What Can I Do with a Child Development Associate Degree?
Do you work well with young children? Would you like to help children learn and develop in an educational setting? By completing an associate's degree in child development, you'll be prepared to meet these goals with a career in early childhood education. Schools offering Child & Adolescent Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Career Options for Child Development Associate's Degree Program Graduates
Typically, you can complete a child development associate's degree program in about two years. Careers you'll be eligible for once you hold this degree include child care professional in a licensed child care center, lead educator in an early childhood educational program or teaching assistant in a public school. Earning a child development associate's degree can also be a steppingstone toward completing a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or child development.
Child Care Worker
The educational requirements you'll need to meet to work in or operate a child care facility vary widely by state. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), however, many child care centers will prefer that you hold at least an associate's degree (www.bls.gov). If you'd like to work in a child care environment, child development associate's degree courses you could find useful include those that address infant and toddler development, childhood nutrition and language development.
The BLS notes that as of 2011, all workers in preschool programs subject to meeting federal standards, such as Head Start, were required to hold at least an associate's degree. Additionally, states that fund preschool programs for 4-year-olds separately from other preschool programs often set higher education requirements; these requirements will determine the positions you'll be eligible for as an associate's degree holder. As a lead teacher, you'll find that child development courses that address the social, cognitive and physical developmental stages of preschool children will be especially valuable when planning your daily curriculum and activities.
Public School Teaching Assistant
To work in a Title 1 school as a teaching assistant, you'll be required to have an associate's degree or higher. An associate's degree in child development, in combination with on-the-job training, will prepare you for work in the public school environment, where you'll assist full-time teachers with instruction preparation, classroom management and record keeping. The needs of your lead teacher will dictate your specific responsibilities, but courses in children's literature, adult-child relationships and elementary game activities might prove particularly helpful.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: