Early childhood education is generally defined as educational programs for children from infancy through the age of eight. As a practical matter, the term is often assumed to refer to activities for pre-school children, from birth through kindergarten. While education professionals often assume the former, the general public may think that the term is basically referring to pre- schoolers. The result is occasional confusion.
Early childhood education jobs of all types require certification just as is the case for teachers at all other levels. There are several levels of certification available for those who wish to work in this field: teacher, teacher’s aide, day-care worker and others, depending upon the state in which you wish to qualify. In most states, to work as a teacher you will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree plus course work in a training program for early childhood education. Often these credentials require course work focusing on a particular area, such as special needs children, pre-school or day care age group, and school-age children.
The online resources for early childhood education range from certification courses all the way through the range of higher education degrees. University of Phoenix Online offers a bachelor’s degree in education with a specialization in elementary education. They also have a master’s in education with a focus on early childhood education. University of Phoenix Online has an extensive list of continuing education classes for teachers, some of which are no doubt applicable to the requirements for an ECE certificate.
Ashford University offers a bachelor’s degree in organizational management with a specialty in child study. This degree would be an excellent foundation for a professional position that focuses on early childhood education. Course work includes, among others, cognitive development, family studies, childhood development and group behavior.
Associate’s degrees in early childhood education are available online. Bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate programs in education are also found online and some of them offer specialization in early childhood education. This area of focus differs from standard teaching programs in that it concentrates heavily on the psychology of dealing with young children. Group dynamics, child behavior and misbehavior, the use of objects such as puppets for educational purposes – this sort of study is the root of early childhood education. Mathematics, science and English sometimes take a back seat to the classroom psychology issues that are critical to understanding children new to the environment.
Pre-school certification is another area of study that is available through the Internet. This area of early childhood education is as heavily monitored by most states as are the schools in general. Pre-school operators must meet standards for their facility and their employees must meet educational standards just as teachers in the school system. Pre-school early childhood education is a profession that works well with online study, except for any student teacher requirements that may exist. Often an online college will have made student teacher arrangements in some of the geographical areas where they are accredited.
Online early childhood education study requires some study on your part. Determine what area(s) you may wish to work in and explore the certification requirements in your state. Then turn to the internet for your degree.