In child development and early childhood education (ECE) there are three primary work settings: child care and development centers including infant/toddler and preschool programs for children under age 6; Family Child Care homes; and school age programs either at a school site or a community setting.
A family child care home
is actually a small business conducted in your own home. It requires a license and there is a limit to the number of children you serve. As a home provider, you set the hours and fees, market your services, contract with parents, hire and train assistants, and provide care to the children you enroll. You are teacher, caregiver, and manager all in one.
for young children may offer several different job positions: assistants, teachers, master or head teachers, assistant directors, site supervisors, and program directors. The requirements (education and experience) for each position vary and are related to the responsibility of the job.
- Assistants usually require few college units and little or no experience. The job functions are assisting other staff with all activities of the program.
- Teachers, master teachers and preschool teachers develop and implement all aspects of the program including setting up the environment, choosing and implementing curriculum related activities, communicating with parents, observing and assessing children, and supervising assistants and aides.
The educational requirements depend on the type of center or program. In programs that are regulated under Title 22 of the California Administrative Code only, a teacher must have 12 college units and some experience. A qualified preschool teacher will meet higher educational. requirements. Centers funded by the California Department of Education (CDE) require teachers (for all age groups) to hold, at a minimum, a child development teachers permit which requires 24 units in Early Childhood Education (ECE)/Child Development and 16 general education units. Permits for teachers in school-age programs require at least 1 2 units in school-age coursework.
Center or Program Director and Site Supervisor positions may require an AA degree or a bachelor's degree and several years experience. The job duties may include hiring, training, and supervising other staff; managing accounts; ordering supplies; enrolling children; ensuring compliance with operating policies and licensing reguations; and parent communication functions.
School-age programs also have different staff levels. There are usually assistant positions although the actual job title might be different. There is usually a site coordinator or group leader who supervises other staff. There may also be an area coordinator with administrative responsibility for the overall program or for severa program sites. Requirements vary depending on the sponsorship of the program. Again, the higher level positions will require more education and experience.