Thursday, March 31, 2011

Help Nurture Our Future as an Early Childhood Educator

Did you know that employment for teachers, including those in early childhood education, is expected to grow by 13 percent between 2008 and 2018, with particular demand expected in urban areas? Now is a great time to get into this field that specializes in the instruction of children from birth to age eight. Although the term “early childhood educator” typically refers to a teacher, it can also be applied to teacher assistants, specialists, and administrators. The responsibilities of these early childhood educators depend on the children’s age. For example, teachers of young children create lesson plans, administer discipline and evaluate progress of students, emphasizing the aspects considered crucial to successful physical, cognitive and emotional development. The one thing that all of these professionals have in common is a post-secondary education such as Centennial College’s Early Childhood Education program.

This two-year undertaking is conducted out of the college’s Progress Campus, which is centrally located and ideal for networking. In order to apply, students must present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition they must have completed the compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent. English proficiency will also be considered in the admissions process.

During their time in the Early Childhood Education program, students participate in courses such as The Healthy Development of the Whole Child, Guidance and the Individual Child, Health and Wellbeing of Young Children, Principles of Psychology, Understanding and Communicating with Families, and many more. As you can see, the focus of the program is very clearly on the child. That’s because the first priority of Centennial Early Childhood Educators is to provide high standards of quality care to children and their families. In addition these in-school courses, the ECE program at Centennial College’s Progress Campus offers a field placement. This gives the students a chance to apply what they have learned, and encounter situations that they will most likely experience upon graduation. Please note that in order to complete the field placement you must: have an annual clear police check with vulnerable sector screening and obtain a valid first aid and CPR certificates (prior to the beginning of second semester). Also, transportation costs involved in some field experience assignments is the responsibility of the student.

Students graduate with an extensive body of skills. First, they are able to plan curriculum that is based on a thorough understanding of child development and implement individual programs and curriculum to meet the developmental needs of children. Centennial College grads also know how to utilize a variety of observation techniques to enhance work with children, families and co-workers. Another way of enhancing their work is through developing and maintaining effective written, oral, nonverbal and electronic children, families, co-workers, employers and individuals/agencies. This goes hand-in-hand with establishing and maintaining safe and heath environments that meet the requirements of current legislation, regulatory bodies and program policies, so that parents are assured their children are safe. For more benefits of the Early Childhood Education program at Progress Campus, check out its benefits page.

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