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The Bryant & Stratton College Early Childhood Program

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Bryant & Stratton College has been providing comprehensive, career-focused education for more than 170 years and plays a role in preparing educators who, in turn, shape the future of our youngest learners. The Early Childhood Program stands as a testament to the college's commitment to providing top-tier education at all levels. This program is dedicated to preparing future educators with the knowledge, skills, and expertise required to excel in the early childhood education field. The Bryant & Stratton College Early Childhood Program plays a vital role in shaping the educational landscape, specifically in the early childhood education sector.

What is Early Childhood Education?

Early childhood education, sometimes abbreviated to ECE, is centered around the education of children no older than eight years old. This includes informal and formal education. These years are times when children go through a tremendous amount of development and brain growth, and skilled educators can partner with parents to help them with their children’s educational needs along the way.
The schooling a child receives in this early part of their lives will make lasting impacts on them throughout childhood, adolescence, and beyond. A degree in early childhood education lets you enter a career where you’re positively affecting children’s lives every single day.

Why is Early Childhood Education Important?

The years from birth through the third grade are the years when children learn how to interact with other children, express emotions in a healthy way, and perform some fundamental educational tasks, like reading and basic math. From the moment a child is born, they start learning. Early childhood is a time when the brain grows and develops tremendously, which makes educators a vital part of a healthy child’s development. Early education helps set the groundwork for success in education and in the workforce.

Educators in this field provide safe, structured places for children to discover their world, play with their peers, and learn. Formal testing and grades are rare, but children are encouraged to use their senses to explore the world around them. They also are able to develop the motor and social skills they need for future educational success within a safe, supportive environment.

A degree in early childhood education can open the door to several rewarding career options. Many people will often work as teachers or aides in preschools and elementary schools, but this is not the only place that people trained in early childhood can find employment. They may also work as nannies, providers in childcare centers, and even school counselors. The careers available to you will depend on your level of education, but here are some popular choices.

Careers with a Diploma

A diploma in early childhood care is not a full two-year degree. It often can be completed in a year or less. While it is not a degree, it does open the door to some career options, including:
Childcare Worker - A childcare worker works with kids in a daycare or other childcare setting. They are often not responsible for lesson planning but will do care-oriented tasks, help with classroom management and keep the facility clean and sanitary for the children.

Preschool Teacher Assistant / Aide - A preschool teacher’s aide works alongside a preschool teacher to help the teacher and students achieve educational goals. They may implement lesson plans, assist in classroom management and take care of the physical needs of the children in the preschool so the teacher can focus on the educational needs.

Daycare Assistant Teacher - An assistant teacher has fewer responsibilities than a head classroom teacher but still attends to the educational needs of the students. Actual lesson planning and curriculum selection are outside of this job's scope, but the assistant teacher may spend time teaching. They will also coordinate snacks and activities to help their students thrive.

Careers with an Associate Degree

If you have an associate degree in early childhood education, you will have greater opportunities, including potential leadership roles, in the early childhood world. An applied science degree in early childhood education is a two-year degree that adds education training to the child development training offered through a diploma program. This means these professionals are often in the role of educator. Some career options include:

Daycare Center Administrator - A daycare center administrator oversees the daily operations of the daycare. They may interact with children, but they also interact with parents and ensure the business side of the daycare operates correctly. They may be the ultimate decision-makers in the facility.

Preschool Teacher - The additional training of an associate degree qualifies an individual to work as a preschool teacher. Preschool teachers teach early reading and math skills, color identification, social studies, and social/emotional skills in order to prepare students for kindergarten. Preschools are more academic in nature than daycare centers, but they also allow for plenty of time for children to play, as play is vital to the young child's development.

Toddler Teacher - Toddler teachers work in preschools that accept children ages 2 and under. They need to have a thorough understanding of child development to encourage their charges to reach developmental milestones safely. This is where an associate degree in early childhood comes into play.

More Degrees, More Options

Bryant & Stratton College offers several high-quality choices for early childhood education diplomas and degrees that can lead to early childhood certification. A diploma and associate degree are often considered the starting point for a career in education. The more training and credentials early childhood professionals have, the greater their career outcomes will be due to their greater understanding of the development and needs of the youngest students. Working with young children is a gratifying career. If you are passionate about young children and want to make a difference in their lives, a career in early childhood education is a good fit. It starts with the right training.

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