An associate degree in Early Childhood Education prepares students for work in the classroom as teaching assistants. It also prepares them to pursue a bachelor degree. Classes offer students a mixture of theory and practical experience, which prepare them to work with young children and their families. An associate degree in Early Childhood Education can be earned at a community college, but classes can also be taken on-line.

Basic Content Courses

Classes in early childhood education teach how to develop curricula for students under the age of 8. Programs typically require general education and core classes to earn an associate degree. Core courses cover such topics as child assessment, infant and toddler development, social development and language development, as well as health, safety and nutrition. Core courses also cover infant teaching techniques, art and literature, family and child health, child growth and development, and creative development. Various programs have specialized courses and requirements for the age group you choose to work with.

Child Development Classes

Getting an associate degree in Early Childhood Development or Education requires you to take child development classes. Child development classes teach you the various stages of emotional, physical and intellectual development, from infancy to school age. Infant and toddler development classes are similar, exploring the development of infants and toddlers, including motor skills, social skills, cognition and language development. Depending on the program you choose, other required courses cover child behavior and guidance and observing young children's behavior. These classes teach about teacher observation and assessment of children's behavior to develop curricula and reports.

Special Education Pedagogy

Obtaining an associate degree in Early Childhood Education or Development requires you to take classes about special education. Graduates may work with children with specials needs, so it is important to familiarize yourself with methods for identifying and evaluating the educational and emotional needs of disabled children. Courses may include overviews of special needs, as well as methods classes which familiarizes you with teaching children with mental, physical and emotional challenges.

Other classes are also required to earn an associate in Early Childhood Education. Future teachers must develop essential writing skills to become effective communicators in the classroom, therefore, many students are required to take writing courses. Children's literature courses familiarize you with poetry, prose and literature appropriate for young children, while about using play as a teaching tool help students understand how children can learn through games. Child psychology and courses on working with parents and curriculum design are other required classes.

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