Until age 8 children are in a developmentally rich period of their lives. One way to make a big difference is to be an early childhood educator (ECE)!
It's not just about teaching ABC's and 123's. ECEs use researched-backed techniques to help kids relate with one another and the world around them.
Is being an ECE the right career path for you?
What Do Early Childhood Educators Do?
It's so much more than babysitting! ECEs teach through play time with understanding of brain development.
Educators need to stay up to date on current research on child development and be willing to try new techniques. Exposing children's developing brains to a variety of stimulation is key.
Early childhood educators integrate the following content areas into play:
Language and literacy
Visual and performing arts
Fine and large motor skills
What is the best way for ECEs to stay up-to-date on the latest educational research and methods?
What Does It Take?
An energetic personality and plenty of stamina
Creativity to seek out new ways to teach
An intrinsic drive to make a difference
Strong communication skills
Adaptability in the moment
"Children must be taught how to think, not what to think." ~Margaret Mead
Which of these people would do well getting into early childhood education?
Paul spent his summers in high school working as a lifeguard. He enjoyed teaching youth swim lessons and just started a class in child development.
Jamie is social and looks for the 'big idea' in every experience. They enjoy learning new skills and working in an office setting.
Isla is into tech and economics. She has always helped with her youngers siblings and cousins. She is an introvert.
Tim has always worked with his hands. He considers himself an artist and entrepreneur.
Who might be the best fit for a career as an ECE?
Will A Career As An ECE Pay The Bills?
Early childhood educators make an average of $30,000 (USD) annually in the United States.
Early childhood educators make an average of $35,000 (CAD) annually in Canada.
As with most careers, pay rate will vary based on experience and certification.
Where Can You Be Hired?
There are three main types of early childhood education degree programs, depending on the job you'll be looking for.
Associate's Degree or Certification Program (1-2 years)
Bachelor's Degree (4 years)
Master's or Doctoral Degree (Bachelor's Degree + 2-6 years)
The decision to be a teacher, particularly during the formative early childhood years, is a BIG ONE to make. Teaching will not be the right fit for everyone, but is a career that needs passionate individuals.