Early Childhood Education
The Early Childhood Education Program focuses on the care and development of children. Students with an interest in a child-related career ranging from social work, preschool, nursery school, medical field, childcare or daycare, elementary school and in-home care should consider this program. Students will study the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of child development and will gain practical skills from participating in the operation of a preschool program and working in elementary classrooms.
Benefiting from this program are those entering careers in cosmetology, health, hospitality, law and justice, therapists, the entertainment field, along with many more.
This program has been certified by the PA Department of Public Welfare and allows students to immediately enter the workforce of registered childcare institutions in PA at the Assistant Group Supervisor level if they have taken and passed their CDA exam.
FCAVTS CAREER PATHWAYS: Day Care Director or Worker, Elementary Teacher’s Aide, Preschool Teacher or Aide, In-Home Caregiver, Nursery SchoolAttendant, Nanny, Childcare Provider or Aide.
FCAVTS CAREER PATHWAYS CAN LEAD TO: Preschool Teacher, Kindergarten Teacher, Teacher’s Assistant, Child Care Center/Program Manager, Special Education Teacher
Nature of Work
Early childhood educators plan, organize and implement programs for children between the ages of infancy and 12 years. Early childhood educator assistants provide care for infants and preschool- to school-age children under the guidance of early childhood educators. Early childhood educators and assistants lead children in activities to stimulate and develop their intellectual, physical and emotional growth and ensure their security and well-being. They are employed in child-care centers, daycare centers, kindergartens, agencies for exceptional children and other settings where early childhood education services are provided. Supervisors of early childhood educators and assistants are included in this unit group.
Training and Advancement
Early childhood personnel exhibit many different levels of educational preparation depending on their role and or the type of setting in which they teach. Generally early childhood personnel in Pennsylvania receive training in three ways: (1) developing and demonstrating competencies as a secondary student in a career and technical Child Care and Support Services Management program; (2) earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in early childhood education or child development; and/or (3) earning an associate degree in early childhood education, early child
care and development, or child development. In addition, students can develop and demonstrate competency through a competency-based assessment such as the national Child Development Associate (CDA) program.
CERTIFICATIONS: OSHA 10-Hour General Industry (Health Care), Training, CDA-Ready Certificate, Heartsaver AED, Heartsaver First Aid
Although some may be better than others, ECE workers overall have good career outlooks. As of a May 2017 wage report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), early childcare special education teachers could see an employment growth of eight percent from 2016-2026, while preschool and childcare center directors could see an 11 percent growth in jobs during these same years.
An employment growth of seven percent was predicted for childcare workers between 2016 and 2026. The Bureau projected that preschool teachers and kindergarten teachers could experience job growth of ten percent and seven percent, respectively.
Wages for ECE Workers
Early childhood educators cannot only expect good job outlook but also the potential for good wages. The Bureau reported the following average annual wages for these early childhood educators.
- Early childcare special education teachers – $60,750
- Kindergarten teachers – $57,110
- Preschool and childcare center directors – $53,550
- Preschool teachers – $33,590
- Childcare workers – $23,760
Wages can be affected by different factors such as years of experience, level of education, certifications earned, employer and geographic location.
Program of Study Framework / Class Resources
Early Childhood Education (CF)
Phone: (717) 485-3195 Ext: 1200