Early Care and Education for Young Children with Disabilities
Research shows that quality early childhood education is important for children in all areas of development: physical, language, emotional, cognitive, creative, and social. What children learn and experience during their early years can shape their views of themselves and the world and can affect their later success in school, work, and life. As a result, there has been an increase in the demand for early childhood education programs for infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarten and school-age children. Employment of childcare workers is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected because of increases in the number of children who require childcare and continued demand for preschool programs. Employment of preschool teachers and preschool and childcare center directors is expected to grow by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of kindergarten and elementary school teachers is expected to grow by 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Students who complete our degree programs and wish to teach public kindergarten or early elementary school can take advantage of our transfer agreements with four-year institutions of higher education to earn their bachelor’s degree and teacher certification which is required for these public school positions.
Increased diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), along with broader general trends in special education, have led to the need for qualified professionals to support young children with disabilities in a variety of settings. These include as early intervention, Early Head Start, public school districts, and clinical settings. Students wishing to specialize in areas of special education to become speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, or child life specialists may transfer on for a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Visit NHTI’s Early Childhood Education and Early Care and Education for Young Children with Disabilities for information on these degrees and course offerings. Early Childhood certificate program offerings include the following: Young Children with Autism and Exceptionalities, Early Childhood Education, and Early Childhood Education (Advanced).
- Career Paths for This Major
- Skills Developed Through This Major
- Sample Career Titles With This Degree
- Sample Employers
- Ways to Explore and Reality Test Careers
- How to Increase Employability
- Professional Association Links
- Employment and Internship Links
When you graduate with this major, you will have work options that are varied and that depend upon your specific interests, abilities, work values, and hands on experience in the field. Please see the section on Sample Career Titles to see the variety of career options available with an associate degree as well as with advanced education and experience.
- Authentic Assessment
- Designing plans based on observations of children’s interests and developing skills
- Preparing & Developing Instruction Materials to support goals for children
- Positive Behavior Guidance
- Developing Interpersonal Relationship Skills
- Assessing Child Performance and Progress
- Critical Thinking
- Administering Assessment Tools
- Decision Making
- Leadership and Advocacy
|Sample possibilities with advanced degrees (4-year college degree and beyond):|
There are four key ways to explore your favorite career interests…through reading, through speaking with those in the know, through observing and through doing. Use the link(s) below to begin exploring major related careers through ‘reading’. Go to the Exploring Career Interests link to get tips on all four key exploration strategies.
- Infant, toddler, and preschool teachers
- Child care Center Directors
- Preschool Teachers
- Teacher Assistants
- Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
- Special Education Teachers
- Alternative Career Choices for Teachers
Additional sources of information for this major include:
- NHTI Faculty, Academic Advisors, and Child and Family Studies Department resources.
- Professionals who are working in the field
- Professional Associations (see below)
- Become an active student member of college, community, or professional associations, which helps you build leadership skills and promote connecting (networking) with fellow professionals.
- Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through part-time, full-time and summer employment/internship positions related to your targeted field/educational subject interest.
- Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
- Work with age groups you hope to teach through recreational activities at camps or in civic programs, as a classroom paraprofessional, teaching Sunday school or substitute teaching.
Professionals who do work related to this major belong to these associations. You can use the links below to do career research and to connect with local association members. You may also be able to join an association of interest, at a reduced rate, as a student member.
See below for job posting sites related to this major (including our own home grown NHTI posting site – see first link).
USA Jobs (military child care)