Making the Case

Careers in Early Childhood Education
  • Teachers
  • Family Child Care Providers
  • Center Directors/Administrators
  • Professional Development Coordinators
  • Instructors/Trainers/Faculty
  • Regulators
  • Family Specialists
  • Consultants
  • Researchers
  • Sales Representatives
  • Early Childhood Program Officers

The thousands of young children receiving early care and education and the quality of the care this population receives is critically important. Studies have shown that children, particularly those from low-income, vulnerable families, who receive high-quality early care and education, are more likely to:

  • Graduate high school
  • Pursue secondary education
  • Go on to be contributing members of society

Given the often abysmal wages earned teaching in an early childhood program or as a family child care provider, one might wonder why anyone working in this capacity would want to seek out a higher education degree or certificate. Some might even say there is no career pathway in the field of early childhood education, so how could earning a degree translate into a better opportunity for advancement and increased earnings.

But there is a career pathway in early childhood. Many people in the field started their careers working in a classroom or as a family child care provider, grew up in the field, became better educated and now hold all kinds of jobs in the field.

Careers in Early Childhood National Directory 2018

This directory was created to introduce you to the variety of careers in the early childhood field. It contains a sampling of different types of employment opportunities in the early childhood education field. Each page includes an overview of a role in our field (such as family specialist/counselor or teacher of young children). It includes a discussion of the role, job possibilities, education recommended for the job and salary ranges as well as information and links to financial aid sources.


Why a College Degree or Certificate for Early Educators?

  • More than a decade of research is reflected in state and federal mandates put in place to improve child outcomes and ready children for school and life. In some cases these mandates include education requirements that have created unprecedented need for early childhood teachers to have college degrees and credentials at all levels of higher education.
  • Contrary to popular beliefs, over two decades of T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® data show that there is a career pathway for early educators who earn degrees and credentials in early childhood education.
    • Assistant teachers become lead teachers
    • Teachers become directors
    • Teachers move from
      • for-profit to not-for-profit centers
      • community based early childhood programs to Head Start
      • Head Start to Prekindergarten