Early Childhood Education Certificate
The students in the early childhood education age range are delightful and inquisitive, and the instruction and guidance you provide will set the stage for their later success. These developmental years are so important that you must undergo significant education and training and earn a state-issued license. Along the way, if you enhance your education with a specialized certificate, you will be all the more prepared to help students thrive in class and in life. Read on to learn how you can obtain a certificate in early childhood education and pursue a career that will change many lives—including yours.
What is Early Childhood Education?
Early childhood encompasses the age range from birth to approximately eight years. Educators may start working with children who are very young, identifying developmental delays or advances. These years of instruction can be instrumental to a person, as studies have shown the positive impact that preschool education has on later life and learning. Early childhood educators often focus on encouraging play and creative projects, but also include instruction related to science and math and sometimes reading and music.
Early childhood teachers often facilitate a child’s socialization. When a youngster spends hours on end with others in his or her peer group, they learn to cope in a group dynamic. With a knowledgeable teacher to guide them, they can learn how to handle important life events and deal with challenges and accomplishments.
Who Should Be an Early Childhood Educator?
When you decide to pursue an early childhood education certificate, you should be prepared to work with Pre-K through age eight. Teachers of this age group need to be empathetic and patient and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure the positive development of their students.
Early childhood teachers also need to be very creative and able to lead students through innovative and fun projects. Multitasking is an absolute must in this profession. You may need to be part music teacher, part crafts mentor and painting supervisor in the span of a few minutes.
What is an Early Childhood Certificate Program?
A certificate program prepares you for a fulfilling career teaching children by providing specialized education in the field. Schools offer certificate programs to degree and non-degree seeking students. The programs can be completed as quickly as a semester in some cases, while others may span two or three semesters. By itself a certificate will not provide you with a state-issued license to teach in public schools, though the coursework will help you prepare for the Praxis content knowledge test.
A dedicated course in early childhood education may also be beneficial if you already have a degree or are seeking a job in a private school. If you pursue the certificate while also in a degree program, you will add a valuable specialty to your transcript. Further, you can leverage your education when it comes time to seek a student teaching or substitute teaching position.
Early Childhood Education Online
These days you can pursue your early childhood coursework online and receive a certificate. This is a great option if you want to add a new skill set to your resume. This is also a great opportunity for working preschool teachers to advance in their field. With a certificate, you might be able to command a higher salary in a preschool position or move up into a director spot. If you desire to start your own preschool, formal education will help win the confidence of potential students’ parents and help you hire qualified staff..
The online option for early childhood education provides great flexibility for students that are interested in continuing with a job or raising a family of their own. If you already have experience teaching elementary school or even higher grades, a certificate can be beneficial when you decide to make the transition to this developmental level.
Online programs may or may not offer externship programs to provide real-world experience to your education. However, if you intend to transfer your credits to a traditional campus program later, you may be able to apply your learning through an externship program at that stage.
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