Students can find online Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) programs with an emphasis on early childhood education teaching or leadership. Prerequisite courses are required for some programs. Many programs fulfill prerequisite requirements for teaching licensure as an early childhood educator when paired with a supervised teaching internship. For this reason, schools often offer online seminars combined with fieldwork in an approved educational setting. Courses cover topics in child development theory, multiculturalism in the classroom and working with parents.
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Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Development
These programs prepare students for national examination and licensure as a preschool or kindergarten teacher. Specific state guidelines, including certain subjects and supervised practicum in early childhood education, are taught in the curriculum. Some schools require prerequisite course completion at a community college or online before entering the bachelor's degree program.
Program Information and Requirements
Online bachelor's degree programs in early childhood development follow the same requirements as on-campus curriculum, and take approximately four years to complete. Degree completion programs require students take approximately 120 quarter credits of general education and early childhood major courses prior to entry.
General education courses in areas like math, English, reading, social sciences, science and humanities are required in these bachelor's degree programs, usually in the first two years. Although courses vary by school, the concentration focuses on learning, behavior and literacy skills, as well as the best observation, assessment and development methods to apply to early education.
Early Childhood Foundations and Principles
The historical and philosophical perspectives related to early childhood development are covered in this class. Students learn decision-making skills, appropriate practices and issues relevant to early education.
Early Childhood Language and Literacy
This class studies listening, reading, writing and speaking skills in young children. Students learn to integrate language arts in their facilitation and develop skills in their students. The cognitive and social bases of learning and ways to promote literacy are also topics of study.
Family Involvement and Relations
Students learn the techniques used to support family involvement in early childhood education. The class emphasizes the importance of cooperation between family and school, as well as the skills used in communication to build relationships. Students also learn to work with families of different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2015, the median annual wage for kindergarten teachers was $51,640, while preschool teachers earned $28,570 (www.bls.gov). The growth rate for employment of kindergarten teachers is projected to be 6% from 2014-2024, whereas employment growth for preschool teachers is expected to be 7% during that same period (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Online master's degree programs are available in early childhood development at several different schools. A master's degree can lead to positions in administration, curriculum development, guidance counseling or post-secondary educational institutions.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards offers voluntary certification recognized by every state (www.nbpts.org). Many state school districts offer benefits to those who achieve this certification, typically including a higher salary and reimbursement.
Most early childhood development bachelor's degree programs prepare future educators for their licensing requirements through teaching internships. Job growth for preschool and kindergarten teachers is expected to grow about as fast as average from 2014-2024, according to the BLS.