You entered the field of early childhood education because you love watching children grow and understand more about the world around them. Perhaps you started in Early Childhood Education (ECE) as a teacher’s aide or assistant, daycare provider, or other roles in education, and your love for the field grew from there.
Now you’re ready to take on more responsibility in the world of education. You see the difficulties that early childhood education is up against, and you understand the importance of effective leadership. You’re ready for advancement and new challenges, possibly even the title change that comes with it. What does leadership in early childhood education look like? What duties can you expect in a leadership role? Use this blog as a guide to plan out your next steps so that you can develop the qualities of an effective early childhood leader.
What is Leadership in Early Childhood Education?
When it comes to early childhood education, leadership is about setting the tone for a positive learning experience. It’s about creating an environment where children feel safe, respected, and motivated to learn and creating an environment where your staff is motivated as well.
Leadership in early childhood education can take many different forms. It might be a teacher’s aide who takes the time to get to know each of their students and builds strong relationships with them. Or it could be a daycare owner who goes above and beyond to ensure that their staff are providing high-quality care. Further, it could be rallying the community to make policy changes that affect the young children living in the school district. No matter what form it takes, leadership in early childhood education is essential for ensuring that young children have the best possible start in life. If you’re passionate about working with young children and want to make a difference in their lives, consider pursuing a career in early childhood education leadership. With the right training, you can help shape the future for generations to come.
Why Is Leadership Important in ECE?
Leadership in early childhood education is a critical component in providing quality care and education for young children. An effective leader in ECE is someone who has the ability to create a positive, nurturing, and stimulating environment for children to learn and grow. You must also be able to build strong relationships with families and staff and be an advocate for the early childhood field.
Leadership is also important in ECE because it sets the tone for the entire program. A strong leader will create a positive culture within the program that will foster growth and learning for all involved. You will also support the early childhood field in general, which is vital to its continued success.
What Skills Are Needed to Become an Effective Leader in ECE?
There are many skills needed to become an effective leader in ECE, but some of the most important include strong communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills. It is also important to have a deep understanding of child development and early childhood education practices, which you can gain through a master’s in early childhood education leadership.
What Degree Can You Earn to Hone Leadership Skills in ECE?
There are several different degrees that can help you hone your leadership skills in ECE. A bachelor’s degree in early childhood education administration is a great place to start, as it will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective leader. You can also consider pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood education leadership, which will give you even more specialized knowledge and skills in this area.
What Skills Will You Acquire in a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education Leadership Program?
A master’s degree in early childhood education leadership will provide you with the advanced knowledge and skills needed to be an effective leader in ECE. In a program such as the one offered at the University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC), you will learn about child development, educational practices, and administration. You can also acquire strong communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills.
Pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood education leadership is a great way to set yourself apart from other leaders in the field. With the right skills, you can make a positive impact on the lives of children and their families, in addition to the community at large. Some of the skills you can expect to acquire throughout the master’s degree program at UAGC include:
2. Organizational skills
3. Interpersonal skills
4. Communication skills
6. Policy knowledge
7. Budgeting and financial management
8. Program evaluation
9. Research skills
Some other key skills needed to be an effective leader in ECE include:
1. The ability to build relationships and trust with others
2. The ability to inspire and motivate others
3. The ability to delegate and manage tasks effectively
4. Strong problem-solving and decision-making skills
5. The ability to handle stress and pressure well
These are only a few examples of the skills you will develop during your master’s degree in early childhood education leadership. With all these skills, you will be well-prepared to take on leadership roles in early childhood education settings. You will be able to make a positive difference in the lives of children and their families.
What Classes Will You Take in a Master’s in Early Childhood Education Leadership Program?
To gain skills like communication, child development, administration, and especially leadership, you’ll take classes that help you build an understanding of early childhood education leadership. For instance, in the program at UAGC, you can expect to take classes like:
1. Leadership, Innovation, and Social Justice in Early Childhood Education
2. Advanced Topics in Child Development, Learning, and Developmentally Appropriate Practices
3. Building Family and Community Partnerships
4. Quality Curriculum in Early Childhood Education
5. Assessment to Support Young Children and Families
6. Action Research and Inquiry in Education
7. Management and Administration of Early Childhood Programs
8. Personnel Management & Staff Development for Early Childhood Administrators
9. Advocacy, Policy, and Social Justice in Early Childhood Education
10. Capstone II: Culminating Project
What Careers Can You Pursue in Early Childhood Education Leadership?
A variety of careers are available to those in the early childhood education leadership field. Some examples of ECE leadership careers include:
- Early Childhood, Child Care Center, or Multisite Administrator
- Early Head Start, Child Care Center, Preschool, Education, or Executive Director
- Education Coordinator
- Early Childhood Care Consultant
- Parent Educator or Advocate
- Early Childhood Director
These are only a few examples of the many early childhood education leadership roles available. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field, research the different options and find the one that best suits your skills and interests. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve success in any number of early childhood education leadership positions.
Early childhood education is a rewarding field to work in, and there are many different ways to make a difference. If you’re passionate about working with children and families, work for a career in ECE leadership. With the right career path, you can make a positive impact on the lives of those around you.
What Salary Can You Earn in Early Childhood Education Leadership?
Salaries for those in early childhood education leadership positions vary from state to state and from role to role. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that preschool and childcare center directors earned approximately $47,310 annually, or $22.75 hourly, in May 2021. However, that number differs by state and specific institution. Preschool and childcare center directors in elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private, earned $62,320 in May 2021. Similar roles in religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations reported earning $52,040. Finally, child daycare services director had earnings of $47,310.
The BLS expects this field to grow 11% by 2030, so for those looking to join a quickly growing specialty of education, early childhood education leadership is a great option to explore. With the right experience and education, salaries are expected to continue to rise. So, if you’re looking to make a difference in the lives of young children and earn a comfortable salary while doing it, early childhood education leadership is a worthwhile option to consider for your ECE career.
How to Earn an Early Childhood Education Leadership Degree
Leadership is a critical component of early childhood education. An effective leader sets the tone for the entire program and creates a positive culture that fosters growth and learning for the community. They are also an advocate for the early childhood education field. There are many skills needed to become an effective leader in ECE, but some of the most important include strong communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills. A master’s degree in early childhood education leadership can provide you with the advanced knowledge and skills needed to be an effective leader in ECE. Speak to an advisor today about the right path for your education and career. Transfer existing credits and start with just one class at a time.
Certain degree programs may not be available in all states.
An online degree from the University of Arizona Global Campus does not lead to immediate teacher licensure in any state. If you want to become a classroom teacher, contact your state's education authorities prior to enrolling at the University of Arizona Global Campus to determine what state-specific requirements you must complete before obtaining your teacher's license.