An early childhood education degree, also known as an ECE degree, gives prospective educators many different opportunities to teach and cultivate important lessons catered toward the development of young children. These varying opportunities come in the form of different educational occupations, all meant for specialization in early childhood education. Individuals in these roles will be able to make a real difference in the foundational knowledge of countless children.
What Is Early Childhood Education?Top Early Childhood Education Degree Jobs
- Preschool Teacher
- Childcare Center Director
- Childcare Worker
- Special Education Teacher
- School Counselor or Psychologist
How to Become an Early Childhood Educator
Become an Early Childhood Education Specialist with GMercyU
What is Early Childhood Education?
The technical definition of early childhood education is the period of learning that takes place from birth to the age of eight. From the preschool level up to the end of early childhood, there are many different programs and approaches to curricula available. They can be federally funded, state-funded, or privately funded. All are set to help students reach certain cognitive standards and benchmarks that are helpful to children as their education continues.
Lessons learned during early childhood develop the fundamentals of learning and participating in a learning environment. Visit our own article that focuses on the question, “What is Early Childhood Education?”
Top Early Childhood Education Degree Jobs
Now that you know what an ECE degree entails, you might be wondering, “What can I do with an early childhood education degree?” Outlined below are some of the top early childhood education jobs. Take a look at the educational requirements, a summary of responsibilities, and the average salary for each occupation to see which is right for you.
Average Salary:$29,780 per year
Educational Requirements:Associate’s degree in early childhood education or related field
Where you work:Daycare services, state, local, or private schools, private homes, religious institutions, grantmaking organizations, civic centers
What Does a Preschool Teacher Do?
Preschool teachers are tasked with administering the fundamental lessons associated with early childhood education that help bring their students up to developmental standards. Day-to-day activities in this position include working with young children both individually and in a group setting, tracking the progress of each student, organizing entertaining educational activities, and creating daily schedules. Early educators can use a child’s desire to play and be active as an advantage in the learning process
Traditional academic education is not all a preschool teacher must focus on. Some emotional and social education takes place in a preschool setting, as well. At this early stage, educators use team exercises to improve social skills, but also to teach lessons on inclusion and respect.
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher
Average Salary:$57,980 per year
Educational Requirements:Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education
Where you work:Public and Private Elementary schools, Child Day Care Services, charter schools, religious-based schools
What Does a Kindergarten Teacher Do?
Many daily responsibilities of kindergarten and elementary school teachers mirror those of a preschool teacher. They put together lesson plans, daily schedules for class, and track the progress of their students. The emotional and social lessons continue to play a large role in this position. By this stage of education, some of these responsibilities become more complex as the students build upon the foundational knowledge they learned in preschool.
There are a few major differences between the two occupations. Preschool tends to take place in one classroom where the students learn, play, rest, and eat. They may move to a lunchroom or an outdoor play area, but kindergarten and elementary school students move around much more in during the day. These students frequently move to different classes for different lessons, head to the lunchroom to eat, go outside for recess, and participate in field trips. A high level of supervision is required of teachers at this stage of schooling. Also, teachers entering this occupation can expect to work at a private or public school. A very small percentage are employed by daycare services.
Average Salary:Minimum wage - $18 per hour
Educational Requirements:Vary based on state, employer, and workplace
Where you work:Private homes
What Does a Nanny Do?
Nannying is an occupation that varies greatly based on the employer. Every child and every family have different needs when it comes to childcare. In the simplest description, nannies must provide attentive, warm care to the children they are tasked with looking after. That may entail simple supervision and care in an employer’s private home, but nannies are often given additional responsibilities. For example, nannies may also be expected to bring children to and from events, do some food shopping for them, and even make sure the house remains clean and organized while the employers are indisposed.
One thing that sets this job apart from others on the list is that nannying can be a live-in position. Some employers need someone to live in their private home or on the property that can be available to take care of their children at any time. Live-in nannies may look after children from the moment they wake up to when they’re tucked in at night. Be sure to take into account the variance in responsibilities, salary, and educational requirements associated with nannying.
What’s the Difference Between a Babysitter and a Nanny?
The difference between a babysitter and a nanny is not always clear. Each position features similar daily duties and childcare expectation. The easiest way to differentiate the two is that nannying is more likely to be a regular, full-time position. Often, babysitters are informally used as needed for an agreed-upon hourly or flat rate. On the other hand, nannies are almost always regularly employed, full-time or part-time. They are formally paid at an agreed-upon hourly rate, and all necessary employment and tax paperwork must be taken care of. The more formal nature of nannying usually goes hand-in-hand with additional duties like cooking, shopping, or cleaning for employers.
Childcare Center Director
Average Salary:$47,940 per year
Educational Requirements:Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education
Where you work:Child daycare services, grantmaking organizations, civic centers, religiousinstitutions, and state, local, or private schools
What Does a Childcare Center Director Do?
Preschool and Childcare center directors work a step back from the classroom, and they focus on the bigger picture of managing an early childhood education center. Directors supervise teachers and other employees of the center. They hire new educators, influence daily curricula and academic standards for students, allocate funds, communicate with parents, and ensure that their institution is up to health and safety standards.
Some directors own the center that they direct while others are employed by the owner, or by the executive directors of an educational chain or franchise. If a director is employed by an outside entity, they must effectively communicate with that entity and run the center according to their policies and goals. If the owner is also the director, the center can be managed in whatever way they see fit. The position is much less hands-on with students and much more administrative.
Average Salary:$23,240 per year
Educational Requirements:High school diploma or equivalent
Where you work:Childcare centers, their own home, private homes
What Does a Childcare Worker Do?
Interestingly, childcare workers share many responsibilities with preschool teachers, but they exist outside of the traditional classroom. Childcare workers look after children, create schedules around education, play, and nourishment, introduce children to basic concepts, and help prepare them for the next level of education, usually kindergarten. They help children build social relationships with others, and they teach activities art or dance that may grab the interest of the children in their care. Sometimes childcare workers communicate with the teachers of children they work with to focus on specific lessons or skills that need improvement.
Childcare workers do not only work with children in preschool. Individuals in this occupation may also work with older children before and/or after school. In this situation, childcare workers would be helping with homework or other facets of the curriculum being taught during the school day. Some childcare workers are even employed over the summer to continue the education of participating children.
Special Education Teacher
Average Salary:$59,780 per year
Educational Requirements:Bachelor’s degree in special education or related field
Where you work:Public, private, charter, or religious-based schools
What Does a Special Education Teacher Do?
Special education teachers work with students who have mental, emotional, physical, or learning disabilities. This profession is not relegated to early childhood education. Individuals with sufficient degrees and certifications in special education can work with students from preschool all the way through high school. These educators have quite an array of daily responsibilities and they can change based on the capabilities of the student they are assisting. Generally, special education teachers must assess and reassess their students’ skills, determine their educational needs, discuss students’ educational progress with parents and other school staff, and plan activities catered toward their students’ specific abilities. Special education teachers are pivotal in progressing their students’ education and guiding their transition from grade to grade.
The Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is the cornerstone of a special education teacher’s responsibilities. It’s the formalized plan discussed with parents, fellow teachers, and administrators that is updated and designed to effectively educate every individual special education student. Special education teachers must be able to create efficient and practical IEPs to be successful, no matter the age of their students.
School Counselor or Psychologist
Average Salary:$56,310 per year
Educational Requirements:Master’s degree in school counseling or related field
Where you work:Private, public, charter, and religious-based schools, healthcare and social assistance organizations, other educational services
What does a School Counselor Do?
If you’re wondering, “what can you do with an early childhood education degree besides teach?,” don’t worry, there are many job opportunities for you to work with children outside of the classroom. For example, school counselors help students with academic and social skills needed to succeed academically. These are skills not normally taught in a classroom environment, like how to study or manage time effectively. School counselors will meet with students individually or in small groups and identify where they could use some help. They try to identify issues that impede on the academic success of individual students and help remedy those issues. Usually, counselors will collaborate with students, teachers, and parents to solve these problems. Counselors are also tasked with teaching students and staff about sensitive issues like drug abuse and bullying.
This is another occupation that is not relegated to early childhood, and the responsibilities differ based on the age group being counseled. A school counselor hired by an elementary school would be working with younger children, and their needs are much different from those of their high school counterparts. This early age group would most likely learn about decision making, time management, and appropriate social behavior from their counselors.
How to Become an Early Childhood Educator
The first step to becoming an early childhood educator is to narrow down the occupations that interest you in the field. This decision will help set your academic goals since many of these jobs have different educational requirements. Previous experience, personal interest, desired workplace environment, and financial goals are all important to making decisions about the occupation you’d like to earn.
Based on the occupations above, it seems as though the most versatile degree is a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. It’s a requirement in several positions, and it will be beneficial to you when applying to any position that involves working with children. It may not be a requirement to be a preschool teacher, but it will set you apart from other applicants. That degree would have the same effect when competing for work as a nanny or as a childcare worker. If you’d like to have a more managerial role, like Day Care Center Director, or a more specialized role, such as a school counselor, a higher degree will be helpful. It may even be required. After you decide on the degree you’d like to pursue, the next step would be to look for higher education institutions that offer that degree program.
Become an Early Childhood Education Specialist with GMercyU
Gwynedd Mercy University has an exceptional degree program for students who would like to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Early Education. Our unique Early Childhood Education program gives students hands-on classroom experience in their very first semester with our Teacher Apprenticeship Program (TAP). GMercyU’s program also provides significant assistance when prospective early childhood educators begin looking for student teaching opportunities, and affiliated professors and administrators will help students earn their teaching certifications, as well. Take a look at our website for more information on ourEarly Education Program.
What is the highest paid job in childcare? ›
Directors manage the day-to-day operations of the child care center by overseeing staff, designing programs, and managing budgets. The top 10% of child care center directors earn $83,730.What can you do with a Level 5 Childcare qualification? ›
Upon successful completion, learners can work as an Early Years Senior Practitioner within the Early Years Workforce across the private, voluntary and independent sector or progress to Higher Education in a relevant subject area.What can I do with Level 3 childcare? ›
- Nursery Worker/Supervisors.
- Nursery Nurses.
- Nursery Teaching Assistants.
- Early Years Workers/Assistants.
- Nursery Practitioners.
- Classroom Assistants.
- Care Workers/Assistants.
- Assistant Youth Supporters.
- Children (so many children!) ...
- Caregivers. ...
- Admin Work. ...
- Low Pay. ...
- (Lack of) Recognition. ...
- (Lack of) Development Opportunities. ...
- Upward Job Mobility. ...
- Related Resources.
|Rank||State||Average Preschool Teacher Salary|
This Early Childhood Care & Education – QQI Level 5 (5M2009) course is completed through Distance Learning and there are no lectures to attend. Students can complete this course within 13 months which is ample time and can start it at any time of the year that is convenient.Is Level 5 in childcare a degree? ›
Foundation degrees are at level 5 on the QCA National Qualifications Framework and are ideal for early years and childcare professionals as they are designed to be fitted in around work.What is a Level 4 in childcare? ›
The Level 4 CCLD is an NVQ for professionals working in childcare. It recognises specialist learning and helps develop the candidate's career. Course provider: FE colleges and training providers.Can I work in a hospital with Level 3 childcare? ›
You'll need two years' experience working with children at level 3 before you can apply to train as a health play specialist. This can be either voluntary or paid. You could get employment as a health play assistant in a hospital or clinic with a relevant childcare qualification at level 3.
This qualification will take 2 years to complete.
Can I be a teaching assistant with Level 3 childcare? ›
To work in childcare you will need the relevant childcare qualifications; the minimum requirement is level 2 however most nurseries require practitioners to hold a level 3 qualification.Is it worth getting a degree in early childhood? ›
Committing to an early childhood education career means you could help young learners reap long-term benefits, from success in elementary school to potential lifelong earnings. You may even be able to play a part in ensuring those children are less likely to have run-ins with the law as adults.How much do early childhood educators make? ›
There Is No Single Pay Scale For Early Childhood Educator
According to Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), the starting salary range is S$2,200 to $3,550 for preschool teacher and $1,800 to $3,150 for educarer. The starting salary for MOE Kindergarten (MK) teachers is $2,500 to $4,106.
Early childhood educators are often siloed in their classrooms and don't always have the strongest support system, be it within the center or externally. When your team is constantly on the go and overworked, morale can take a hit across the board and cause burnout.What are 3 different careers you could have in early childhood education? ›
- Preschool Teacher.
- Kindergarten & Elementary School Teacher.
- Childcare Center Director.
- Childcare Worker.
- Special Education Teacher.
- School Counselor or Psychologist.
When you are looking for the best-paid teaching jobs for your area of interest or specialized skill, then you may consider working as a professor in a college or university. A college professor prepares course material, teaches students in a classroom environment, and grades student work.
- Tutor. ...
- Teach English Online. ...
- Provide Childcare to Families During Breaks. ...
- Work in Public Schools or Private Schools That Pay Well. ...
- Open a Teachers-Pay-Teachers (TpT) Store. ...
- Freelance as a Writer. ...
- Start an Online Business. ...
- Work Towards Owning a Preschool.
In terms of salary, the national median salary for Kindergarten Teachers was reported to be $57,860. Additionally, when examining job posting demand, employers across the country posted 8,344 job postings related to positions for Kindergarten Teachers in 2021.What level do you need to work in childcare? ›
You can take a college course before looking for work in a nursery. Courses include: Level 2 Certificate in Childcare. Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care - Early Years Educator.What is a Level 7 qualification in childcare? ›
The HNC Award in Childhood Practice at SCQF level 7 will equip candidates to work effectively in a range of care settings with a variety of service users. Learners will gain an understanding of the values and principles of social care and will learn how to integrate those values with the necessary skills and knowledge.
What is a level 6 in childcare? ›
The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (level 6 top up) is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time course. This course provides a progression for those who wish to 'top up' their Early Years Foundation Degree or equivalent foundation qualification to a full BA Honours degree.What is the highest level of childcare qualification? ›
- BTEC Higher National Diploma in Early Childhood Studies.
- Early Years Sector Endorsed Foundation Degree.
- Foundation Degree.
- Diploma in Higher Education and Playwork.
- Higher Level Teaching Assistant.
- Other - Level 5.
The entry requirements for a degree which awards Early Years Teacher Status are at least a level 3 qualification, such as A-levels, BTEc or NVQ. To train as an Early Years Teacher you'll also need GCSE at grade 4 or grade C in English, Maths and Science.What can I do with Level 5 certificate? ›
You can continue your studies in Education at a TVET College, or study towards a specific teaching qualification at an institution of Higher Education, such as a University if you meet their entry requirements.Is Level 3 childcare a diploma? ›
The Level 3 Certificate in Childcare and Education prepares learners to progress on to the Technical Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator). The Diploma enables learners to gain the knowledge and experience which will allow them to work with children from birth to 5 years.What is a Level 3 early years qualification? ›
The Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with and care for children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years.What is a level 2 in childcare called? ›
Early Years Level 2
This qualification is designed for learners who want to develop a career in early years and are appropriate for the following roles: assistant nursery nurse, assistant early years practitioner or a childminder.
Nursery assistants are likely to need a Level 2 Childcare qualification, whilst room leaders will need a Level 3. Some nurseries offer apprenticeship schemes. These allow you to study for a childcare qualification whilst working in an early years setting.How do you become a play assistant? ›
- Level 2 Award in Outdoor Play and Learning.
- Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People's Workforce.
- Level 3 Diploma in Children's Play, Learning and Development.
- T Level in Education and Childcare.
You will need five GCSEs at grade 4 (C) and above especially in maths and English, to demonstrate literacy and numeracy. After leaving school, you should apply for a level 3 childcare course at a further/higher education institution in order to gain experience of working with children.
What can you do with an early years educator qualification? ›
Early Years Practitioners work in a range of private and public settings to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements set by government for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 in both indoor and outdoor environments.What can you do with Level 3 early years educator? ›
Support and promote children's early education and development. Plan and provide effective care, teaching and learning that enables children to progress and prepares them for school. Make accurate and productive use of assessment. Develop effective and informed practice.What qualifications do I need to be a early years teacher? ›
- do an undergraduate degree in a subject related to early childhood studies or child development, along with course placements.
- take an early years initial teacher training course after you finish your first degree.
To work under the direction of the teacher; assist the measuring, impact and evaluation of teaching and learning. Supervise and provide particular support for pupils, including those with special needs, ensuring their safety and access to learning activities.What is a Level 5 teaching assistant? ›
The Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training is a recognised qualification which is designed for those working or wishing to work as teachers within an educational setting. Learners who successfully complete this qualification will gain a further knowledge on aspects of planning, delivering and assessing...Is being a teaching assistant stressful? ›
As a teaching assistant, you'll often feel as though you have a million things to do – under constant pressure to do an unrealistic amount of work! This kind of workload can put serious pressure on you, making you feel tired and stressed. Don't let your workload get the better of you.
The ECE program is extremely difficult because so much is expected of you. I was completely overwhelmed with the expectations, but again I'm in Canada. It was an extremely demanding course. I will mention that I received two awards upon graduation, but I'm a hard worker who focuses upon my tasks.What is the highest degree in early childhood education? ›
Master of Education (MEd) degree with a focus in Early Childhood Education. The MEd comes after a bachelor's degree, usually takes one to three years to complete, and normally requires a thesis for graduation. Master's degree holders have a deeper level of expertise and are highly valued in more complex positions.Is childcare a good career choice? ›
Childcare is an incredibly demanding but rewarding role! There are so many perks to working in childcare, such as teaching the future leaders of tomorrow, supporting children's social and intellectual development, as well as working within an environment that is supportive and shares the same passion as you!What is an Educarer? ›
Educarers mainly care for young children from birth up to school going age, at home or in an institution. This vocation offers a wide range of employment possibilities, and additional duties will vary according to the specific employment situation.
How much do ECE workers make in BC? ›
Early childhood educators and assistants (NOC 4214) usually earn between $15.65/hour and $24.00/hour in British Columbia.How much money does an ECE make in Ontario? ›
Early childhood educators and assistants (NOC 4214) usually earn between $14.00/hour and $27.00/hour in Canada. People working as an "early childhood educator assistant" are part of this group.Why is working in childcare so stressful? ›
Being a child care provider is a tough job that requires an unimaginable amount of patience. Child care providers are human and have bad days just like everyone else. Unfortunately, their bad days sometimes have bigger consequences. One impatient moment can leave a child with an injury and a teacher without a job.What teacher burnout looks like? ›
Repeated periods of forgetfulness and intense trouble concentrating: Burned-out teachers may find it hard to complete normal tasks and have trouble concentrating on their work. A lack of sleep can amplify these symptoms even more.What jobs makes good money working with children? ›
- Physical therapist.
- Pediatric occupational therapist.
- Dental hygienist.
- Pediatric nurse.
- Speech-language pathologist.
- Pediatric nurse practitioner.
How much does a Child care worker make in Australia? The average child care worker salary in Australia is $59,500 per year or $30.51 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $53,612 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $81,050 per year.What state pays child care workers the most? ›
|State||Employment (1)||Hourly mean wage|
|New York||41,720||$ 15.89|
- Babysitting. This one is a no-brainer...babysitting is basically everybody's first job, right? ...
- Lawn Mowing. ...
- Errands for Elderly People. ...
- Homework Helper. ...
- Pet Sitting. ...
- Yard Work. ...
- Dog Walker. ...
- Teacher. ...
- Child Psychologist. ...
- Marriage and Family Therapist. ...
- Art Therapist. ...
- Psychiatrist. ...
- Social Worker. ...
- Preschool and Childcare Center Directors. ...
- School Counselor.
- Information technology.
- Law enforcement.
Is a degree in early childhood education worth it? ›
Committing to an early childhood education career means you could help young learners reap long-term benefits, from success in elementary school to potential lifelong earnings. You may even be able to play a part in ensuring those children are less likely to have run-ins with the law as adults.What is the highest degree needed to be a teacher? ›
Answer: You do not need a master's degree to become a high school teacher; a bachelor's degree and certification is adequate. However, some states require that you earn a master's degree within several years of starting a teaching job in order to keep your teaching license.Will childcare workers get paid more? ›
“Up to now a majority of early years educators have earned below the living wage of €12.90.” The pay agreement is part of the Government's €221 million Core Funding Scheme, announced as part of Budget 2022, and will be the first ever minimum rates of pay for roles in the early learning and childcare sector.What is a level 5 in childcare? ›
The level 5 children's care learning and development (CCLD): Management diploma is a recognised qualification for people who are working as a senior practitioner or manager within early years and children and young peoples' settings.What is the minimum wage for daycare workers? ›
An early career Childcare Worker with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of R20. 99 based on 19 salaries. A mid-career Childcare Worker with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of R23. 50 based on 12 salaries.Where is childcare needed the most? ›
|Rank||State||# Of People|
The average Child Care Worker salary in the United States is $36,127 as of October 27, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $32,670 and $41,127.