What Can You Do With an Early Childhood Education Certificate? Exploring Your Options (2023)

What Can You Do With an Early Childhood Education Certificate? Exploring Your Options (1)

The value of education is definitely not lost on someone like you—that’s why you want to dedicate your career to nurture a love of learning in children’s lives. But the higher education you may need to make your career dreams a reality isn’t always convenient.

Familial and financial priorities can often get in the way of dedicating years to earning a degree. Life is unpredictable—in a few years’ time, you may have the flexibility to pursue your education even further. But in the meantime, there are other ways in which you can begin advancing your education now! In fact, you can earn an early childhood education (ECE) certificate in as few as nine months.1

ECE certification by itself can open quite a few doors to the kind of workplace you dream about. If your ambitions take you further down the road in education, then the valuable experience you gain as an ECE-certified professional can be a resume-boosting bonus. Take a look at the list below to learn about the realm of jobs with an early childhood education certificate.

5 Roles you can put an ECE certificate to use in

It’s true that obtaining an ECE certificate can open doors to a handful of rewarding careers in education. Learn more about the paths you could pursue with this credential.

1. Preschool teacher

“Preschool teacher is one of the most common job titles for ECE Certificate graduates,” says Lauren Pierre, assistant professor of Early Childhood Education at Rasmussen University. Preschool teachers can work in a wide variety of work settings and school-types, allowing plenty of options for teachers interested in a specific location, specialization or demographic.

Preschool teachers plan and employ a curriculum that targets different areas of child development. They organize stimulating activities, create schedules, keep an eye on their students’ development and communicate with families about their students’ progress.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) emphasizes that young children learn from playing, problem solving, questioning and experimenting.2 So preschool teachers often use play and storytelling to teach children about the world.

2. Teaching assistant

“A lesser-known career option for ECE certificate holders is to become assistant teacher,” Pierre says. Some teaching assistant positions require an associate degree, but many seek out a minimum requirement of an ECE certificate. Teaching assistants work under the supervision of the classroom’s teacher completing various tasks.

Some of their duties include documenting student performance in the classroom, preparing lesson materials and helping the teacher manage the classroom. Teaching assistants can also work closely with students who have special needs or students who need some extra tutoring.

3. Childcare worker

This title covers a broad spectrum of job opportunities. Their work involves caring for children who are preschool-aged or younger. These ECE professionals are all over the place—in daycare and childcare centers, early learning facilities, nurseries and more. The role includes basic duties like feeding, changing and dressing children—but they also do much more than that.

Childcare workers play an important role in some of the most formative years for children. General tasks can vary based on the employer, but they will generally include fostering a safe learning environment for the children, educating children on safety and personal health, supporting emotional and social development, and communicating with parents and other educators.

There are many childcare opportunities you can land without years of experience, whether you’re looking to contribute at an in-home daycare, an external childcare facility or a program like Head Start.

4. Tutor

You might be thinking, wait, kids need tutors at the early childhood education level?

In short, yes!

Whether through special circumstances or just regular early development, some children need or want extra support and guidance to prepare for kindergarten. Since kindergarten is such an important year in a young child’s approach to education—experts often advise families to make sure their child enters the school years with certain building blocks in place.

Organizations like Head Start have opportunities for in-home teachers and tutors to visit homes and equip children with the developmental skills they will need when they enter kindergarten. Though these students are typically preschool aged, tutoring still includes teaching or creating lesson plans, developing personalized learning strategies and assessing student progress.

5. Personal care aide

While most ECE certificate jobs are connected to schooling, this career lands a little more in the medical world. Personal care aide (PCA) is often a title you see in connection to caring for the elderly, but there is also a pressing opportunity to work with children who have special needs. An ECE certification can give you the qualification you need to join their ranks.

PCAs often work in residential settings, going into a family’s home to provide basic care for a child when their parents are busy or when a child’s needs are too complex for parents to handle on their own.

General duties can include performing healthcare-related tasks such as administering necessary medications, transporting clients to the doctor’s office or other locations, and preparing both the child and the family for integration into a formal educational setting.

Career advancement with ECE certification

Jobs with an early childhood education certificate are probably your main reason for pursuing the credential, but this education can pave the way for so much more.

“I have seen many students use the Certificate program as a building block in their educational plan,” Pierre says. She explains that many students eventually continue on to ECE Associate and Bachelor degree programs to pursue career goals like managing their own childcare programs.

Knowing this possibility, Pierre points out that Rasmussen’s programs make it easy to build onto the ECE certificate with further degree options down the road.

“I am very proud of the various options students have in the ECE Certificate program. The education requirements for the CDA (Child Development Associate) credential are infused in ECE Certificate courses,” Pierre says. When students complete the Certificate program, they are already part of the way through a CDA credential as well.

After you hold your ECE certificate, a few more steps to finish the CDA requirements can really bolster your resume.

Your job with early childhood certification

Now that you have a better idea of where an ECE certificate can take you—it’s time to start dreaming big. These careers only represent the baseline of the kind of work you can do.

Are you passionate about getting kids in nature, learning about the seasons and the wildlife? Preschools, childcare centers or even your own in-home childcare center could make that passion part of your career.

Do you feel drawn to children who face educational barriers in their development or ability? Working as a PCA or finding preschools that cater to children with special needs could put you right inside your dream job.

Anything you would love to teach little ones—languages, nutrition, athletics, great emotional awareness—you can build into an awesome ECE career with just a little imagination.

But it all starts with the ECE certificate. Get your journey started by heading over to the Rasmussen University Early Childhood Education Certificate page and learning more.

1Completion time is dependent on number of transfer credits accepted and the number of courses completed each term.
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [information accessed May 6, 2019] www.bls.gov/ooh/. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and include workers at all levels of education and experience. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Graduates of Early Childhood Education programs at Rasmussen University are not eligible for licensure as a teacher in an elementary or secondary school. A Bachelor’s degree and a state teaching license are typically required to work as a teacher in public and private school settings.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2014. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2019.


What can you do with an early years educator qualification? ›

In the EYE apprenticeship, you can work within a range of early years settings including full day care, children's centres, preschools, reception classes and in a home setting as Childminders.

What is the highest paying job in early childhood education? ›

Instructional specialists have some of the highest paying jobs in early childhood education. These professionals are responsible for developing educational programs and curriculum for preschools and childcare centers.

What can I do with a level 5 in childcare? ›

Upon successful completion, you can work as an Early Years Senior Practitioner within the Early Years Workforce across the private, voluntary and independent sector or progress to Higher Education in a relevant subject area.

What are 3 different careers you could have in early childhood education? ›

What Can You Do With an Early Childhood Education Degree?
  • Preschool Teacher.
  • Kindergarten & Elementary School Teacher.
  • Nanny.
  • Childcare Center Director.
  • Childcare Worker.
  • Special Education Teacher.
  • School Counselor or Psychologist.

Can I get a job with an ECD certificate? ›

After completing this qualification, you could start looking for a part-time job in ECD and building up your practical experience in the field. For example, you can approach your local ECD centre and ask if you can work as an assistant.

How much do early childhood educators make? ›

There Is No Single Pay Scale For Early Childhood Educator

According to Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), the starting salary range is S$2,200 to $3,550 for preschool teacher and $1,800 to $3,150 for educarer. The starting salary for MOE Kindergarten (MK) teachers is $2,500 to $4,106.

What can I do with my ECD level 4 Certificate? ›

In particular, recipients of this qualification will be able to: Plan and prepare for Early Childhood Development. Facilitate and monitor the development of babies, toddlers and young children. Provide care and support to babies, toddlers and young children.

What are 4 common abilities of early childcare professionals? ›

10 Qualities of Great Early Childhood Educators
  • Patience. Full of curiosity and excitement, and eager to learn, touch, and do, little kids can be impulsive and reactive. ...
  • Passion for Teaching. ...
  • Love for Young Children. ...
  • Caring and Compassion. ...
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Organization.
13 Aug 2021

How can early childhood educators make extra money? ›

How to Make More Money As a Preschool Teacher
  1. Tutor. ...
  2. Teach English Online. ...
  3. Provide Childcare to Families During Breaks. ...
  4. Work in Public Schools or Private Schools That Pay Well. ...
  5. Open a Teachers-Pay-Teachers (TpT) Store. ...
  6. Freelance as a Writer. ...
  7. Start an Online Business. ...
  8. Work Towards Owning a Preschool.

What is the highest paying daycare? ›

High Paying Daycare Jobs
  • Early Childhood Director. Salary range: $39,500-$65,000 per year. ...
  • Nursery School Teacher. Salary range: $33,000-$54,000 per year. ...
  • Child Life Specialist. ...
  • Early Childhood Specialist. ...
  • Nursery Manager. ...
  • Child Development Specialist. ...
  • Day Care Director. ...
  • Child Care Team Lead.

Where do childcare workers get paid the most? ›

Child care workers in Dartmouth make the most money. New Bedford and Falmouth are other high paying cities for child care workers.
1. Washington.
Total Child Care Worker Jobs:1,681
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$58,000
3 more rows
6 Apr 2021

Can I teach Grade R with Level 5 certificate? ›

No, you cannot teach Grade R with an Educare Certificate or Diploma. You can only teach Grade R if you hold any one of the following qualifications: Diploma in Grade R Teaching OR. Bachelor of Education: Foundation Phase Teaching (B.

What can I do with my ECD Level 5 certificate? ›

The Higher Certificate provides access to a higher education for many experienced and skilled Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners and trainers who do not have a recognised qualification.

Can I be a teaching assistant with Level 3 childcare? ›

To work in childcare you will need the relevant childcare qualifications; the minimum requirement is level 2 however most nurseries require practitioners to hold a level 3 qualification.

What degree is best for early childhood education? ›

Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education

It may qualify you to be considered for employment, with a greater expectation of advancement than for those teachers with an associate's degree.

Is a degree in early childhood education worth it? ›

Committing to an early childhood education career means you could help young learners reap long-term benefits, from success in elementary school to potential lifelong earnings. You may even be able to play a part in ensuring those children are less likely to have run-ins with the law as adults.

What major should I choose to work with kids? ›

Good Degrees that Will Prepare You for a Career Working with Children
  • Bachelor's or master's in early childhood development.
  • Bachelor's or master's in education.
  • Bachelor's, master's, or doctorate in psychology.
  • Master's in counseling.
  • Master's in social work.
  • Master of library science.
18 Nov 2021

Can I teach Grade R with ECD certificate? ›

NQF Level 5: The Level 5 Higher Certificate in ECD is targeted at practitioners teaching Gr. R learners. Once practitioners have completed this qualification, they are eligible to apply for Department of Basic Education vacant Grade R posts.

How long is ECD Diploma? ›

Duration and Format. Higher Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education is offered as an e-learning qualification. The minimum period for completion is 12 months and the maximum period is 24 months.

How long is ECD certification course? ›

This is a one and a half year course. At the end of the course the trainee should; Acquire and apply knowledge , skills and attitudes to develop relevant ECDE programmes. Create activities that foster positive social interaction.

What state pays early childhood teachers the most? ›

Our research found that New Mexico is the best state for preschool teachers, while Hawaii and California are ranked highest in terms of median salary.
1. New Mexico.
Total Preschool Teacher Jobs:289
Average Annual Salary:$38,878
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$26,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$57,000
1 more row
6 Apr 2021

How much do PCF teachers earn? ›

PAP Community Foundation Salaries
Job TitleSalary
English Teacher salaries - 32 salaries reported$31,200/yr
Teacher salaries - 30 salaries reported$30,600/yr
Early Childhood Educator salaries - 11 salaries reported$30,600/yr
Executive salaries - 10 salaries reported$33,480/yr
16 more rows

What is an MK teacher? ›

Roles and responsibilities. Organise and deliver the curriculum and programmes. Support the development and implementation of teaching approaches and preparation of learning materials and resources. Provide a positive learning environment. Ensure children's well-being and safety.

Can I teach with a level 4 certificate? ›

The Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training is a first stage teaching qualification which has a teaching/training practice requirement. It is an 'in service' qualification designed for those working or wishing to work as teachers/trainers in England.

Can I teach Grade 7 with Educare Diploma? ›

You cannot study teaching with an Educare Diploma.

The requirements for teaching students on the Foundation schooling phase and upwards, are a Bachelor of Education (B Ed) or a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE).

What can I do with ECD level 6? ›

Careers You Can Pursue
  • Grade R Teacher.
  • Primary School Teacher.
  • Grade R Teacher Assistant.
  • Pre-School Teacher.
  • After-care Supervisor.

What are the pros and cons of early childhood education? ›

Preschool pros and cons
  • Pro 1: A learning environment that can be difficult to do at home. ...
  • Pro 2: A place to practice social skills. ...
  • Pro 3: Relationships with other trusted adults. ...
  • Pro 4: Exposure to new experiences. ...
  • Pro 5: Preparation for school. ...
  • Con 1: Difficult schedule. ...
  • Con 2: High costs. ...
  • Con 3: Kids getting sick.
3 Mar 2022

What do ECE workers do? ›

Early childhood educators plan, organize and implement programs for children between the ages of infancy and 12 years. Early childhood educator assistants provide care for infants and preschool- to school-age children under the guidance of early childhood educators.

What are the weaknesses of an early childhood educator? ›

Many complexities come along with being an early childhood educator. Let us take a look at a few of them.
Let us take a look at a few of them.
  • Managing the kids. ...
  • Executing the school curriculum. ...
  • Communicating with the parents. ...
  • Handling paperwork. ...
  • Low salaries. ...
  • Lack of recognition and value.

What kind of teachers get paid the most? ›


When you are looking for the best-paid teaching jobs for your area of interest or specialized skill, then you may consider working as a professor in a college or university. A college professor prepares course material, teaches students in a classroom environment, and grades student work.

Where do educators get paid the most? ›

Pennsylvania, California and New York have the highest average teacher salaries in the country, compared to all other occupations.

Is childcare a good career choice? ›

Childcare is an incredibly demanding but rewarding role! There are so many perks to working in childcare, such as teaching the future leaders of tomorrow, supporting children's social and intellectual development, as well as working within an environment that is supportive and shares the same passion as you!

What state pays daycare workers the most? ›

Geographic profile for Childcare Workers:
StateEmployment (1)Hourly mean wage
Texas43,200$ 11.43
New York41,720$ 15.89
California28,240$ 17.02
Florida27,740$ 13.25
1 more row

How much do most daycare workers make? ›

Daycare worker salary ranges between $13,000 - $50,000, with the average total compensation falling between $21,000 - $30,000 per year. The question of daycare workers' salaries is essential because of the role these professionals play in a child's life.

How can I work with babies? ›

Common careers with babies
  • Preschool teacher.
  • Early childhood teacher.
  • Newborn photographer.
  • Nanny.
  • Preschool manager.
  • Doula.
  • Registered nurse: pediatrics.
  • Lactation consultant.

What is the minimum wage for daycare workers? ›

An early career Childcare Worker with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of R20. 99 based on 19 salaries. A mid-career Childcare Worker with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of R23. 50 based on 12 salaries.

What industry is childcare? ›

NAICS 624400 - Child Day Care Services is part of: NAICS 624000 - Social Assistance.

What is minimum wage in California? ›

The minimum wage in California is currently $15.00/hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $14.00/hour for employers with 25 or less employees. Some cities and counties have higher minimum wages than the state's rate. UC Berkeley maintains a list of City and County minimum wages in California.

What can I do with a level 3 certificate in childcare? ›

The childcare level 3 apprenticeship is perfect for the following areas:
  • Nursery Worker/Supervisors.
  • Nursery Nurses.
  • Nursery Teaching Assistants.
  • Early Years Workers/Assistants.
  • Nursery Practitioners.
  • Classroom Assistants.
  • Care Workers/Assistants.
  • Assistant Youth Supporters.

What can I do with my ECD level 4 Certificate? ›

In particular, recipients of this qualification will be able to: Plan and prepare for Early Childhood Development. Facilitate and monitor the development of babies, toddlers and young children. Provide care and support to babies, toddlers and young children.

What Certificate do you need to work with children? ›

The certificate for the Children and Young People's Workforce is a generic qualification that will be relevant across the Children and Young People's in England. To achieve a certificate you must gain a minimum of 35 credits. What careers can this lead to?

What can I do with a childcare level 2 qualification? ›

The completion of the Level 2 allows you to progress onto Level 3 Early Years Educator Childcare Diploma you have gained further experience.
Learners may work under supervision in a variety of roles such as:
  • Nursery practitioner.
  • Classroom assistant.
  • Pre-school practitioner.

Can I be a teaching assistant with Level 3 childcare? ›

To work in childcare you will need the relevant childcare qualifications; the minimum requirement is level 2 however most nurseries require practitioners to hold a level 3 qualification.

Can you work in a hospital with Level 3 childcare? ›

Work experience

You could get employment as a health play assistant in a hospital or clinic with a relevant childcare qualification at level 3.

What is level 4 childcare qualification? ›

The Level 4 CCLD is an NVQ for professionals working in childcare. It recognises specialist learning and helps develop the candidate's career. Course provider: FE colleges and training providers.

How much is a salary for an ECD teacher? ›

Find out what the average Early Childhood Teacher salary is

The average early childhood teacher salary in South Africa is R 3 744 228 per year or R 1 920 per hour. Entry-level positions start at R 468 000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to R 6 660 000 per year.

How much do ECD teachers earn per month? ›

the Eastern Cape has 4,558 earning R7,741 and the 3,658 in Gauteng earn R8,259 a month each.

Can I teach Grade R with ECD certificate? ›

NQF Level 5: The Level 5 Higher Certificate in ECD is targeted at practitioners teaching Gr. R learners. Once practitioners have completed this qualification, they are eligible to apply for Department of Basic Education vacant Grade R posts.

What does an early years educator do? ›

An Early Years Educator:

Plans and supervises child initiated and adult led activities which are based around the needs and interests of each individual child. Supports children to develop numeracy and language skills through games and play. Has key person responsibility to help ensure each child feels safe and secure.

What jobs can I do to help children? ›

What jobs are available?
  1. child psychotherapist.
  2. counsellor.
  3. family support worker.
  4. play therapist.
  5. social worker.
  6. youth worker.

What qualifications do I need to be a childrens social worker? ›

take a postgraduate qualification (Diploma or Masters) in social work. Courses take two years full time or up to six years part time. train through Step up to Social Work which takes 14 months and combines work and study.

How long does it take to complete level 2 childcare? ›

The qualification can be taken over a 12 month period but you can complete it as fast or as slowly as you wish.

What is a Level 5 childcare qualification? ›

This QQI Level 5 Childcare Course is designed to equip the learners with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to work independently and under supervision in a range of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) settings and or to progress to higher education and training.

What is the difference between Level 2 and Level 3 childcare? ›

The Level 2 qualification is for those who are new to working in the childcare industry, with no or very little experience. Often roles will be at assistant level. Level 3 is aimed at those who can work using their own initiative in planning and organising their work.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duncan Muller

Last Updated: 21/12/2023

Views: 5695

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duncan Muller

Birthday: 1997-01-13

Address: Apt. 505 914 Phillip Crossroad, O'Konborough, NV 62411

Phone: +8555305800947

Job: Construction Agent

Hobby: Shopping, Table tennis, Snowboarding, Rafting, Motor sports, Homebrewing, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Duncan Muller, I am a enchanting, good, gentle, modern, tasty, nice, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.