Tuesday, 27 May 2014

An Early Childhood Education Career

If you are among those who loves young children and whose idea of happiness is a career working with them, then you have probably considered a career in early childhood education. Many make the mistake of presuming that this means only being a preschool teacher, which is completely wrong. There are many roles to be played in early childhood education and success lies in finding the role that is best suited for you. Here are the basic outlines of a few to the career options available. If one interests you, take the time do find out more – there are plenty of resources available online.
  • A Certified Preschool Teacher:  This is a vocation that allows you to teach young children in a traditional school environment. The qualifications for this job vary from state to state but in general you will need a Bachelor’s degree and then complete a preschool teachers training program to obtain the required certification or license. This kind of job will suit a person who wants hands-on involvement in educating young children. The national annual salary for a preschool teacher is in the range of $29,000.
  • A Teacher’s Assistant: If you want to be a preschool teacher but do not have a Bachelor’s degree or have not yet obtained one, you can make a beginning by becoming a teacher’s assistant. Typically all that is required for this job is 12 college credits. You have the option of either remaining an assistant or continuing your education and obtaining your teacher’s certification to enable you to be a full-fledged preschool teacher. While salaries vary a lot depending on the part of the country, the national average salary for a teacher’s assistant is about $24,000 a year.
  • Program Director: From being a certified teacher, the next stage of career progression is to become a program director or administrator. This job requires teaching experience and often an advanced degree, which can be obtained while teaching.  Program directors/administrators can work in a variety of settings including private schools, public schools, special child care programs and facilities and home based programs.This job will take you away from direct interaction with children, but will allow you to play a larger role in their overall education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the national average annual salary of this type of position is approximately $61,000.
  • Professor of Early Childhood Education:  Many people, after spending some years teaching young children or administering programs, prefer to use knowledge and experience they have acquired to train others for the profession. This usually requires an advanced degree like an Ed.D. or Ph.D. While there is rarely any interaction with the young children themselves, this is a line of work that has its own rewards in terms of helping others to get into the important and satisfying profession. The salary for this kind of position can vary greatly, but the national average is about $64,000 per year.
A career in early childhood education is one that has a lot of potential for progress and achievement. It all depends on what your priorities are and at which level you feel the most comfortable. Whatever you may decide, any involvement with early childhood education can be rewarding and fulfilling experience for those who have an affinity for working with children.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

New Trends in Early Childhood Education

The changes in society and families are now happening at a faster rate than ever before. No part of our lives remains unaffected because of this and early childhood education is no exception too. Being aware of the trends in this field will allow those involved in it to stay that one important step ahead of their contemporaries. Here are a few of the fastest growing trends in early childhood education today.
  • Parents are now looking for full-day, full-year preschool options for their kids. Among the major factors influencing the growth in demand for this service is that parents, especially working parents, need a year round fixed routine for their kids. They do not have the time or resources to find other care and arrangement options for part of the day or for when the preschool is on vacation. In addition to this, many parents also fee  that full-day, full-year preschool will enhance their children educational foundation and give them a head start when they begin formal schooling. All parents want their children to do well academically, and this is one way that they feel is effective and which suits their lifestyles.
  • The use of technology is rapidly increasing. Many early childhood education programs are technology driven to help children improve their literary and cognitive skills
  • The use of testing to evaluate performance and achievement is being hotly debated. On one side it is felt that only by this kind of evaluation can a child’s specific education needs be assessed. On the other hand, many feel that this kind of testing puts unfair and unwanted stress on the children and the results of this kind of stressful testing are not accurate. In the future, the matter will be decided one way or the other and either testing as we know it today will stop or it will become even more formal an all pervasive.
  • The need for increased readiness for formal school learning is becoming an important issue. The trends of providing families with education on how to help the children academically and on children’s cognitive development are growing. Parents will become more involved in the education of their children. This does not mean that they will become part of the preschool routine but that they will be provided with the tools needs to play a more effective role in supporting the efforts of teachers.
  • Preschool learning has traditionally been based on the pillars of cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. There is now a feeling that the pillar of spiritual development must be added to improve the quality of moral education and character development.
  • Collaborative services are growing in importance. This means that schools are now working with professionals from other agencies and disciplines to avoid negating each other’s efforts or duplication of work. For example, schools are now working with social workers to help families and children meet their counseling, nutrition, clothing and other support needs.
  • Modern research on cognitive development and abilities reveals that literacy plays a hugely important role in improving both school and life success.  More and more programs are now being developed with the specific aim of helping young children improve their reading skills.
There are many more trends that are gaining ground and predicting what will happen in the future is almost impossible. Perhaps that is what makes early childhood education such a challenging and simultaneously rewarding profession.