Alumni of the Early Childhood Education program may find employment as preschool teachers or childcare workers. Both care for children's basic needs and lead activities that help children grow, develop and learn. They also model and help children develop healthy eating habits, proper hygiene and other basic life skills.
Preschool teachers encourage children's language development through reading, storytelling and acting games. They help children develop social skills with cooperative activities and discussions, and they encourage creative talents through art, dance and music. They also provide a foundation for science and math learning by helping children count and build.
Teachers also observe and identify signs of emotional or developmental problems or illness.
In addition to working with children, teachers meet with parents and guardians periodically to discuss each child's progress, achievements and needs.
Childcare providers may work in their own homes, in the child's home or in centers such as Head Start, Early Head Start and preschools. In addition to nurturing and teaching children who have not yet entered kindergarten, childcare workers may provide before- and after-school care to older children.
Childcare workers help stimulate children's physical, emotional, intellectual and social growth. They encourage children to explore interests, develop talents and independence, build self-esteem, learn to get along with others, and prepare for more formal schooling.