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How do I become an early childhood education instructor?
Sometimes they are sweet and silly. Other times, they can be challenging. But one thing is for sure, children are an important part of our society. Whether you have children of your own or work with them professionally, you probably already know that it takes a special person with a very particular set of skills to instruct, encourage, and love on the smallest members of our communities day in and day out.
Caring for children in any capacity holds the potential to build an extremely rewarding career. But if teaching is another one of your passions, you may find that early childhood education is the perfect combination for your professional pursuits.
What is early childhood education?
Early childhood education - or ECE - is a field that focuses on both the formal and informal instruction of young children between birth and the age of 8 years old.
According to UNESCO, "Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is more than preparation for primary school. It aims at the holistic development of a child's social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. ECCE has the possibility to nurture caring, capable and responsible future citizens."
The National Education Association, which calls early childhood education "one of the best investments our country can make," reported that studies have shown the numerous benefits of providing children with a high-quality education before they are 5 years of age. Those advantages include the following:
Decreased chance of repeating a grade.
Higher earning potential.
Less trouble with the law.
Studies have also suggested that children who enroll in quality preschool programs are more likely to go on to own homes, graduate from high school and have more successful careers.
Within this field, there are a number of rewarding career opportunities for professionals who want to work with children. Common job titles include - but are not limited to: preschool teacher, kindergarten teacher, elementary school teacher, child counselor, child care center director and home care provider.
Your career as an Early Childhood Education instructor
If you are interested in pursuing a career in early childhood education as an instructor, you should start by considering the educational requirements. Before you teach others, you first need to be taught yourself. The specific requirements to work in early childhood education vary by state, but you will typically be required to have, at a minimum, a high school diploma - or the equivalent - and some form of certification or college degree. To teach at the kindergarten or elementary level, a bachelor's degree is generally required.
Some positions may also require the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™, a widely recognized training that is considered a key to success in an early childhood education career.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a preschool teacher was $30,210 annually in 2021. Demand for these positions is expected to increase by 18 percent between 2020 and 2030, adding 86,400 new positions to the job market.
The BLS further reported that the average salary for a kindergarten or elementary school teacher is $61,350, with job growth between 2020 and 2030 projected at about 7 percent for a total of 111,500 new positions.
To advance your career in early education, consider enrolling in early childhood education courses from ProSolutions Training. In the convenient online format, you'll be able to complete your coursework from the time and place of your choosing, making it easier than ever to balance your studies with existing professional and personal commitments.