Many who wish to become educators and work with young children, but don’t have the time to complete a bachelor’s, will often consider getting an associate’s degree.
It is also advantageous for those who wish to work in a position related to early childhood education much quicker, as well as a chance to put off some required coursework before fully committing to a career in early childhood education. The degree program often involve various areas of study that are related to educating young children.
Characteristics and Skills of an Early Childhood Educator
The most obvious characteristic of an early childhood educator is that they love working with children. They must also be patient and be ready to deal with any given situation, as the learning experiences in an early childhood setting is unstructured and play-based.
Besides these characteristics, early childhood educators must have a deep understanding of the typical development and learning of young children. This, paired with the characteristics mentioned above, is what makes an effective and successful early childhood educator.
Besides the general education requirements that most two-year degree programs share, there are a handful of education-based courses that are typical amongst most early childhood degrees. The courses help build a strong foundation for further study in early childhood education, and usually includes early childhood development, classroom management, and educational philosophy and psychology.
An associate’s degree in early childhood education will allow one to work as a classroom aid or take on various positions in places such as daycares and pre-school like environments. Professions where contact with small children is required, such as a nanny, are also available for those with an associate’s degree.
Because there are specific license requirements in most states in order for one to teach in all public and some private schools, those with an associate’s degree will not typically lead to teaching at a school. Thus, most who earn an associate’s will choose to continue their studies and acquire a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.
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