Early childhood educators work with children from infancy through age 8. They combine practical experience and developmental theory to work with young children and their families.
If you are interested in earning your early childhood degree, you have several degree options, including a diploma in early childhood degree, a BA in early childhood degree, and even a post-graduate in early childhood degree.
Attending early childhood school at the college level
If you attend college for early childhood school, you will need the meet the following admission requirements:
• A high school diploma or GED
• Pass a reading and writing test
• Pass a police background check
• A first aid certificate
Some of the early childhood courses you will take will include courses on psychology, the developmental stages, and how to create a curriculum.
When you complete you early childhood degree you will be eligible to work in child care centres, after–school programs, nursery schools, parent co–operative centres, private home child care, some centres for children with special needs, and in a kindergarten in the elementary school system.
Attending early childhood school at the university level
If you choose to pursue your early childhood degree at the University level, you will receive your Bachelor of Arts, Early Childhood Education. In order to be accepted into this program, you will typically need:
• A high school diploma or GED
• Grade 12 English
• Grade 12 math and science courses
• A minimum B average
There are a small number of early childhood schools that offer this degree at a university level, so keep in mind that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.
The early childhood courses you will take at this level will be similar to those at a College level, however as this is a four year degree program, you will go into more depth on many topics. You will also do several internships throughout the program, as opposed to just one.
Some of the jobs that you can pursue once you have finished early childhood school at the university level include: registered early childhood educator, parent/caregiver educator, hospital child-life specialist, children's programming consultant, or resource teacher for children with disabilities.
Those who have graduated from early childhood school with a BA can also go on to teacher’s college for an additional year to get their teaching degree, or study related fields such as child psychology, speech therapy or occupational therapy.
Attending early childhood school at the master’s level
If you are interested in further pursuing early childhood school, there are some institutions that offer a Master’s in early childhood education.
In order to be accepted into early childhood school at the master’s level you will need:
• A BA in a related field
• A letter of intent
• Recommendations from former professors or colleagues
• A resume, which includes any relevant experience
Most of the early childhood courses you will take at the Master’s level will go into more depth than at a BA level, and will prepare graduates for more advanced positions. The Master’s program will also include a thesis.