Early Childhood Education Programs & Specialties

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There are some early childhood education specialty careers that differ from traditional teaching in a classroom. Some educators who begin in the classroom may go on to pursue their Master’s degree in order to obtain a career in a specialty field. Read on for some examples of early childhood education programs and specialties.

Special Education Teacher[i]: Special education teachers modify general education to work with children who have a wide range of physical, learning, mental, and emotional obstacles.

  • Median annual salary: $55,060

  • Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree

  • Job growth: 6% through 2022

Speech-Language Pathologist[ii]: Often referred to as ‘speech therapists,’ these specialists work in schools and private companies to diagnose and treat communication disorders that may become apparent in young children.

  • Median annual salary: $69,870

  • Entry-level education: Master’s degree

  • Job growth: 19% through 2022

Instructional Coordinator[iii]: This education specialist oversees teaching standards and school curriculums, developing instructional information, manage its implementation with principals and teachers, and evaluate the effectiveness of the material.

  • Median annual salary: $60,050

  • Entry-level education: Master’s degree

  • Job growth: 13% through 2022


Librarian[iv]: Most public schools have a library, and a librarian working in early childhood education might read stories to children, integrate technology into education, and teach children how to use the library’s cataloguing system for research.

  • Median annual salary: $55,370

  • Entry-level education: Master’s degree

  • Job growth: 7% through 2022


Early Childhood Education Accredited Programs

When considering which online early childhood education program to enroll in, you should consider whether the school is accredited. The purpose of accreditation is to establish credibility and quality in the type of education a school is providing. Regional and national accrediting agencies create standards that should be met by the courses a student takes to earn credits which are used towards earning a degree. If a school wants to be an accredited institution, it needs to be evaluated by the accrediting agency that sets the standards.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has developed standards on which they evaluate accredited early childhood degree programs. Early childhood degree programs must prepare students by offering courses that teach the skills and knowledge needed for a professional career in early childhood education. Accreditation standards are shaped by current faculty and administrators who have a keen insight into the demands of the field. The accreditation criteria focuses both on early childhood teaching methods and on the content taught to young children, while emphasizing the importance of what is essential to starting a career in an early childhood education position.[v]