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About the Profession

What you could do with ECE classes

The Early Childhood professional provides care and education for young children (infants through pre-kindergarten) and plays a significant role in supporting families and communities.

The profession includes the care and teaching of: infants, toddlers, play-years and school-age children, in centers and in family child care homes. Early childhood education teachers and administrators work in publicly and privately-funded programs. They are responsible for:

  • Development of respectful and trusting relationships with children
  • Development and implementation of age appropriate and culturally relevant curriculum
  • Establishment and maintenance of the classroom environment
  • Assessment and record keeping of children's development
  • Health and safety of children
  • Partnerships with families including individual conferences, and mutual planning for each child's development and well-being

Early Childhood Program Directors are responsible for leadership, staff development, partnerships with families, and program management including both business and advocacy skills.

Successful work with young children requires:

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  • Understanding of child development
  • Love of learning
  • Delight in diversity
  • Flexibility, openness and appreciation of children's natural intelligence
  • Self knowledge
  • Effective communication skills
  • Emotional and physical stamina

In addition, effective teaching of young children in the 21st century requires a commitment to continuing professional development, understanding of human diversity and equity issues, advocacy for children and families and commitment to the on-going professionalization of the field.

Professional Opportunities

There are many opportunities for employment in the field of Early Childhood Education.

People with ECE training can:

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Work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children in positions including teacher assistant, teacher, master teacher, site supervisor and program director.

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Open a small child care business, a licensed family child care home or a private child care center.

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Become an "in-home" child care provider who is hired by a family to do child care for children in the child's home setting.

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Become a foster parent.

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Work as a teacher's aide in an elementary school program.

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Transfer to a four-year college or university in fields related to children, schools and families, such as: child development, human development, elementary education, social work, parent education, special education and early intervention specialist.

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