With technological advancements and ever-changing societal dynamics, Early Childhood Education is emerging as a demanding field, but is it worth choosing Early Childhood Education as the major? After going through this article, you can answer this question yourself that a major in early childhood education is an inspiring and rewarding path. Here we have described what Early Childhood Education is, why you should go for it, the degrees offered in this discipline, and most importantly, the career opportunities for those interested in an early childhood education degree.
What is Early Childhood Education?
Educational programs and courses being crafted to assist children in their mental and physical health development at an early age are collectively termed Early Childhood Education. Usually, kids until the age of eight years are taught in early childhood education. Early Childhood Education has a comprehensive curriculum that aims at developing children’s minds. It enhances their psyche and greatly influences their response to certain actions, their physical health, and most importantly, their emotions. It covers health, physique, emotions, cultural awareness, and communication skills. Its most basic and fundamental role is that it acts as a catalyst in promoting normal cognitive and physical development. It gives an environment in which the children get their hands on several skills, e.g., communication, cooperation, self-controlling, etc.
The factor that differentiates between regular educational programs and Early Childhood Education is the teaching style. The teaching styles in Early Childhood Education are flexible as it varies to the needs of each child. It has been confirmed by multiple researches that effective Early Childhood Education has long-term effects on a child’s mental health. Keeping the ages of the learners in view, the curriculum and the teaching techniques are designed in such a way that the students get both entertainment and education at the same time.
7 Reasons to Study Early Childhood Education
Choosing by selecting Early Childhood Education over the highly demanding educational programs in this era can be very hard. Still, these seven reasons below will surely persuade you to do so. These are as follows:
● Reason 1:
Those who are early childhood education students in the present era would be responsible for the future of hundreds of thousands of kids. Their actions will leave a prominent mark on the life of those children. The children, under their supervision, will carry the things they taught them in their minds till death. So, in short, it won’t be wrong to say that the future is in the hands of those studying Early Childhood Education right now.
● Reason 2:
When you teach someone at an extremely early age, you transfer your mind to theirs. They’ll learn from you not only what you’re teaching but also what you’re doing. They will be like a computer with different faces, colors, and gender but the same mind. Also, you need to stay very careful while teaching because your actions will leave a mark on the child’s memory.
● Reason 3:
When you have the golden chance to teach a kid when his/her mind is like a blank paper, you can write whatever you want. You can make him a sportsperson or a literary person. All of this depends upon you. You’ll be the one responsible for his interests and priorities in the future.
● Reason 4:
After deeply studying Early Childhood Education and gaining practical in-field experience, you’ll be in the best position to become an advocate for the rights of those little minds. Since you know what these children need, you can take serious action to ensure each child gets his/her rights.
● Reason 5:
As mentioned above, the early age is the most crucial period in a person’s life. The same goes for the emotional aspect of their life. Suppose the educators succeed in developing positive behavior in the students. In that case, the students will be rescued from a number of emotional problems that they might be a victim of in the future.
● Reason 6:
Surely, educators play a vital role in Early Childhood Education, but the role played by the parents cannot be ignored. The educators have to teach the children in such a way that cooperation among the parents and the caregivers regarding the child should increase day by day. In this way, the children will learn how to cooperate with each other, and they will also learn whom to trust and not.
● Reason 7:
As education is reaching far-off areas, more and more people are realizing the importance of Early Childhood Education, which is why the demands for professionals in Early Childhood Education are getting higher each day. After realizing the worth of Early Childhood Education, all parents want their children to be taught first. This is because of the fact that Early Childhood Education ensures a better future in terms of both health and education. Keeping this changing trend in view, the necessity of professionals in ECE is also felt in the policymaking departments of the states.
In short, studying Early Childhood Education enables you to leave a mark on your ideas, thinking styles, and knowledge on the minds of future leaders and educators.
Types of Degrees in Early Childhood Education
Now that you’ve decided to pursue your dream of becoming a professional in Early Childhood Education, you should search for the educational programs offered for it. Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything as we have prepared the list of degrees offered in Early Childhood Education. These are as follows:
● Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education is a two-year program providing beginners with the basics of Early Childhood education. Basic concepts like the stages involved in developing a child’s mind, managing classrooms, curriculum planning, and observational methodologies are discussed in this degree.
● Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education lasts for 4 years, and it is often considered as an undergraduate program that emphasizes on giving the students a more detailed perspective of what they are studying. This program discusses all the concepts concerning Early Childhood Education in a much deeper way than the Associate Degree program. After getting this degree, you’ll be a qualified candidate for the lead teacher position in preschools, kindergartens, and elementary schools.
● Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, often known as MA, is a graduate-level degree. It allows students to conduct research, develop leadership skills, and interrogate specified aspects, e.g., curriculum development, policy analysis, program administration, or working with diverse populations. After its completion, a student is eligible for advanced teaching posts and curriculum development.
● Doctoral Degree in Early Childhood Education is undoubtedly the highest degree that can be achieved in Early Childhood Education. This degree gives a high-level understanding of Early Childhood Education. It enables the graduates to bring about new changes in the field of ECE. After getting this degree, the students will get high-level jobs in this field.
These are the most well-known degrees offered in Early Childhood Education. Depending on your interests, you should choose the appropriate degree.
Learning Outcomes of Early Childhood Education
Like other fields of education, early childhood education has some goals to be achieved through it. Although it aims to ensure that the children get the normal and the required growth, it also has my side aims. ECE aims to assist a child in normal growth, social growth, creating a sense of cooperation, and, most importantly, controlling one’s own self.
The following are the most common outcomes of Early Childhood Education:
● Mental Growth:
The most basic outcome of early childhood education is ensuring children’s mental growth. If a child is not getting normal growth, the educators give him special attention to understand why he’s not.
● Emotional and Social Development:
This is also an important outcome because of the fact that emotions are a part of our life, and this part can never be neglected. Moreover, humans are social animals. Directly or indirectly, somehow, we have to be in contact with our environment and other people around us. For improving communication skills and self-control, several projects are made by educators.
● Physical Development:
To ensure that the children have a better physique, a number of activities are being developed by educators. These activities are focused on enabling young kids to have better physical health. As it’s said, “A healthy body has a healthy mind.” So the importance of physical health cannot be ignored.
As it’s obvious that some children are way too creative as compared to others, educators must recognize this ability of the child. Not only recognize it but teach the student in such a way that with the passage of time, there should be a visible development in the creativity of the young mind.
● Cultural Awareness:
In the early stages of life, the child needs to learn about cultures. Not only their culture but others as well because, in this way, the kid will learn to respect the culture of all individuals. There could be other outcomes of the ECE as well, but these are the ones that are the most common.
Jobs to Consider after Getting an Early Childhood Education Degree
You might also wonder what to do after getting your degree in ECE. Well, here we have made a list of careers you can opt for after studying Early Childhood Education.
You will be taking care of children ranging from the ages of 3 years to 5 years. It will be your duty to create activities for them to develop their mental and physical health.
The other option that you have is you can also become a kindergarten teacher. The job of a kindergarten teacher is to take care of students aged 5-7. You’ll be responsible for a curriculum that suits the age of the students. You will lay down the foundation of emotions and socialization in their minds.
Childcare Center Director
This position has a number of responsibilities, and some of them are to ensure the staff works well, develop policies and procedures, review the application of curriculum, and make sense of cooperation among the families and the teaching staff.
Child Development Specialist
This job takes a deeper look at the development of young children. It is also their job to research to ensure the right policies are being made. They must assist in creating effective programs and providing expert opinions in Early Childhood Education.
Early Childhood Education Consultant
Educational institutes, along with agencies of the government, meet the consultant while doing consultancy. Their help is needed in program development, curriculum, staff training, and policy implementation.
The parent educator works with the student’s families and lets them know about the bright side of Early Childhood Education. Their works involve conducting workshops, visiting homes, and making sessions to teach the parents.
In the paragraphs above, we have facilitated those people who are of the mindset of moving further with early childhood education. We have mentioned the careers available after you complete a degree in Early Childhood Education. Now it is up to you which degree you take up and which profession you go for.