The Early Childhood Education program is for students desiring to transfer to a university and obtain a Type 04 Illinois Teaching Certificate, Birth-Grade 3.
The Early Childhood Care and Education program is slightly different and provides the academic background and practical experience necessary to operate a private, home daycare and teach or direct in child care facilities. Additional employment opportunities include nursery schools, Head Start programs, and paraprofessional teacher’s aide in primary grades. The program is especially suited to individuals who enjoy working and teaching young children and to those having a caring and patient personality.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of kindergarten and elementary school teachers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026. The number of students enrolling in public kindergarten and elementary schools is expected to increase over the coming decade, and the number of classes needed to accommodate these students should rise. As a result, more teachers will be needed to teach public kindergarten and elementary school students.
Employment of childcare workers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026. Parents who work will continue to need the assistance of childcare workers. In addition, the demand for preschools and childcare facilities, and consequently childcare workers, should remain strong because early childhood education is widely recognized as important for a child’s intellectual and emotional development.
The Early Childhood Education program is available as an associate of arts degree.
The Early Childhood Care and Education program is available as an associate in applied sciences degree. This program is also considered a Workforce Ready program, so students will be prepared to enter the workforce upon completion.