early childhood education may find opportunities in organizations that aren’t schools but still help children to have fun, learn, and develop. For example, this person may run an informational program offered at a museum or plan activities at a day camp. She may also use her skills and knowledge to work with children at recreational centers and churches. Someone with this degree could even visit family homes and offer tutoring or private educational services for young children.

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Discuss this Article

icecream17
Post 4

@SurfNTurf -I know what you mean. My sister’s friend also had an early childhood education degree and opened up a few play gyms in the area. She went with an established franchise because she wanted a business model that was already proven and she wanted to be able to focus on the classes and the overall enrollment numbers.

She really has a lot of fun and even does parties for the parents. She says that being around all of those young children and even babies made her a little nostalgic about her own children because her kids are grown now.

She really loves the business and is looking to expand in the future. She also thought about opening an academic preschool too. This is one business that you won’t have to advertise much and there will always be significant demand.

surfNturf
Post 3

@Sunshine31 -I agree with you. I also think that many hospitals also offer daycare centers so someone with an early childhood education degree might be able to find work there as well as a center director.

I have also seen people that have graduated from an early childhood education program decide to go back to school and become an occupational therapist in order to help young children develop their fine motor skills. I have also seen people become an educational psychologist after they go back to school.

These early childhood educators pursue this career path because they want to work more with the psychological aspects of children this age and want to perform I.Q. testing and understand learning disablities more.

I really think that having an early childhood degree will offer you a lot of opportunities. Some people that take early childhood education courses might want to specialize based on their interest in the courses that they took.

For example, many early childhood educators decide to pursue a Masters in reading education and become a reaching coach for the entire school after taking a few literacy courses, and some decide that they want to work in special education and pursue either an endorsement which is a few additional classes in that area or get a Master’s in special education. I think the important thing is that you have to love kids.

sunshine31
Post 2

@Subway11 -Good for her. I think that early childhood educators do spend a lot of time with reading. In fact, most kindergarten curriculums revolve around getting the children to read as the primary goal.

A lot of parents also have anxiety about this so I can see how a tutoring business for this age group would work well. I think that early childhood education programs should also include art because using crayons and applying them in a forceful fashion helps to build the muscles in the hands which allows the child to develop their fine motor skills.

I also think that children enjoy art at this stage so creating an art based curriculum or starting an art franchise might also be a good idea.

subway11
Post 1

I just wanted to add that my friend got a Masters degree in early childhood education and now owns a tutoring center teaching young kids how to read. She teaches initial phonics and then goes into digraphs and other sound combinations.

She also reinforces the instruction by having the children practice their reading skills with very short readers which are books that are written in a specific format so that the kids can practice reading the target sound.

She also offers a reading list for the parent’s to read to the children. She suggested a lot of Dr. Seuss titles because the repetitive nature of these stories allows the child an opportunity to learn various word families.

My friend always intended to have her own business and the fact that she has an advanced degree in the subject gives her more credibility.

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