What is an Early Childhood Education Certificate?

Within the early childhood education field are many job opportunities and what jobs are available often depends on what level of education one has. Public schools, and many private schools, for instance, require that early childhood educators have a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum.  However, there are jobs available for those who have earned an early childhood education certificate, which is an educational endeavor that is less rigorous than an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree. This certificate generally prepares people to work in day care centers and preschools, nursery schools, community facilities, or Head Start programs. Some people who hold an early childhood education certificate may work as teaching assistants.

Early childhood education certificates generally refer to this sort of non-degree program.  However, some searches for information about early childhood education certificates may return information related to teacher licensure.

What does an Early Childhood Education Certificate Program Teach?

Obviously, what courses one takes and what one learns in an early childhood education certificate program will vary by institution.  Many institutions’ programs are comprised of about 4 core courses, and those courses teach students the skills needed to communicate with children and their families; to create challenging and nurturing environments for learning; to design and implement opportunities for children to learn and grow; to know and abide by ethical guidelines; to create positive relationships with the children they teach and with their parents and caregivers; and to learn and learn to apply fundamental concepts of subject areas in an academic setting.

What Skills and Abilities do Early Childhood Certificate Holders Possess?

Again, what one learns in an early childhood certificate program is contingent upon the granting institution’s coursework and training.  Typically, though, upon completion of an early childhood education certificate program, certificate holders should be able to develop relationships with children that enhance the child’s social and emotional development, problem-solving skills, and self-esteem.  Certificate holders should also be able to develop and implement curricula and learning experiences that are appropriate to the needs of an individual child.  Those who hold this certificate should also possess the communication skills to effectively communicate with other staff, children, and the child’s caregivers or parents in a professional manner.

Job Outlook for Early Childhood Education Certificate Holders

Because there is typically a high turnover rate in early childhood education jobs, those who hold an early childhood education certificate should not have a lot of trouble finding entry-level jobs.  As more states are moving toward implementing Universal Preschool or focusing on pre-Kindergarten education for their four year-olds, and with an increased emphasis on education of the young child, job opportunities are opening up.

While the salary for someone with an early childhood education certificate is not as high as it would be for someone with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, work completed for the certificate program can sometimes be transferred into an Associate’s program.