Early Childhood Education (ECE) – the development of social, cognitive, and emotional skills in the first five years of life – can have a profound impact later in life, with research pointing to improved academic achievement, better physical and mental health, and more. For those with a passion for helping to change the lives of young children for the better, early childhood education can be a fulfilling and, notably, sustainable career, as there will always be a demand for professionals who can work with and inspire kids. In this blog, we’ll explore what jobs in early childhood education administration are available and how you can explore a career in this rewarding field.
What Is Early Childhood Education Administration?
The U.S. is currently experiencing a hiring surge in the early childhood education sector – the demand for preschool teachers is growing faster than average. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the sector to grow 18% by 2030, and the need extends beyond the classroom. Qualified early childhood education administrators are needed to take the lead in childcare facilities, develop curriculum and policies, and create a standard of excellence to which staff members will adhere.
What Jobs in Early Childhood Education Administration Are Available?
If you’re pursuing a career in early childhood education leadership, your likely destinations will include preschools, daycares, and working with Head Start programs – the latter a federally funded early learning initiative that supports low-income families.
Among the job opportunities and positions available if you decide to make early childhood education administration your career are five roles to consider:
1. Early childhood consultant
An early childhood consultant, according to ZipRecruiter, works with families, schools, and community education programs to ensure children are developing socially, emotionally, and academically.
2. Preschool owner
There are multiple paths a professional could take toward becoming a preschool owner. Throughout the U.S., many preschools and childcare centers exist as part of larger franchises. These facilities, according to TopFranchise.com, offer, “a proven educational concept, successful marketing approach, and support to their franchisees.”
You may also want to start your own preschool or childcare facility independent from the larger, nationwide franchises. If you’re following the path of a small business owner, you’re not alone. According to the BLS, self-employment in the childcare worker sector is growing, and self-employment overall is expected to grow by nearly 8% by 2026.
3. Head Start component coordinator
Head Start provides services to more than one million children annually in every U.S. state and supports children and families through early learning, health and physical development, and family well-being programs.
Coordinators have multiple responsibilities, according to ZipRecruiter, including:
• Arranging student transportation
• Conducting field visits
• Hiring and assigning staff to locations
• Working as a liaison between staff, principals, and families
4. Pre-Kindergarten coordinator
Pre-K coordinators are essential to the classroom experience, and their duties vary depending on the facility. According to Career Trend, a coordinator will be responsible for “organizing and directing development and implementation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for preschoolers.”
In addition to identifying educational opportunities for preschoolers through student identification and assessment, in this position, you will take a leadership role in designing curricula and programs for preschool education. The coordinator works with a variety of people to successfully accomplish the duties of this position.
5. Childcare facility director
Demand will continue to grow for qualified childcare facility directors in the coming years. If you’ve been considering a career as the head of a childcare center, you should know that the BLS projects employment in that field to increase 11% through 2030. That’s faster than average for all occupations, and those jobs – as many as 5,300 new openings annually – will become available due to retirements or workers who are transferring to new roles.
Childcare center directors are tasked with overseeing the staff and programs at their facilities, and much of their work typically involves:
• Supervising preschool teachers and childcare workers
• Hiring and training new staff members
• Providing professional development opportunities for staff
• Establishing policies and communicating them to staff and parents
• Developing educational programs and standards
• Maintaining instructional excellence
• Assisting staff in communicating with parents and children
• Meeting with parents and staff to discuss student progress
• Preparing budgets and allocating program funds
• Ensuring facilities are maintained and cleaned according to state regulations
As the director of a childcare facility, you will likely find yourself dealing with as many adults as you do children. To succeed, you’ll need a specific set of skills and qualities. The BLS breaks down the five most important qualities you should have:
1. Business skills
You need to be able to operate your business effectively.
2. Communication skills
You need good oral and written skills to effectively inform parents and staff about a child’s progress.
3. Interpersonal skills
You must be able to develop relationships with parents, children, and staff.
4. Leadership skills
These skills are necessary to supervise staff, inspire diligence, and enforce rules and regulations.
5. Organizational skills
You will need to maintain clear records about children and staff. In addition, you must be able to multitask when several people or situations require your attention.
How Do I Become a Childcare Facility Director?
Childcare, unlike some industries, requires a combination of education and licensing or certification. If you are planning to become a facility director, you will likely have to pass a background check and meet other requirements outlined by your state.
Still, all of that paperwork comes after you earn your degree. The BLS notes, “most states require preschool and childcare center directors to have at least a bachelor’s degree,” although, again, those standards may vary by state.
To start your journey, you should consider a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education Administration.
What Is a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Administration?
Just as early childhood education is an investment in a child’s future, your BA in Early Childhood Education Administration is an investment in yours. An early childhood education administration degree from the University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC), for example, will focus on organizational behavior and management, childhood development, and curricula and program administration. When you complete a degree in early childhood education administration at UAGC, you will be able to:
- Summarize principles of child development including cognitive, physical, linguistic, social-emotional, and affective domains that define healthy, respectful, supportive, and developmentally stimulating environments for children
- Design developmentally appropriate teaching strategies to implement professional learning standards and curriculum focused on meeting the academic and developmental needs of children
- Justify the goals, benefits, and responsible use of observation, documentation, and assessment strategies in working with families, colleagues, and communities to determine appropriate learning methods for children
- Analyze effective strategies that focus on collaboration and communication with families, communities, and colleagues to foster positive and supportive relationships that impact learning and development of children
- Analyze the principles of equity, pedagogy, and inclusivity to meet the needs of typically and atypically developing children, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse children and their families
- Promote ethical standards through reflective practice and collaboration, critical application of current research and theories, and identification as an early childhood professional and leader while continually advocating on behalf of children and families
- Integrate leadership skills by fostering critical decision-making and the process of change to effectively lead and manage early childhood education and care settings
- Analyze the resources and skills necessary to communicate and implement the fiscal, legal, and ethical requirements of administering a quality child care program
What Courses Will I Take in an Early Childhood Education Administration Degree Program?
A Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education Administration at UAGC is a four-year degree program that combines core courses with general education courses and electives. This holistic approach helps you develop a foundation of perspective, competencies, and confidence as you finish school and enter the job market.
When researching your college options, you will want to identify a school that combines essential child development courses with the administrative and leadership training that will help you succeed should you decide to take on a managerial or ownership role in childcare. At UAGC, for example, your core courses will include:
This course provides a basic introduction to the nature of human growth and development as it occurs from conception through early childhood. Students learn about motor, cognitive, social, emotional, moral, aesthetic, and language development in early childhood.
Curriculum Planning & Design for Early Learners
This course provides an examination of the essential elements of curriculum planning and design for diverse settings and learners. Students will analyze developmentally appropriate planning, teaching, and assessment strategies used with a diverse childhood population. In addition, students will assess the role of educators in fostering each child’s development and joy of learning. Finally, students will create individualized objectives and design integrated standards-based lessons for a diverse childhood population.
Administration of Early Childhood Education Programs
This course focuses on the development and implementation of early childhood programs for a variety of age groups and purposes. Specifically, curriculum development, materials, teaching strategies, evaluation, budgets, hiring procedures, and state guidelines/regulations are addressed as are the skills and competencies to implement everything learned.
Becoming an Early Childhood Education Leader in Today’s Society
This course will provide students with a clear and practical introduction to the leadership foundation including the knowledge, skills, theories, roles, and responsibilities prevalent in early childhood education administration today. This course will provide students with the framework to begin to build their leadership philosophy.
Can I Earn My Early Childhood Education Administration Degree Online?
Many people who pursue a degree in early childhood education administration are already in the workforce and may be seeking a flexible way to pursue a college education while a working adult. An online degree is an option that will allow you to earn your early childhood education administration degree while keeping your other work and life commitments. UAGC, for example, offers weekly start dates, so you don’t have to wait until the fall or spring to begin your degree program.
Further, the University allows bachelor’s degree students to take one class at a time for five weeks at a time. This schedule makes it easier to balance the responsibilities of school, work, and family, and you can still graduate in four years.
I’m Ready, What’s Next?
If you’re leaning toward a career in which you’ll make a lasting, positive impact on generations of kids, contact an advisor today about your Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education Administration.
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.