The curriculum for the Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education combines general and professional coursework with practical exposure to diverse educational settings and opportunities to observe expert professionals interacting with children. An optional internship provides students to apply the principles that they have learned in the classroom.
The Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education degree is designed to meet the educational requirements set by the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education for both teachers in childcare centers and expanded home caregivers. By December 2023, these professionals will be required to hold an associate’s degree in early childhood education or any associate degree with at least 24 semester credit hours in early childhood.
Adding to the interest in training for early childhood educators is the fact that jobs in this sector are projected to grow. The DC region is expected to add 871 jobs in early childhood education between 2017 and 2024, which represents growth of 8.5%, to 11,172 jobs.
In May 2017, the average mean wage for childcare workers in the District of Columbia was $32,330, exceeding the averages of all 50 states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.