The value of education is definitely not lost on someone like you—that’s why you want to dedicate your professional life to investing in the foundation of children’s learning. But the road to the higher education you may need to make your career dreams a reality isn’t always convenient.
Being a fearless go-getter sounds great, but familial and financial priorities can often get in the way of dedicating years to earning a degree. Life is unpredictable—in a few years’ time, you may have the flexibility to pursue your education even further. But in the meantime, there are other ways in which you can begin advancing your education now! You can earn an early childhood education (ECE) certificate in as little as nine months.
And don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do with your ECE certificate to get some valuable professional experience under your belt before pursuing your education further. Take a look at the list below to learn about some of the jobs you can land with your ECE certificate in hand.
4 Jobs you can land with an ECE certificate
Some teaching assistant positions require an associate degree, but most boast a minimum requirement of an ECE certificate. Teaching assistants work under the supervision of the classroom’s teacher completing various tasks.
Some of those duties include observing and recording students’ performance in the classroom; preparing lesson materials and classroom displays; and assisting the teacher in supervising students to be sure classroom policies are observed. Teaching assistants can also work closely with students who have special needs or students who require some extra tutoring.
Childcare workers play an important role in laying the foundation of learning for children in some of their most formative years. The work environments are often made up of children who are preschool-aged or younger and can include basic duties like feeding, changing and dressing children—but they also do much more than that!
General tasks can vary based on the setting in which you work, but they will generally include fostering a safe learning environment for the children; educating children on both safety and personal health; supporting children’s emotional and social development; and remaining in close communication with parents and other educators.
Don’t have a résumé on steroids? Don’t worry! There are many childcare opportunities you can land without years of experience, whether you’re looking to contribute at an in-home daycare, an external childcare facility or a program like Head Start.
In-home teachers are also referred to as tutors. Before you write this one off as something you could have done when you were a teenager, take note that in-home teachers do a lot more than help students cram for important tests.
There are many opportunities to work with organizations like Head Start to venture into a family’s home and equip children with the developmental building blocks they will need when they enter kindergarten. Tutoring in this sense includes a wide array of important tasks such as creating lesson plans from scratch, developing personalized learning strategies and both assessing and communicating a student’s progress with parents or with future teachers.
Personal care aides (PCAs) are often thought of in reference to caring for the elderly, and while that is a very valuable sector of working as a PCA, there is also a pressing opportunity to work with children who have special needs.
PCAs often work in residential settings, going into a family’s home to provide basic care for a child when their parents are busy or the child’s needs are too complex for parents to handle on their own. General duties can include performing healthcare-related tasks such as administering necessary medications, transporting clients to the doctor’s office or other locations and preparing both the child and the family for integration into a formal educational setting.
Take the first step …
Michelangelo, the world-renowned sculptor and painter, was 87 years old when he famously said, “I’m still learning.” Regardless of the subject, education is a never-ending journey that consists of a series of small steps that will eventually add up to a greater whole.
Whether you end up finding your dream job right off the bat or you feel propelled to go on to earn your bachelor’s degree at some point down the road, earning an ECE certificate could be the first chapter in your teaching success story—don’t be afraid to turn the next page and get your journey started! Head over to Rasmussen’s ECE certificate page to learn more.