5 Employment Settings for Early Childhood Education Professionals
- Public School
- Private School
- Charter School
- Head Start
- Nursery School
A career in early childhood education may imply teaching children but what are the different job settings in the field? Although the concept of early childhood education is fairly straightforward, where and how the teaching takes place can help educators to find a job setting that’s right for them.
Related resource: 20 Best Online Schools for Early Childhood Education
In public schools, early childhood education ranges from prekindergarten to the sixth grade. All of these educational programs operate under the local public school district, regulated by the local Board of Education, and supervised by the principals of each campus. Public school is available at no cost to all children that live locally. Public schools are funded by the government and offer a minimum requirement for benefits packages and salaries for its teachers.
Private schools are created by organizations that feel as though the education provided in public school is not satisfactory. Parents choose to pay for their children to attend private school with hopes of getting a more quality education. These schools are required to operate under the state laws but not all require the teachers to be licensed. This freedom from the public school board allows private schools to offer a wider variety of courses to their students.
Charter schools may be funded by federal, state, and local funds but are not treated the same as public schools. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a selection of these public charter schools are tuition-free and open to all students without the restrictions of the traditional public school district boards. This gives charter schools the freedom to choose how they operate including how to establish their policies and educational design. Charter schools can offer more diverse courses and options that allow parents to choose better placement for their children.
Head Start was created by Congress in 1965 to help children with low-income families. These programs usually cater to children that up three years of age in preparation for regular schooling. Center-based Head Start allows students to participate in the program with qualified teaching staff and a group of their peers. Home-based Head Start allows the educator to visit the homes of their students and include their families in the process.
Preschools, also known as nursery schools, cater to children as young as three years old. Educators focus more on each child’s social, intellectual, physical, and emotional development. This is usually when children and parents work out any separation anxiety issues that they may have. Children have the opportunity to interact with and learn from other children to build new relationships.
No two job settings are exactly the same but knowing how they operate differently can help teachers to decide the best fit for themselves. Early childhood education comes with its challenges but choosing the right job setting may make those challenges worthwhile.