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An Early Childhood Education degree can help prepare you for a rewarding career teaching children in the preschool age. Early childhood educators are responsible for caring for and educating young children. The areas of study within this career focus on both the cognitive and social development which includes various activities that engage a students abilities to flourish. At Gwynedd Mercy University, you can earn an early childhood education degree in four years and gain real-world experience through our hands-on learning approach. This in-demand degree program allows students to get real-world experience that makes a difference in the lives of children within the Philadelphia community.
What is Early Childhood Education?
Early Childhood Education Workplaces
Early Childhood Education Degree Requirements
Early Childhood Education Salary Information
How to Become an Early Childhood Educator
Your GMercyU Path to a Career in Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education describes the period of learning that takes place from birth to 8 years old. There are several types of early education programs, including those that are federal, state or privately funded. The curricula and approach often vary at the preschool level, but there are generally agreed-upon standards for the types of learning addressed in early childhood education settings.
There are many career paths you can take, including teaching, managing a daycare, and providing in-home care for children. Below are some examples of early childhood education careers:
Pursuing a career in early childhood education can lead you to work in various types of workplaces. Commonly, early childhood educators will work within a school setting but can work from care centers or private residences. Listed below are potential workplaces for early childhood education professionals.
Being an early childhood education teacher is an important job. You’ll be charged with building the foundation of the youngest learners; all future teachers will build upon the foundation you lay. Because of that, it’s important that you understand the early childhood education degree requirements in the state in which you plan to work.
In Pennsylvania, all early education teachers in public schools must hold a bachelor’s degree and state certification. Nonpublic schools, including religiously affiliated schools, have their own degree and certification requirements. These degree requirements are for teachers in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade.
State certifications can vary, but early education teachers in Pennsylvania will need to pass Pearson’s Pennsylvania Educator Certification Test Early Learning Modules 1,2 and 3 in order to achieve teacher certification.
As with many professions, early childhood education salary information is dependent upon many factors, including education level, geographic region, and work environment. Below you will find the national median salary information for possible early childhood education careers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|Childcare Center Director||$46,890|
|Nanny and Childcare Workers||$22,290|
|Kindergarten and Elementary Teacher||$55,490|
In order to become an early childhood educator, you must have already obtained your high school diploma and enroll in an early childhood education program. Depending on the specific career path you choose, you will be required to obtain an Associates Degree or a Bachelor's of Science in Early Childhood Education to get started. It's often recommended to get outside experience working with children, such as working at summer camps or volunteer roles within your community. Listed below are the steps to become an early childhood educator.
All education students at Gwynedd Mercy University enter into the general Education Studies program. After you complete 45 credits and pass the Basic Skills Assessment Test as required by the state Department of Education, you can enter into a teacher certification program to obtain a degree in early and special education. GMercyU students start classroom observations as early as October of your freshman year. In total, you’ll spend eight semesters in a classroom, providing you with the best resources and faculty members as you work to develop your teaching skills. You’ll also have access to the Hobbit House, our on-site, licensed, private academic lab school, giving you real-world experience right here on Main Campus.