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Associate Degree Program in Early Childhood Education

Majors Overview April 21, 2013

Students will learn how to positively influence and aid children’s growth, and learn how children develop through the associate degree program in early childhood education. In this article, individuals will get information on career prospects, courses, and requirements associated with this field to make an informed decision about their education.

Associate Degree Program in Early Childhood Education

Associate degree programs in early childhood education concentrate on the care of young children and educational development. Students learn how to teach and communicate with young children, as well as the influencing factors of child development. Students may pursue a bachelor or master degree program, or acquire entry-level childcare positions upon graduation.

The majority of colleges and universities offer associate degree programs in early childhood education and award students an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree. Students who want to be admitted into the program must hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

Students take courses that are grounded in child development and liberal arts. Depending on the schools, students may be required to have practical experience in a childcare or classroom setting. Students will be able to help children develop motor, cognitive, emotional, and social skills by taking courses in:

•Infant development
•Leadership
•Assessment and observation
•Interpersonal relationships
•Early childhood communication
•Child development
•Sociology
•Safety and nutrition
•Psychology

Career Options

Students who have graduated from an associate degree program in early childhood education may acquire jobs in several different settings such as childcare organizations, preschools, and daycares. Possible career options include:

•Family childcare worker
•Group childcare worker
•Daycare director
•Teacher’s assistant

Information on Continuing Education and Licensure

Depending on the state, some may require childcare workers to obtain licensure for a certain number of children, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). Safety training, experience, age constraints, and education requirements may be state required of childcare workers. However, most states do not require family childcare workers to obtain licensure, if they only care for a few children, but they will be monitored by local governments through background investigations and home safety checks.

Doctoral, master, and bachelor degree programs are also available in early childhood education. Once students have earned their associate degree, it will take an additional two years to complete the bachelor degree program in early childhood education, if students are enrolled in the program full-time; the master and doctoral degree programs in early childhood education require an additional two to five years , after earning a bachelor’s degree.

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