Entering The Profession Of Childcare

Working with young children can be a very challenging experience, and it can also be an extremely rewarding one. If you love working with very young children, but don’t want to be an elementary school teacher, maybe you should think about working with children in the early childhood years. Going to school to get the training you need can help you become the best at working with young and curious children who are ready to learn all kinds of new things.

Working with kids of this age group allows you to become part of a youngster’s first important milestones. These might include such exciting activities as learning number or letters, or even reading first words. However, it’s important to note that caring for and educating young children is a big responsibility.

Parents want to be sure that when they take their children to daycare, they are not only getting a good value for their money, but that their children are going to be in a nurturing and engaging environment. Parents also want to be certain that their children’s early learning experience prepares them for their elementary educational experience. Of course, safety is also at the top of parent’s list for his or her child.

That’s why all states have rules and regulations for licensing daycare centers for young children. Daycare centers are required to be licensed, and people who work in them are required to have a certain amount of training and education, too. Depending on the job, people who work in these facilities may attain several levels of education and training that will allow graduates to work in National CDA Credentialed daycare centers.

The first level of training for a daycare worker is that of a certification program. As a general rule, a certification program can take anywhere from six months to a year to complete. Each state has its own requirements for the program, but students in most states can expect to be required to complete a certain number of classroom hours, combined with practical, on-the-job training in a licensed facility.

The second level of daycare training would be an Associate’s degree in early childhood education. Often, if a person has already completed the certification program, a certain number of those classroom hours may transfer toward college credits for a degree. An Associate’s is a two-year course of study, with the normal college general education requirements such as English, science, and humanities.

In addition to the required general education classes, students will also complete a rigorous schedule of study covering all aspects of early childhood education. They will be required to take courses that relate to the educational, physical, and psychological growth of young children. Students will also be exposed to current management practices in childcare centers, including licensing requirements and personnel management.