Parenting questions many parents encounter. What type of online college for early childhood education online options that may be a great option for you and your child.
What Online College For Early Learning Chidcare
By Jessica Casera, Director of Learning and Parenting at the College for Creative Studies
By necessity, most American families will rely on educators to step in and provide some basic care for their young children. Colleges are there for this.
Today’s college student began their child’s school year as a baby or toddler. These children will grow up to be adults with strong individual needs. When college students are in the early years of their academic career, they are learning how to teach young children how to share, play with others, behave better, and get along with their peers and family members. The many children under their care benefit from this highly specialized training.
Since colleges are there to teach students academic skills and process with discipline, in parenting students likely will perform better in parenting-related areas than those who have not experienced it themselves. Why? College students engage in supervised child-care that mirrors life-skills that we would expect to see develop at home.
As it turns out, this is also a good business opportunity. Early childhood is one of the fastest growing studies in education, growing about 13 percent a year over the past few decades. Demand for early childhood education professionals (ECEs) and appropriate services at all levels of education is going to increase significantly in the next few years. So, why not dip into the potentially lucrative market of parenting-related courses?
Some institutions specialize in pre-K or K-12 teaching, some in arts or fields with jobs in nursing or other clinical settings. My institution offers a child care program that is interactive, inclusive, and intended to give students useful practice as educators as they understand the early years of child development.
A study by the National Center for Early Education Research in New York shows that child care providers are well compensated. Training for a teacher assistant with three years’ experience earns $16,000 per year and it’s possible to start a career as an ECE and make $34,000. A training course for a certified ECE teacher with five years’ experience earns $25,000 and can take three years to complete.
Small colleges, including CSES, often offer family services to offset funding challenges. For instance, at CSES, we offer and assist parents of students to enroll their children in preschool services.
When new college students enroll their young children, they are offered a steep discount in tuition. At CSES, for instance, it’s $38 per day per child for two year olds through kindergarten and $44 per day per child for students. With the refund for child care, this cost is very affordable for families and the professionals that care for them.
In addition to attending classes, they will have a better understanding of their own childcare needs. It will help them make informed decisions in their own home and be more successful there, because they will know what parents are going through. They can also make decisions that are aligned with their learning to aid them in the profession.
When students become parents themselves, they can add this knowledge to their careers. They can use this knowledge to help others be more successful in their parenting.
Child care represents another business opportunity for young, early adulthood students.
Early childhood, like all graduate school programs, is expensive and these students may not be able to pay the full tuition. They can also need the financial support of their parents. Providing services in child care helps parents make financially prudent decisions and stay on campus to support their child while the students are taking classes.
Many college students are smart, practical and resilient. It would be a shame to create another system to expose them to degrees for which they aren’t ready. There is a real need for qualified educators to fulfill the high demands of child care jobs, but most colleges are getting the general requirement for special education and other courses and programs that ECEs need to fulfill the high degree of productivity required in these jobs. Colleges should not be leaving the educational gap unaddressed, especially because this issue extends beyond just child care.
A wider focus on parental involvement could also help parents. One of the challenges faced by the parent-child sharing movement is to educate about the many reasons why parents choose to spend time away from their children. Many children have special needs and need an extra parent or caregiver to support their developmental needs. And there is room for good information sharing.