Bachelor's degree programs in early childhood development prepare students for careers working with young children and families in roles such as preschool teacher, parent educator or childcare provider. While a bachelor's degree is often the minimum requirement to work as a preschool teacher, some positions require state licensure. Therefore, depending on an individual's career goals, prospective students may want to check their state requirements before selecting a program in this field.
Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts programs in early childhood development or childhood development are 4-year programs, though individuals with an associate's degree can complete the program faster. Early childhood development bachelor's degree programs are offered online by select schools. Program specializations include child development, pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, and child life.
Bachelor's Degree Program in Early Childhood Development
Individuals can find Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts programs in early childhood development or childhood development. These programs prepare students to assist in the cultural development of young children. Students might also delve into the study of language development and social skills in young children. An examination of the importance of relationships in regards to the overall well-being of children is typically part of the program as well. Internships, practicums, and capstone courses may be required.
Prior to being accepted, some programs might require successful completion of the general education curriculum as set forth by the school. However, a student could also be admitted into the program if they've successfully completed an associate degree program.
The curriculum presents students with opportunities to explore current issues and research breakthroughs in early childhood development. In addition to the core curriculum requirements in subject areas, such as the social sciences or humanities, students may take courses in:
- Care and education of infants and toddlers
- Childhood guidance
- Children's creative arts and literature
- Family sociology and systems
- Parenting issues
- Cognitive psychology
Popular Career Options
Students may find themselves working in professions that focus on assisting young children. Careers in the early childhood development field also involve working with the families of these children. Jobs that a student completing this program might pursue include:
- Parent educator
- Children's program administrator
- Child life specialist
Continuing Education Information
Students can seek further career enhancement by becoming provisionally certified as a family life educator. This certification, offered by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), requires graduating from an NCFR-approved program (www.ncfr.org). Students interested in pursuing an advanced education might also consider completing a graduate degree program, including master's and doctoral programs in early childhood development or education.
Early childhood development bachelor's degree programs typically involve coursework that includes cognitive psychology and family sociology. Students who complete this program may pursue positions such as parent educator or childcare provider.