Atlanta Masters in Early Childhood Education Degrees & Graduate Programs

Why Earn a Masters in Early Childhood Education?

Graduate students who aspire to design engaging learning programs and inspire the lives of young children, might find that earning a masters in early childhood education degree prepares them for a variety of potential career paths. Early childhood educators are in a position to help mold children's cognitive, social and emotional development during their formative years, and assist them in building a foundation for learning that will support them as they progress through their education.

Masters in Early Childhood Education Degrees

Earning an early childhood education masters degree might take one to three years to complete, and may involve a capstone project or thesis. Some early childhood education masters programs also require an internship or “lab work”, which enables students to put their learning into practice. Students should note most, but not all, master’s programs qualify the graduate for licensure as a teacher. It is wise to verify your state’s requirements and with your school of choice to ensure your coursework will meet the necessary requirements.

FUN FACT: Early childhood education often focuses on learning through play, based on the research and philosophy of Jean Piaget[i]

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Selecting Masters in Early Childhood Education Program

When you are ready to review your options, has search tools to make selecting a Masters in Early Childhood Education simple. If location is an issue, you might begin using the city, state, or country tabs to determine where accredited programs are. You also have the option of browsing by program format. If you are interested in face-to-face interactions with peers and faculty, and commuting to college is not an issue, look into campus-based programs. Working professionals in need of a flexible program may choose a distance-learning option. If this sounds like a fit, you might consider earning your masters in early childhood education online, or find a hybrid program that combines online with on-campus coursework.

Some of the listings might include M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, Master of Education – E-learning, Master of Science in Special Education, Early Childhood and Elementary Education and M.A. in Early Childhood Education. If you open a few programs in different tabs, it may help you sort out the differences in program curriculum, faculty, tuition, and admissions requirements. You also have the option of requesting more information from each school. Some programs may lead to teacher accreditation, while others may be geared to existing teachers.

Applicants to Masters in early childhood education graduate programs should typically hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. They will be required to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and any relevant standardized test scores.

>Selecting a Masters in Early Childhood Education

From searching, it is evident that your choices in early childhood education master’s degree programs abound. Taking some time to research the different paths alongside with an examination of your vocational and academic goals is important. The three major masters degrees are:

>Master of Education (MEd) in Early Childhood Education:

Considered the standard for the business or administrative side of early childhood education, the MEd degree is not a teacher credential program. Graduates may become school administrators, program directors, or curriculum developers with this type of degree. Some of the topics students might learn may include:

  • Curriculum Development
  • Play and Child Development in Early Childhood Education
  • Literacy and Young Children
  • Child Development
  • Child psychology, cognitive development

Master of Science (MS) in Early Childhood Education:

Considered a research degree that focuses on the scientific implications of graduate study in early childhood education. Graduates may become teachers, researchers, or work in public policy or education departments of government. Some use this as a spring-board to continued education. Some of the topics students might learn may include:

  • Foundations of Educational Leadership
  • Research Methodology
  • Designing and assessing learning and teaching
  • Standards-Based Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Master of Arts (MA) in Early Childhood Education: This type of degree tends to be flexible in that it may prepare students for potential careers in teaching or administration depending on what you choose as a specialization and may not have the same requirements of an MEd or MS. Impact of Home, School, Community Interaction in Early Childhood Education

  • Early Childhood Environment
  • Family engagement
  • Curriculum design
  • Methods of Teaching Language Development in Early Childhood Education
  • Child Development Theories

Concentrations in Early Childhood Education Masters Degrees

As a branch of education, early childhood education is a specialization that pertains to teaching young children under the age of eight. Within this category, some students may also lean to teaching infant/toddler education, which denotes the group from birth to age two. You might also take on a specialization that broadens your knowledge of learning theories or focuses on special education or supervisory skills.

Licensing For Early Childhood Education Professionals

Kindergarten or Elementary school teachers who work in public schools are required in all States to be licensed or certified. To keep up their licenses, teachers may be required to take continuing education. Some states require all teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification.

Since requirements vary by state, you can visit for more information.

Early Childhood Education Careers

Individuals holding a masters degree in early childhood education may choose from a variety of potential career paths:

  • Teaching pre-kindergarten to second grade
  • Teaching consultants
  • Tutors
  • Policy advisors
  • Working at non-profits

Students with a desire for a leadership role may pursue a career in administration may choose to become instructional coordinators and collaborate with teachers and other administrators to oversee the development of a school’s curriculum. Those holding a doctoral degree in early childhood education may be qualified to teach and conduct research at the university level.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of kindergarten and elementary school teachers is growing at a rate of 12% between 2012 and 2022. With older teachers expected to retire, opportunities for graduates to fill these positions is a possibility[ii].

By comparison, with the increasing number of preschool age children, employment of preschool and childcare center directors is projected to grow 17 % from 2012 to 2022[iii]

The industry that employed the most Instructional Coordinators in 2012 was a combination of Elementary and Secondary Schools. With the prediction of a 13% rise in employment between 2012 and 2022this field may also be an interesting path for Masters in Early Childhood Education Graduates[iv].

Ready To Pursue A Masters in Early Childhood Education?

In a Masters in Early Childhood Education program, you may learn about the developmental, societal and technological influences on early childhood learning. You may have the opportunity to develop your own teaching skills through hands-on student teaching experiences or understand how to oversee the curriculum of an elementary school. If you are passionate about working with children, have a patient or compassionate demeanor and a strong interest in child development theory, start looking for an appropriate masters program in Early Childhood Education on today!

Sources: [i]| [ii] | [iii] | [iv]

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