Explained: Early Childhood Education and Special Needs Education

Education is a worthwhile and heartfelt career field, and early childhood education truly shapes and molds a child from the very beginning. Although there are many paths you can go down in the field of education, the distinctions between early childhood education and special needs education are important to understand. You may be still trying to weigh out your options or you may have decided to already take the dive into the world of education. Below we explain the differences between early childhood education and special needs education for you, so you can make an informed decision.

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education (ECE) professionals could be daycare workers, preschool teachers or kindergarten teachers. Typically, these teachers will instruct children from birth through age eight. As an early childhood educator you will be teaching students the basics of reading, writing and math with simple, hands-on techniques.

In addition, you should also be aware of the requirements needed for becoming an early childhood educator. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, daycare/childcare workers and preschool teachers must have a high school diploma or certification and preferably a college degree. Kindergarten teachers need a college degree along with a state license to be a certified educator. Along with schooling and degree requirements, different states have their own rules and regulations.

Special Needs Education

As a special needs educator, you’ll teach young students who are just learning and who face numerous challenges and obstacles in their lives every day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional and physical disabilities. At Rasmussen College our Special Needs degree  teaches you  about current trends, resources and advocacy on behalf of young children with special needs.

With so many rewarding aspects of being an integral part of a child with special needs’ life, you may have a desire or interest in becoming a special needs educator; check out these signs that special needs education might be right for you.

Do you have a desire to be an educator? If so, check out this informative infographic on the long-term advantages of early childhood education and be sure to stop by our Facebook page to ask us any questions you may have on early childhood education and special needs education.

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Kendall is an Online Community Specialist at Collegis Education who oversees online communities on behalf of Rasmussen College. She has a passion for social media and enjoys motivating and encouraging former, current and future learners.

Receive Personalized Information Today

  • Career path guidance
  • Enrollment application
  • Detailed course schedule
  • Personalized financial aid
  • No obligation to enroll
  • Attend a no-obiligation Nursing Information Session
  • Meet the Dean of Nursing
  • Enrollment application
  • Personalized financial aid
  • Career path guidance

What would you like to study?

Previous Education

How can we contact you?

Please complete all fields

By requesting information, I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided.

Share Your Story Ideas
Our campuses and online community have stories to tell and we want to hear them! Did your campus raise the most money in the community for an organization? Do you have online study tips for other students? Would you like to share a personal success story about overcoming an obstacle while earning your degree?
To have your story idea considered:
  • You must be a faculty member, current student or graduate
  • Story ideas must be regarding Rasmussen College or an inspiring story about a student at Rasmussen College
  • Your submission must be original and may not have been published elsewhere online already
Please Note: Your story idea may be featured on the Rasmussen College News Beat or on one of our social networks. A member of our news team will contact you should we move forward with a blog post.
Feel free to suggest an idea for a blog post to be featured on the Rasmussen College News Beat by filling out the form below:

First Name: (required)

Last Name: (required)

Email Address: (required)

Phone Number: (required)

500 characters or less


Your Story Idea Has Been Submitted

Thank you for sending us a story idea! We’re reviewing submissions and may contact you soon to learn more about your story. In the meantime, make sure to check out our current blogs to see what’s happening on campus.