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Is An Early Childhood Degree Worth It?

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  • Is An Early Childhood Degree Worth It?

    I completed my CDA credential this year. I have a bachelors in business, thinking about doing a degree in early childhood now but weighing if the time/money/effort will benefit my practice and business.

    As I look at programs, there is the ECE certified teacher degree (I don't see myself working outside of my in-home daycare) and a child development degree which is more general. The good news is that there is an option to go online and also, I won't be taking a loan for it and it will take approx 2 years to complete.

    While I plan to run my in-home daycare for another 15 years, I also think of how covid threatened the livelihood of my business and caused so many others to shut down permanently. So also thinking how this can serve as a backup should something like that happened again.

    What advice do you have as I wait to hear if my admission application is accepted at which time I would have to decide ?

  • #2
    I think it’s worth it! It makes you look more even professional to prospective dc clients plus it’s a great degree to fall back on if you need to go outside your in home dc, like you said. I got mine and really loved the classes and learned so much.

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    • #3
      • I was forced to go back to school for QRIS and I was bored and embarrassed for my peers.
      • Many of the students could not read or write at a 5th grade level yet were given high scores because the curriculum "met them where they were".
      • They made us do crafts and build toys that don't meet regulations and almost got me cited.
      • We wasted hours and hours on stupid group arts and craft projects that are not remotely DAP.
      • There was not a single paragraph of new information. Not one. Many were wrong, like malpractice wrong. (soft restrain a kid, I dare you)
      • Not one minute was spent on the actual, physical, care of infants and children.
      • There was only one student in my program that I would have left my child alone with. He had many younger siblings and was funny.
      • There was not one student in my program I would hire and insure.

      I used to respect those with the "degrees" (they don't transfer), but after attending the actual program, I am disgusted. Sorry, but that is 100% the truth.

      I ended up just finishing the TCC so I don't have to keep paying to renew the $CDA$, but feel it isn't worth the paper it is printed on. If it was not mandatory, there is no way I would have stayed past the first week. Romper Room had more age-appropriate and engaging content.
      Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

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      • QueenBee
        QueenBee commented
        Editing a comment
        @ CH: your QRIS experience sounds ridiculous and is a prime example of how the folks in charge view family daycares and what we do. That was just downright disrespectful!

        Besides hands on experience, what would you say were the most effective ways in which you acquired your knowledge for this business?

        I completed my CDA coursework at a college, led by passionate ECE professors who are active in the field, with equally passionate classmates who were currently working in daycares/preschools. I learned A LOT! It brought me current with best practices and I was able to update a lot of what I was doing and how I was doing it. Waaaay better than the stale, canned, outdated trainings I have to take year after year to renew my license that I don't learn anything new from. I think my positive CDA experience is what made me think of continuing.
        Last edited by QueenBee; 2 weeks ago.

      • Cat Herder
        Cat Herder commented
        Editing a comment
        My prime education came after my child died in daycare, unsupervised, un-noticed after 4 hours. I then went to emt training, paramedic school and state social services and foster parent training. Childcare was under the umbrella of Human Services (with fire, ems, police, social services) then and we were trained in physical care, health, safety planning, first aid, risk management, basic emergency medical, child skin care, nutrition, discipline techniques, basic firefighting/evacuation techniques and infant feeding and soothing techniques. There was no ECE. That came when they moved us under the "Dept of Education" umbrella, and everything became about funding and "early learning".
        Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

      • Cat Herder
        Cat Herder commented
        Editing a comment
        I did the CDA classes, first, too. They were fun and self-led. I did not have to step foot into a classroom for those. It is just too expensive to keep doing it over and over and over again to keep it. Like you, I thought the next round was going to be fun, but that is not what happened at all.
        Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

    • #4
      If I was younger, I would have just gone for the elementary education degree with the same money, time and effort. It is transferable to other degrees/careers. You can work in daycares AND public schools. You will be eligible for teachers benefits and pensions. You will have options.

      IMHO, The ECE degree is not about respectability. It is about exclusion of the people who can't afford to pay for a "degree". It is a profiteering and gatekeeping program to ensure compliance of a political agenda. It is about propping up college incomes and creating jobs for those with actual degrees. We are the product the states sell to university systems, not the customer. It targets poor (majority women) with "scholarships" (reimbursement funding is rarely paid once complete, I got stuck with the bill, too.) that holds them in jobs with no chance of promotion or change of career. Then they are forced to overwork, out of their lane, at subsidy rates by guilting with a "what about the children" mentality.

      We were the "experts" during COVID, yet can't be trusted to mix powdered formula this year. DaYcaRe iS sO ExPeNsIvE. So, lets force the workers to pay more out in fake degrees for a job they already have, so they must earn more to make up the difference. They can't get away with it in other professions. Someday soon, I expect strikes and quiet quitting across the country until they back off of those of us who actually show up.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

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      • #5
        Cat Herder- I found your comments personally disheartening.....maybe a little insulting, (but that may be a me problem ha!) I'm not doubting your school experience, but I think you were just in a bad program. I don't know where you went "back to school for QRIS" but I can understand your "boredom and embarrassment for your peers" as I too experience those feelings when I attend some required classes in FCCH.
        I earned a BS in Child Development from a state University in 1981. It has been incredibly helpful in my 32 year career as a Family Child Care Provider. I learned so much about how humans of all ages develop, grow and learn. I learned about nutrition, psychology, social constructs, family relations and much more. An internship in a child care center was required, so I did get hands on experience with curriculum and learning activities. It has made me much more confident in my work with children and families. Perhaps ECE programs differ today from the program I graduated in. However, if I had no degree but was working in family childcare now, I would agree with you. I'm not sure a degree is worth it if you are looking for recognition or financial compensation. My degree is not respected nor recognized much through the state Licensing system, (nor my peers it seems), and would not earn me a liveable wage if I worked in a center. Though parents are sometimes impressed with my background and it MAY make a family choose me over another provider, it doesn't mean too much financially. College is way too expensive now and I agree there are some predatory practices in higher education. If one is looking for education and knowledge on how to better care for children, I am finding SOME good helpful information in the free classes offered by my state and my county association. I guess it comes down to what you expect to get out of a college degree and how much effort and money you can put in to find quality programs in your area.

        Comment


        • Cat Herder
          Cat Herder commented
          Editing a comment
          Your 32 year career speaks for itself. Most wash out in under two. Now, imagine being required to go obtain a "degree" (non-transferable), by people you don't work for, who don't pay you, that does not transfer on year 22 of owning and running your own private, successful, daycare to keep your license. That is the program I am speaking of.
          Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

        • MamaCaf
          MamaCaf commented
          Editing a comment
          I get it! I just get tired of having to defend my college education and the value of what I learned.

        • Cat Herder
          Cat Herder commented
          Editing a comment
          I get it, too. We get tired of defending our hands on experience and previous education to those with non-transferable college degrees. They want us divided. I love continuing education, I invest a lot of personal time in it, for me. I don't love government forcing private business owners to buy into their mandatory fake degree programs that filter out more effective employees and better candidates.

          Subsidy providers, sure, the catch of the "free" money, but private businesses? Nope. Forcing us to take subsidy is a no go, too. Never again. The issue is much bigger than a willingness to learn, I believe we all share that desire, most simply can't afford to pay for the paper on the wall. Happily, we don't have to. It's free online and in public libraries.

      • #6
        Also, if it is just the education you want, college is free online. This is my favorite site: https://www.khanacademy.org/test-pre...of-development


        Overview of theories of development

        Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

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        • #7
          The Best Start in Life: Early Childhood Development for Sustainable Development

          https://www.edx.org/course/the-best-...od-development

          This a free 8 week, self paced course. This is one of the professors:

          Jack Shonkoff

          Director at Harvard University Center on the Developing Child
          Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

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          • QueenBee
            QueenBee commented
            Editing a comment
            Oh, ok. Thanks for sharing, looks very interesting!

        • #8
          I decided to get my bachelors in education and earn my teaching license: I applied for grants and scholarships and did it slowly. I earned my ECE PEL this June with a 4.0 GPA

          it was exhausting and some moments were really tough. I had to do the student teaching requirement which financially was very tough.

          is it worth it? I guess it depends who you ask. I know have a degree and license and can do a career change if I chose to. I can also qualify for different programs due to my degree. I earned the degree because it was something I wanted to do for myself. My dream was always to be a teacher and I felt that society looked down on Childcare and this was my way to showing myself that I AM a teacher and I guess patting myself on the back saying ‘good job’.

          it has not changed anything in regards to daycare, except after student teaching I realized I loved my daycare so much!

          so was it worth it? For me, yes. This was my dream and it was hard, but I did it

          Comment


          • #9
            Originally posted by Sahm121 View Post
            I decided to get my bachelors in education and earn my teaching license: I applied for grants and scholarships and did it slowly. I earned my ECE PEL this June with a 4.0 GPA

            it was exhausting and some moments were really tough. I had to do the student teaching requirement which financially was very tough.

            is it worth it? I guess it depends who you ask. I know have a degree and license and can do a career change if I chose to. I can also qualify for different programs due to my degree. I earned the degree because it was something I wanted to do for myself. My dream was always to be a teacher and I felt that society looked down on Childcare and this was my way to showing myself that I AM a teacher and I guess patting myself on the back saying ‘good job’.

            it has not changed anything in regards to daycare, except after student teaching I realized I loved my daycare so much!

            so was it worth it? For me, yes. This was my dream and it was hard, but I did it
            One really cool thing that my degree got me, is that because of it I am part of an advocacy group that is helping change the requirements for student teaching where we can get credit for doing childcare

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            • littlefriends
              littlefriends commented
              Editing a comment
              That’s amazing!!

            • Cat Herder
              Cat Herder commented
              Editing a comment
              I love that idea.

            • Sahm121
              Sahm121 commented
              Editing a comment
              @catherder - it’s amazing to see what we can challenge as far as legistations. During covid there was an exception that anyone in a licensure program could skip student teaching and organizations like Teach for America also have connections where that can be waived…:: so that means that asking for our current experience to be recognized shouldn’t be that hard!!

          • #10
            Thanks everyone for your responses. Not doing it for recognition. Just for me, the experience, to see if I can really do it, and for the value it would add to my practice.

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