Online Degree Programs for Early Childhood Education

A degree in early childhood education is designed to prepare students to someday teach infants, toddlers, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten through second grade students. The best online degree programs require individuals to gain field experience, either by observing or teaching in the classroom. Teachers-to-be will also learn how to collaborate with parents and other education professionals to provide learning opportunities for children of varying capacities and backgrounds.

Online Associate Degree Programs for Early Childhood Education

On their way to an associate degree in early childhood education, students will gain a basic understanding of the skills required to work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. Students will learn about child development, nutrition, health, and may even learn about caring for children with special needs. Courses might include the fundamentals of early childhood education, the essentials of psychology, and language and literacy development in young children. Upon graduation, they will be qualified to work as child care providers and teacher’s assistants; to become a full-fledged teacher will require at least a bachelor’s degree. As child care providers and teacher’s assistants, they can work in child day care centers and schools. Child care center workers may prepare activities for children and monitor their progress, while teacher’s assistants will work under a teacher’s supervision to give students additional attention and instruction.

Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs For Early Childhood Education

All teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree, and one in early childhood education will prepare students to teach young children in the classroom. Students will gain a thorough understanding of children’s growth and development. Most bachelor’s degree programs also require students to gain field experience, during which they will be able to apply practical skills. Some programs may require students to focus on a discipline area, such as mathematics, science, social studies, and English/language arts. At the end of the program, students will be prepared to become teachers; they will know how to present information to students and how to work with students of varying abilities and backgrounds.

Online Master’s Degree Programs for Early Childhood Education

While a bachelor’s degree is usually sufficient, some states do require kindergarten teachers and elementary school teachers to earn a master’s degree after they receive their teaching certification. Online graduate programs in early childhood education may require one to two years of full-time study; part-time programs will require longer. Furthermore, master’s degree candidates in early childhood education come from diverse educational backgrounds, and may have majored in areas such as business or biology as undergraduates. Prospective teachers will learn the fundamentals of teaching and discuss critical educational issues related to educational equity, cultural diversity, and more. Fieldwork is often a required component of early childhood education online degree programs.

Online Doctoral Degree Programs For Early Childhood Education

A Ph.D. program in early childhood education is designed to prepare researchers and educators who are passionate about education-related issues such as equitable access to educational opportunities. Ph.D. programs are highly specialized, and candidates may pursue areas such as teacher education, curriculum development, and child development. Students will also have to develop and submit a dissertation which presents original and independent research in the field. Individuals who want to pursue leadership positions as university faculty members, curriculum specialists, and more may be interested in a Ph.D.

Online Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education in the Work Place

Most individuals who pursue a degree in early childhood education will become pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and elementary school teachers. All teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license. However, educational and licensure requirements vary by state. They must also stay up-to-date in the field by participating in regular professional development classes. Private school teachers are not required to attain a license.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s 2011 occupational employment statistics program, the mean annual wage was $30,150 for preschool teachers; $52,350 for kindergarten teachers; and $55,270 for elementary school teachers. Those with an associate degree may become child care workers, who average $21,320 per year. Other graduates of early childhood education may choose to become school counselors, librarians, principals, and administrators ó although a career in some of these professions may require additional schooling.