Associate in Early Childhood Education

early childhood education deals with educating children up to the age of about eight. early childhood professionals prepare children for the formal education system. some of the tasks of early childhood educators include planning lessons, managing classroom behavior, and reviewing academic and social progress of students. the main step towards a career in early childhood education is to obtain a degree in the field. many public and private community centers and colleges offer degree programs in early childhood education. these programs include associate, bachelor, and master's degrees in early childhood education.

along with the traditional campus-based programs, a number of institutes offer online programs as well. these programs provide a flexible learning environment to those with busy schedules. they may also be less expensive than campus-based programs.

associate in early childhood education degree program
an associate in early childhood education degree program prepare candidates for jobs in elementary schools, pre-schools, and day care. the coursework usually includes the following topics:

  • early child development
  • learning assessment
  • instructional strategy
  • special education

the curriculum usually consists of four semesters of coursework. these may include the following courses, among others:

public speaking principles
this course teaches students basic principles emphasizing skill development in public speaking practice.

introduction to computers
this course teaches knowledge and skills needed to submit grades, reports, and track progress because most schools are now using computers to complete these tasks.

careers in early childhood education
in this course, students learn the various stages of early childhood development, how teachers work, and how to create and evaluate an early childhood environment.

child development
this course provides foundation in early childhood development by describing how children learn and trends and issues in the field.

early childhood literacy
this course provides a comprehensive view of how to read and write during preschool years. please note that the above mentioned courses are typical for many programs; however, there may some differences at each school.

career opportunities
there are various types of career options in early childhood education. some early childhood education jobs are listed below:

certified teacher:
these professionals work with early childhood grade levels, such as pre-school or kindergarten. in order to become a certified teacher, one usually needs a bachelor's degree and a state teaching license. according to the us bureau of labor statistics (bls), the median annual salary of kindergarten teachers was $50,120 in may 2012.

teacher's assistant:
this job may require as few as twelve college credit hours of coursework. this entry level field provides a hands-on experience with children. the median annual salary of teacher's assistants was $23,640 in may 2012 according to the bls.

school social worker:
these professionals perform a variety of tasks which include counseling students and helping teachers in managing students. upon completion of an associate's degree, candidates may also continue on to pursue a bachelor's degree in early childhood education.


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