An early childhood development degree, also referred to as an early childhood education degree, can be obtained by attending a university and completing the required classwork. It is possible to receive either a two-year Associate's Degree, or a four-year bachelor's degree. After you have obtained a Bachelor's Degree, you can also continue on and get a master's degree, or even a PhD. The type of degree you pursue depends on the type of employment you are seeking.
You might decide to pursue an early childhood development degree because you are interested in becoming a preschool, primary, or elementary school teacher, or a day care provider. In general, if you want to teach in an elementary school, you will need a bachelor's degree. Otherwise, an associate's degree or a certificate will typically suffice. Keep in mind that the further you take your education, you will have more opportunities and a higher income. A master's degree or a PhD in early childhood education can lead to administrative positions at schools, or a teaching position in a university.
It is best to have some experience before you decide to pursue an early childhood development degree, so you will be sure that this career path will be a good fit. Most people who decide to pursue the early childhood education degree have worked with children in some capacity before, either working at a daycare, baby sitting, or even assisting in a school. This experience can also help you get accepted into an education program at your chosen university.
Once you've decided to pursue an early childhood development degree, it is necessary to apply to schools that offer such a certification. These types of degrees are available both at traditional universities, and at online colleges, and both lead to the same degrees, so you are free to choose the one most suitable to you and your life. Most applications will require information such as high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, extracurricular activities, and anything else the school would like to see.
When you are completing your early childhood development degree, it is important to always attend class and complete course work on time. Most education programs require their graduates to complete at least one semester of student teaching, to give you even more direct experience. When you are still in school, it is helpful to collect references, and letters of recommendation from professors, because these references can be invaluable when applying for jobs.