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Preschool teachers get to work with young children every day, helping to support their education as well as their social and emotional development. This is a rewarding career where professionals have the chance to watch their charges advance dramatically throughout the year, learning their alphabet, making friends, and engaging in a variety of fun activities. If you're patient, creative, and organized with strong communication and interpersonal skills, this might be the perfect career for you. Read on to learn more about the opportunities available to you as a preschool teacher.
Preschool teachers are responsible for educating and caring for young children, typically between the ages of three and five. During their preschool years, children learn their numbers, letters, shapes, and colors. They hone fine motor skills through crafts and sensory play and develop strong gross motor skills through active play, such as dancing and games.
Preschool is also an important time for developing social skills. Through their time in preschool, children learn how to relate to other children in their age range. They develop independence from their parents and learn how to interact with other adults and caregivers on a regular basis. Preschool prepares children for kindergarten and the rest of their elementary school experience. By participating in predictable daily routines and exploring a variety of key skills and topics, preschoolers are able to gain the knowledge they need to advance successfully throughout their elementary school experience.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for preschool teachers is favorable. Over the 2016 to 2026 decade, there's a projected job growth of 10 percent in this field. This is higher than the national average of 7 percent for all occupations over the same period.
The BLS anticipates continued growth in this field as demand increases for early childhood education that takes place prior to kindergarten. There is also an expected increase in the number of preschool-age children, which will further enhance job opportunities in this area.
Preschool teachers can work in a variety of childcare and education facilities. According to the BLS, 57 percent of preschool teachers work in child day care services. Another 18 percent are employed by religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and other similar organizations. Seventeen percent work in schools, while three percent work for individual and family services.
Preschool teachers can work anywhere that child care is provided. This might be a Pre-K program at a public elementary school, an organized preschool class at a child care center, or a preschool group at a church. Consider a variety of childcare settings when you're looking for a position as a preschool teacher.
Educational requirements for preschool teachers vary by state and facility. However, most require that these educators have a minimum of an associate's degree. The Early Childhood Education Associate of Applied Science degree at Bryant & Stratton College is an ideal choice for prospective educators. This program includes courses including early childhood program administration, child growth & development, curriculum planning & assessment, creative & language arts for children, and more.
An AAS Early Childhood Education degree can prepare you for a variety of jobs working with young children. Preschool teachers and other childcare providers can go by many names. You may way to include the following job titles in your search:
Though you need a bachelor's degree to teach kindergarten and higher grade levels, you can often work with younger children in various class and group settings with your AAS Early Childhood Education degree.
The Council for Professional Recognition has specific requirements for the Child Development Associate credentialing process in addition to the formal education components included in these programs. A career in the field of Early Childhood Education may involve meeting certain licensing, training and other requirements that can vary by vocation and state. Bryant & Stratton College recommends all applicants check with the licensing agency in their state for specific requirements *. The Bryant & Stratton College Early Childhood Education programs involve an early childhood practice experience which may be completed within a live childcare environment. All applicants to either Early Childhood program should be aware that employers may consider numerous factors when determining eligibility or suitability for employment including, but not limited to, criminal background screening, U.S. citizenship, state residency, physical and psychological health, age and military discharge information. A criminal conviction and/or record of certain other conduct may prevent or hinder a student’s completion of their required practice experience or a graduate’s employment in the field of Early Childhood Education. The enrolling applicant has been apprised of these matters and enrolls in this program with full understanding of the same.
* Virginia residents should refer to licensure regulations for school personnel at the following government site: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title8/agency20/chapter22/ . Teacher candidates will find additional information at the Virginia Department of Education at the following address: Virginia Department of Education, James Monroe Building, 101 N. 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219. For more information please visit: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/
Please note that information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is only intended to provide a general overview of the state of the education industry. This is not a guarantee of employment opportunities or job offers. However, it can give you a broad overview of the outlook that you can expect in coming years.
For more information on the education industry, check out the online education section of our blog. You'll get valuable insights into the potential available with a career as a preschool teacher or other educator.