Early Childhood Education in California
A job in early childhood education can be extremely rewarding, particularly if you love working with young children. This career path means you are willing to make a positive difference in the lives of these children, helping shape their future. Since it is such a great way to engage with the new generations and their creativity, it’s a popular degree option.
In order to work in early childhood education, you need to obtain a degree. This means you must get a Bachelor’s degree and usually even a master’s degree. In some cases, you can even go further and get a Ph.D. in early childhood education.
Whether you want to deepen your education with a master’s or Ph.D. or just want to obtain your Bachelor’s degree, there are many program options in California. .
Early Childhood Education Programs in California
Here is a list of some of the popular schools offering early childhood education degree programs in California:
- California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo
- Grand Canyon University
- San Diego State University
- Walden University
- Vanguard University of Southern California
- California State University – Fullerton
- Capella University
- UMass Global
To find out how we select colleges and universities, please click here.
California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) – San Luis Obispo
The California Polytechnic State University, also known as Cal Poly, is located in San Luis Obispo. This is on the Central Coast of California. It was founded in 1901, and it focuses on teaching its students how to work together.
Over the last 27 years, the institution has been named the best public and master-level West university by the U.S. News & World Report. It welcomes diversity and appreciates different cultures, knowledge, skills, and viewpoints.
Early Childhood Education Program
Cal Poly welcomes students to their Early Childhood Studies major, where they learn how to become professionals who can work with young children. The university offers a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Studies, preparing students with the right skills and knowledge so they can help children from birth to 8 years of age.
The program focuses on the first 8 years of a child’s life, a period when having the right education and development is of utmost importance. Students who eventually graduate have different options following the degree. They can work in early childhood teaching in schools, or take a different route with school psychology, child life, social work, and so on.
The program lasts four years and throughout this time, students learn and develop different skills so they can easily communicate with young children. They also learn how important it is to make the right decisions throughout their chosen career.
Overall, the program contains 180 quarter units. Students will take different courses, such as:
- Social sciences (including the History and Constitution of the United States)
- Humanities (including philosophy and civilization, visual and performing arts, humanities synthesis, literature, and foreign languages)
- Mathematics and natural sciences (like biological and physical science, mathematics/quantitative reasoning, science and technology synthesis, and laboratory activity)
- Communication and critical thinking (including written and oral communication, as well as critical thinking)
- Lifelong understanding and self-development
- American cultural perspectives
- Infant/Toddler program and practices emphasis
- Early Childhood equity and program administration emphasis
- Leadership in early childhood emphasis
- Observation and Assessment
- Applied Infant/Toddler Studies
- Contextual Approaches to Curriculum
- Numeracy and Inquiry in Multilingual Contexts
- Child Growth and Development
- Principles and Practices of Teaching Young Children
- Inquiry and Methodology
If you want to apply for this program, you need to provide a copy of your transcripts, social security number and household annual income (if applicable), test scores, as well as present and planned class schedules. You must also apply online through the Cal State Apply page.
San Diego State University
San Diego State University was founded in 1897 and, since then, it has been dedicated to helping students shape their future. It is located in San Diego and it has 202 degree programs. More than 36,000 students have the chance to study here every single year.
Most of the time, admission can be pretty competitive. However, many graduates would agree that it’s worth the effort considering the high-quality education you can receive.
Early Childhood Education Programs
If you go to San Diego University, you will have the opportunity to learn early childhood education and become the best in this filed. The institution offers a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in Child Development.
This program will include certain courses, such as:
- Human Development Across the Lifespan
- Learning Environments and Developmentally Appropriate Practices
- Introductory Sociology: The Study of Society
- Elementary Social Statistics
- Nutrition, Health, and Safety for Children
- Principles of Family Development
- Statistical Methods in Psychology
- Research, Assessment, and Evaluation of Children and Families
- Promoting Behavior Support and Classroom Organization in Early Childhood Settings
- Public Policy and Professional Ethics in Child and Family Development
- Child Abuse and Family Violence
- Human Development and Learning: Adolescence/Adulthood
- Human Development and Learning: Early/Middle Childhood
- Human Development and Learning: Infant/Toddler
- Children with Special Needs
There will also be laboratory experiences in:
- With Children and Families
- Elementary Through Secondary Schools
In order to graduate, a student will have to complete at least 120 credit hours. There are 8 semesters in total for the program.
To apply for the program, you need to provide your citizenship status, annual income, credit card, and unofficial transcripts. Furthermore, you require the employment background of your parents, as well as two recommendations.
Then, students can also follow a Master’s degree program which takes 2 years and includes 30-32 graduate credits.
Vanguard University of Southern California
Vanguard University of Southern California is located in Costa Mesa, and its goal is to help people increase their knowledge and their faith. It is a private university and it’s Christian. The U.S. News & World Report has listed it as one of the top 10 best baccalaureate West colleges since 2010.
Early Childhood Education Program
At Vanguard University of Southern California, you can enroll in a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood program. This program was designed to help anyone who dreams of teaching young generations of children and helping them develop from an early age.
The program involves 120 total units. 34 are general education units, 39 are major units, and 47 are elective units.
As a student, you will study different important courses during this program. These include:
- Science for the Young Child
- Technology and Engineering for the Young Child
- Arts and Creative Learning for the Young Child
- Math for the Young Child
- Exceptional Children: Teaching Language Arts, Math and Science for Students with Severe Disabilities
- The Exceptional Child and the Inclusive Classroom
- Functional Assessment and Evaluation for Exceptional Learners
- Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis: Autism
Once the students complete 120 units, they will receive the Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education. They’ll be part of the program for four years.
To apply for this program, you have to send an application. Apart from that, you need some supporting documentation, such as:
- Official college transcript(s) (for people who have already done college coursework and finalized it)
- Official GED or high school transcript
- A statement regarding your Christian Experience
California State University – Fullerton
This California State University is located in Fullerton. It is a public university with the purpose of helping people achieve greatness through studying. In fall 2022, it had a 39,578 total student enrollment. 929 chose the education college. The university is an above average one. Therefore, it offers people the opportunity to get high-level education.
Early Childhood Education Program
Studying early childhood education is possible at the California State University Fullerton under a Child and Adolescent Development B.S. This Bachelor of Science program has a requirement of 51 major coursework units.
27 core course units are completed by all majors. Furthermore, they all pick one option that has 24 coursework units. Every single option gives students the chance to focus on one area, such as Early Childhood Development, Family and Community Contexts, Elementary School Settings, and Adolescent/Youth Development.
The core courses include:
- Introduction to Child and Adolescent Development
- Inquiry and Methodology in Development
- Introductory Practicum in Child and Adolescent Studies
- Exceptional Individual
- Conception Through Age 8
- Child, Family, and Community
- Elements of Effective Professional Communication
If you choose the Early Childhood Development option, you will be able to learn different strategies to help with the development of young children. You’ll learn how to use the right language and make the right decisions when engaging with children from birth to eight years old.
This option includes various courses such as:
- Introduction to Early Childhood Curriculum
- Art and Child Development
- Parenting in the 21st Century
- Advanced Study in Preschool Development
- Learning and Motivation in Early Childhood
- Early Childhood Special Education
- Promoting Early Language and Literacy Development in Diverse Children
You will study in this program for 4 years. To apply, you have to submit an online application. Documents you may need include:
- Social security number
- Citizenship status
- Annual household income
- Present and planned courses
- Test scores (AP/IB)
Early Childhood Education Work Opportunities in California
Early childhood education programs give you many opportunities in the field. You can opt for different jobs in this area. Typically, you can earn around $54,000 per year on average in this domain. Depending on your skill and experience, certain jobs may pay you more.
With early childhood education degrees, you can work as a childcare worker, preschool teacher, nanny, special education teacher, childcare center director, kindergarten and elementary school teacher, school counselor or psychologist, and many others. Each job is unique in its own way and pays you differently, but all of them involve working with the youngest generations.
California has no shortage of work opportunities for people who study in an early childhood education program. For instance, you may work as an instructor for childhood education at Shasta College or the College of the Desert. You may also work for places such as Proteus Inc. as a director of education.
Moreover, many colleges and universities, such as the University of California San Francisco, look for infant and early childhood mental health specialists. The St. Michael Preschool offers the opportunity to work as an educator or teacher assistant/preschool aide. The U.S. Navy Fleet and Family Readiness also hire CYP Child and Youth Program Leaders.
All in all, working as an early childhood educator can be a unique experience that you will forever be thankful for. If you live in California and don’t know where you want to start your program, consider one of the universities in this article. They all offer high-quality education and will be able to transform you into a teacher and role model for the young generations.