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What Skills Will I Learn From an Early Childhood Education Degree?

Students in early childhood education degree programs learn the skills necessary to work in educational settings with children who are between the ages of two and eight. Most commonly, these educators work with preschool-age children between three and five years of age. Read on to learn about the skills you can obtain in early childhood education degree programs.

Early Childhood Education Program Skills

Early childhood education programs prepare students to work with young children at public or private schools, home daycare operations or other facilities. Students learn practices that are developmentally appropriate for children between the ages of two and eight. Skills include developing curriculum, teaching health and safety habits, using principles of child psychology and human development and helping young children with language development.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Common Courses Children's literature, guidance strategies, child growth and development, family and community
Degrees/Certificate Levels Many schools offer certificate programs to prepare students for state licensure or the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Associate, bachelor and graduate degrees are also offered.
Concentrations Infant/toddler specialist, special education, early childhood administration
Online Availability Several colleges and universities now offer individual early childhood courses online, and some offer complete distance degree programs.
Continuing Education Graduates can go on to complete degree programs in related fields. Also, annual continuing education credits are usually required for people working in the field of early childhood education.
Median Salary (2018) $29,780 (for preschool teachers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)10% (for preschool teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Develop Age-Appropriate Curriculum

Students learn to develop lesson plans, activities and learning objectives that are relevant to young children. They learn the methods used by young children to organize, retain and recall information. This knowledge can be applied to lesson plan development.

Learn to Teach Health, Safety and Nutritional Skills

Early childhood is a time when children develop lifestyle habits that can lead to good health. Students in such degree programs learn the importance of imparting healthy eating and physical fitness habits. They also learn strategies to incorporate good health practices into classroom activities and to promote healthier lifestyles.

Employ Principles of Child Psychology and Human Development

Students might explore the stages of physical and motor development and discover how it relates to learning. Programs might also include opportunities to learn about cognitive development theory and the development of personality, morals, behaviors and emotions. Courses might stress the influences of both external and developmental factors on learning.

Learn Teaching Strategies for Language and Literacy Development

Courses may cover literacy theories as well as strategies for encouraging literacy in young children. Students may also become skilled at identifying problems with reading comprehension.