Bachelors Degree Programs in Preschool Education

Preschool education specialists might choose a bachelor's degree program in early childhood education. Read on to review the prerequisites and to discover what course topics are generally covered. Also, check out the employment outlook statistics for preschool teachers.

Essential Information

Preschool education bachelor's programs usually appear as Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education programs, which prepare students to care for and educate children before they enter kindergarten. Such programs are designed to help students develop pedagogical and disciplinary techniques tailored specifically to these young children. Students might explore psychology and nutrition while developing curriculum-writing skills.

Most programs include curriculum planning for different stages of child development, including activities that aid emotional, social, motor skills and language development. Students learn to engage children with games, books, movies, artwork or computers. Some programs also teach students to evaluate a child's interests early in development, because preschool is often a child's first exposure to the sciences, creative arts, writing and music.

Students might gain knowledge of classroom-reading techniques in order to keep children focused. They could learn to use reading to expand children's vocabularies and expose them to different remedial concepts. Programs include student-teaching experiences as well as classroom lectures.

Educational Prerequisites

A high school diploma is the minimum requirement to be considered for admission to a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. In fact, a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for many preschool teaching jobs, although graduates of bachelor's degree programs may be more competitive in the job market and may get paid more. Applicants may need to submit letters of recommendation, standardized test scores and a personal statement.

Program Coursework

Coursework consists mostly of didactic learning, although many programs require students to complete one or more student teaching sessions. Here are some classes that might appear in the curriculum:

  • Child psychology
  • Health and nutrition
  • Special needs methodologies
  • Classroom and instructional management
  • Curriculum writing
  • Early childhood assessment and evaluation

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected the employment of preschool teachers to grow at the above-average rate of 25% between 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov). Growth in this field is due to a growing population of preschool-aged children and the widespread importance of early-childhood education.

According to BLS figures, the median annual salary for preschool teachers was $27,130 in May 2012. The highest-paid preschool teachers earned more than $48,000 annually, while the lowest-paid earned roughly $18,000 or less per year (www.bls.gov).

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