Early Childhood Education

Industry Description

As the number of parents working outside the home increases, the need for quality childcare continues to grow both locally and nationally. Education and training has been identified as one of the key factors to decrease the current rate of staff turnover in childcare settings. Early childhood educators work with children from birth to age eight in childcare and early learning settings.

Paraprofessionals are assistants in classroom settings who provide instructional support for pre-K-12 classroom teachers. By providing students with individualized instruction, teacher assistants tutor and assist children in learning course materials. Teacher assistants also supervise students in the cafeteria and playground. They record grades, set up equipment, and help prepare materials for instruction. Teacher assistants are also called teacher aides, instructional aides, paraeducators or paraprofessionals. The federal legislation No Child Left Behind requires newly hired paraprofessionals to complete two years of college, obtain an Associate Degree, or to pass a rigorous test.

Certified teachers in the K-12 school system are required to hold a bachelor's degree, complete a state-approved teacher preparation program at a regionally accredited college/university, and pass a basic skills test and a test for each endorsement. A teacher is responsible for implementing required curriculum in the classroom, assessing student progress, managing classroom discipline, communicating with parents, working cooperatively with other professionals and adhering to all school district policies.