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Degree Overview: Bachelor Degree Programs in Early Childhood Development

Majors Overview February 2, 2015

Those interested in careers involving young children should look into bachelor’s degree programs in early childhood development. Those that do not want a teaching certificate, but want to work in the early childhood field may find these programs suitable.

Information on Early Childhood Development Degree Programs

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in early childhood development are prepared for entry-level careers working with families and young children in positions such as a childcare provider, parent educator, or preschool teacher.

While a preschool teacher needs at least a bachelor’s degree, some of these professionals working in some states may also require state licensure. So, in keeping with their career objectives, incoming students to the program may need to find out about the requirements in their respective state before they enroll into the program.

Students usually take four years to complete Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in Childhood Development or Early Childhood Development; the program can be completed faster by those that already hold an associate’s degree.

Some schools offer programs with numerous concentrations in areas such as child life, pre-occupational therapy, pre-physical therapy, and child development. Capstone courses, practicums, or internships may also be included. Some schools offer early childhood development bachelor’s degree programs in online formats.

Bachelor Degree Programs in Early Childhood Development

Schools offer both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in Childhood Development and Early Childhood Development. Students enrolled in these programs can become adept in assisting young children with their cultural development.

Social skills in young children and the study of language development are other areas that can be investigated by students. Coursework also requires students to examine the importance of relationships in the context of children’s overall well-being.

Education Requirements

Some schools expect incoming students to complete general education courses while others admit students that have already completed an associate’s degree program. Students seeking admission to some programs may be required to complete prerequisite coursework in topic areas such as assessment of human development or developmental psychology.

Coursework

Within the coursework, exploration opportunities are presented with respect to subject areas such as research breakthroughs and current issues in early childhood development. Students also learn about ways of ensuring a positive impact on young children. Core coursework, which includes subject areas such as humanities or the social sciences, is augmented by:

•Family sociology and systems
•Children’s creative arts and literature
•Childhood guidance
•Care and education of infants and toddlers
•Cognitive psychology
•Parenting issues

Career Choices

Those that complete the program may seek entry-level jobs with a focus on rendering assistance to young children. They can seek careers in early childhood development that may also require them to work with the children’s families. Jobs options commonly include:

•Child life specialist
•Parent educator
•Children’s program administrator

Continuing Education Choices

Those that complete a bachelor’s degree program may opt for continuing education by earning a graduate degree, such as a master’s or doctoral degree in education or early childhood development. Professional certification with the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) through graduation from an NCFR-approved program or a similar organization would help these graduates enhance their career prospects.

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