When it comes to teaching children in a formal school setting, the qualifications for teaching are endless. Grade level specialties, advanced degrees, CEU’s, licenses and certifications; there’re so many requirements to follow. If you’re considering a career in Early Childhood Education, you may be wondering if you need to have years and years of higher education to teach the youngest of students.
There’s good news. If you have a passion to teach young preschoolers, an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education is all you need to get started. After two short years of training, you’ll have the skills you need to successfully gain employment as a Preschool teacher.
What Will an Early Childhood Education Associates Degree Prepare Me to Do?
Teaching young preschoolers is not as simple as reviewing shapes and colors. An ECE Associates Degree will provide you with the focalized training geared specifically for the unique educational and developmental needs of young children. Your educational training will equip you to guide young children as they learn and explore subjects such as:
- Cognitive skills/academic development
- Art appreciation
- Foundations for Social Skills (appropriate classroom behavior, conflict resolution, sharing, following directions, etc)
- Positive Behavioral Management
- Safety, Health, and Nutrition
- Self-esteem and emotional health
- A child’s perception of the world
- A moral outlook on life
Early Childhood Educators will be responsible for developing daily lesson plans and implementing various teaching skills and strategies for optimum outcomes. Early Childhood Education teachers really do play an essential role in the educational success of our nations students.
Preschool Education Is Different
It’s important to remember that preschool is NOT the same as daycare. Preschool education serves as a child’s introduction to formal education. This period of Early Childhood Education lays the foundation for how a child will view learning for a lifetime to come. Daycare, on the other hand, serves mainly as child care for parents who cannot be with their children while working. Because of this distinction, most preschools will require their teachers to have at least an Associate’s Degree. (Note: Some specialized preschools, such as Montessori schools or those focused for children with Special Education needs may require further training beyond an Associate’s degree.)
Meeting NAEYC Standards
If you’re considering between multiple ECE Associates Degree programs, be sure to look for a program that is accredited and meets all NAEYC standards. A program developed around the NAEYC standards will ensure that you’re getting properly trained to educate young children based on national educational standards.
Are you interested in earning an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education? Athena Career Academy offers multiple start dates throughout the calendar year as well as day and evening classes to accommodate any busy schedule. When you finish your Associates Degree, you’ll not only be qualified to work as a Head or Lead preschool teacher, but you’ll also be qualified to work as an ECE Administrator, a Children’s Director on cruise ships, or in a variety of Head Start, National Accredited Centers or even Step Up to Quality rated centers. Contact us today at 419-329-4075 for more information.