Your Early Childhood Education Degree
The Early Childhood AAS is designed to prepare persons to meet the requirements for a variety of positions within early childhood programs. Upon completion of this degree, individuals will meet the education requirements for group leader (now Early Childhood Teacher). They will be able to independently implement program activities and will be responsible for the care and education of a group of children.
Individuals will have the necessary coursework to establish director qualification in the State of Colorado and infant/toddler nursery supervisor after completing the work experience requirements of the state.
Early childhood teachers and directors work in a variety of settings: private and public preschool and child care settings supported and operated by the employer, hospitals, recreation centers, before/after school programs, Head Start, and other programs serving children birth to 8 years.
They are expected to meet the Colorado Core Competencies and Standards for Early Childhood Professionals at the introductory and practice levels, with some areas at mastery.
Must be able to pass a background check. Any individual with child abuse/neglect convictions or domestic violence convictions or 7 or more misdemeanor convictions are not allowed to work in the field of early childhood.
The ECE classroom is set up for hands-on learning and group work. It models for the student what is needed to work with children. We place the student in early childhood settings for labs early in their program so they get a feel for what it’s like to teach young children. ECE is the fun major!
Work with young children is very hands-on. You must be willing to get down on the floor with children and interact with them in positive ways. Teachers strive to create an engaging and emotionally safe environment for children.
NJC has a number of clubs and activities you might be interested in. We have a book club, debate, and phi theta kappa (honors society) among many others. The residence halls sponsor activities and the counselling office offers stress-free evenings, with fun and relaxing activities.
The ECE classroom has totes of all needed materials on each table with many other materials for projects available for student use.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.
About 63,100 openings for preschool teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
In addition, the number of preschool-aged children is expected to increase; however, their share of the overall population should remain constant.
Early Childhood Teacher, Preschool Teacher, Large or Small Center Director, Infant/Toddler Supervisor, Assistant Teacher, Head Teacher, Nanny, Teacher’s Aide, Group Leader, Early Childhood Specialist, Early Childhood Professor
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median annual wage for preschool teachers was $30,210 in May 2021.