Open Discussion Forum

Topic: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

  • Audience
  • All
  • Professional Development
  • Professional Preparation

1.  Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 29 days ago
Recent news such as this article have reignited the conversation of the value of degrees in the early childhood field. What are your thoughts on this subject?

------------------------------
Sue Russell
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhoodr National Center
Chapel Hill NC
------------------------------


2.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 29 days ago
We are not babysitters, we are the first teacher most children will come into contact with, aside from their parents/home caregiver. I fear many early childcare centers will resist any requirement for degreed caregivers because it will force them to pay higher wages. I have a Bachelors and a Masters in Education, with licenses in both early childhood and elementary education. I am paid the same amount at my current job ( which I'm finishing on July 26th) as someone with less education and experience. My degrees mean nothing to the childcare center I work in.

Early childhood educators need their own education, as does any other profession, in order to inform their practice. As we all develop our own depth of knowledge by practicing what we learn through listening to and observing others, conducting our own action research, reading professional journals and literature, and working from a growth mindset,  we increase our own success in our field of work. Our success translates into the successful development of young minds, bodies, and hearts. This is a great honor.

Unless we model learning as a lifelong endeavor, through our own practice, we tarnish our chosen profession. If a caregiver refuses to educate themselves in any constructive form of early childhood education, they are cheating their clients.

------------------------------
Mary Russell
Journeys Out Yonder
Boulder CO
------------------------------



3.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 28 days ago
I understand that the first years are Learning Years and children can Learn through Play!
Teachers may not get the pay as other jobs so we are granted to study for and receive our CDA
or Child Development Associate Credential...Yes it's not a college degree. There is CDA for Infants/Toddlers
 and CDA for Preschool. I have earned both and renewed them 3 to 5 years. We also are required
to attend workshops in early childhood learning, earning 12 clock hours per year. Infants and Toddler Teachers
are a great asset to this business. There are many Pre-School area classes for teachers of this level.
Our salary is based on 80 hours a week We are granted 8 paid Holidays after probation period of 6 weeks.
Each Teacher/Volunteer must pass an abuse/neglect screening  before working at our center.
Our center in the Capitol City of MO. We serve the low-income to middle in-come families in our area.
providing a sliding scale fee to help our parents. We serve up to 99 infants to age 5 in our center. We have
13 teachers, 4 floaters to be used when a teacher needs off. We offer referrals to support the individual
child with their needs. We learn how to recognize "Red Flags" through PAT, AEYC, Workshops
 Our Center is about to celebrate 50 Years serving this community. The soon 20 years that I have served,
has been mostly in the infant /toddler center. I love working with Infants to see their growth excel. This is
the foundation of each child's life. Parents are their first teachers. I have been a Parent Educator for 11 years,
meeting the parents with their child in our center, which was a pilot program for our area. 
We also provided quality Head Start classes for 5 Infant Toddler Teachers during 3 years..
We are served by a Board consisting of Business, Retail, Education, and Parents that meet once a month. 
We offer Parent Meetings once a month asking for ideas from the parents to educate their concerns, a meal
 is provided.
I have attended many years NAEYC and AEYA of MO and attended their workshops gaining clock hours
for our center. AEYC/MO has provided quality classes to provide current education in our field.
Yes Teachers need education...quality education. that provide Child Care Teachers with tools to meet any
situation that help children grow, learn, and meet their 4 domains of Social/Emotional; Language; Physical; and
Cognitive. Teachers provide portfolios beginning with Infant/Toddlers...passing their portfolio to each age level.
When the child reaches the age 5 and ready to go to Kindergarten, this full portfolio is handed to the K teacher
to see how the child has progressed in order to help the child grow, learn, and be the best they can be.
Respectfully Submitted by        Diana Finnie  J.C. Day Care Center, Inc.
 





4.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 25 days ago
I have worked with young children since 1988. In 2000, when I started working towards my master's degree people asked me what I was going to do when I was done with it. Most people asked if I was going to work in the elementary school system. I asked why, don't 2-year olds deserve a teacher with a master's degree? All children, birth on up, deserve well-educated, well-trained teachers. How can I teach math skills if I don't have a basic understanding of math? How can I teach literacy skills if I don't have a basic understanding of how children learn literacy-what are the steps and stages? How can I teach science if I don't understand science concepts? I was recently in a conversation about teachers needing degrees/more education, and I asked the person, "who would you rather look after your child-a person educated and trained in child development or one who wasn't?" This is a tricky area. When I went for my master's I wasn't thinking about how much money I was going to be 'worth', I thought about how I was going to be a better and more informed teacher.

------------------------------
Catherine Roach
Milwaukee WI
------------------------------



5.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 6 days ago
So beautifully said! Thank you!!!

------------------------------
Patricia Sclafani
Fresno CA
------------------------------



6.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 29 days ago
A very interesting question and one that has received considerable time and attention from me in the past few weeks as I am very engaged in the conversations among those of us in the Early Childhood Education Community in the District of Columbia due, in part, to new local regulations that include requirements for teachers and directors to have degrees by 2020.

I am finding some important questions like this that apply to the field of Early Childhood Education are quite complex. In other words, there is no simple, easy answer. Some of the questions I am wrestling with include:

1. How do we know all degree programs are high quality and provide students with the knowledge, skills and disposition to be more confident and competent in their work with young children, their families and colleagues, including colleagues who are duel language learners?

2. What is the capacity in this country to create a supply of teachers and assistant teachers with degrees in Early Childhood Education, if degrees are a requirement to work in an Early Childhood Education Program?

3. What is the cost to have teachers with degrees in Early Childhood Programs, especially in Community-based Organizations in under resourced neighborhood? Who will pay the cost and How? I believe asking questions in the absence of determining the cost and who will pay this cost, provides interesting conversations that produce few results that have a positive impact on young children, their families and those who work with them.

My experience as a life-long learner with several degrees is that these degrees made a difference in my ability to confidently and competently serve young children, their families and those who work with them. I found the opportunity to read books and research artilces and have conversations with classmates was valuable to my deepening my understanding of how to work effectively with young children and their families and contributed to my development as an emerging leader in the field of Early Childhood Education.

To me, beginning with questions about funding, the money needed to reach a goal, is important. Funding for the research to determine if a degree make a different in better outcomes for all children, a comprehensive compensation package for those working in the field of Early Chilldhood Education with degrees, etc.

I am pleased to say, at this time, there are a group of the City Councilmembers in the District of Columbia who seem to genuinely want to strengthen the quality of the Early Childhood Education System in the city. We have a Hearing Scheduled in September that begins to address compensation.

------------------------------
Robert Gundling, Ed.D.
Better Futures LLC
Senior Consultant
Washington, DC
------------------------------



7.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 26 days ago
The value of a solid education is worth the risk of getting in this country. I have seen in all my years in the Early Childhood field the importance  of having your voice heard by other educators who have the same understanding as you do. It creates a strong sense of professionalism that carries you for a life time! Yes, how will this be accomplished how can we come together to make the Early Childhood field a Profession. I was having the same conversation with a colleague who holds a Masters in Education, we both have the same thought that in order for our children to have a strong early start in life it is necessary for our young children to be educated so that education can be passed on in the most appropriate  manner.  We can start by having Group Teachers with 2 year degrees for infants and toddlers, B.S or B.A degrees for 3-4 year old. I worked hard to earn my degrees being the second in my family to have earned a Baccalaureate Degree. It can be done change is great for all of us and by having it no one can take it away from us!

------------------------------
Milagros Vargas-Neu
Edgewater NJ
------------------------------



8.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 26 days ago
We need to discuss emotional intelligence along with our discussion of education. A great deal of knowledge tends to be wasted if it isn't used in effective relationship. In the face of economic issues, it may be that we can only expect higher education at the top levels of early childcare. That can be fairly effective with mature leadership. The education these days needs to include biology and the ability to read research. I don';t see many effects of leadership reading books like From Neurons to Neighborhoods, which is like a necessary manual for early childhood education. This great work from many scientists and practitioner agencies is 17 years old, and needs additions from current science, but it is still of great value about the needs of the early childhood field. Without adequate education we would still be using corporal punishment, still fearing too much responsiveness to children's emotions, and things like not understanding how much can be added to a child's development by adult scaffolding.

------------------------------
Jack Wright
Success With Children
St. Ignatius MT
------------------------------



9.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 25 days ago
Related interesting food for thought in this article. The author examines the idea of apprecticeships as a vehicle for addressing some of the PD, equity and pay needs for the early childhood education field: https://na-production.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/Rethinking-Credential-Requirements-ECE.pdf

------------------------------
Beth Menninga
St. Paul, MN
------------------------------



10.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 25 days ago
Why are we still asking this question? We know that ages birth to five are the most critical in a person's development. Therefore we should be demanding the most highly qualified and educated professionals to be working with this age group. Why do we never ask if k-12 teachers need degrees?

------------------------------
Deborah Abelman
Watertown MA
------------------------------



11.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 24 days ago
THANK YOU Deborah!

I can not comprehend why we are pondering this question over and over. After reading some of the Young Child Journal I have noticed that many who write them all have degrees I wonder why if a degree has no meaning ? Really - A college education is a stepping stone for all in the Early Childhood Field. Many parents when registering their children into preschools ask the following question: How many years you have been teaching?,your certifications? Your degree ? What type of degree have you earned? How do you answer these questions when most of the parents expect the very best solid early education for their children whether in Head start or private! It is sad to think that in this era we are asking such an outrages question makes me think that we are holding those backwards instead of pushing forward to better ourselves.

------------------------------
Milagros Vargas-Neu
Edgewater NJ
------------------------------



12.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 24 days ago
The question of a degree in early childhood education should not be up for discussion anymore. The real question is how to provide an appropriate salary that reflects the professional credentials. Community childcare, on the whole, is unable to do this without charging very high tuitions. Public schools that are increasingly taking over the provision of prekindergarten programs (3 and 4 year olds) pay early childhood educators the same salary as all their teachers.

One person wrote that a child's growth and development in the early childhood years is critical to later learning and development. We need professionals who truly know and understand early childhood development and who know how to take the questions about the world that young children have and translate that into an environment that allows children to investigate and find answers. To do that, the teachers need broad academic content knowledge that a college education should provide and a full understanding of how children learn.

In addition, early childhood teachers need to learn how to document and reflect upon the learning taking place in their classrooms as well as document their own teaching and how effective it has been. This is a critical decision-making skill that students begin learning in a high-quality early childhood teacher education program.

So, yes, early childhood teachers need degrees.

------------------------------
Nora Krieger
Highland Park NJ
------------------------------



13.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 23 days ago
It is very frustrating that ECE are required to obtain degrees (CDA, Associates, Batchelors etc) but most Childcare Centers do not (or can't) raise the teacher's salary to reflect the degree they were required to get! I have been a teacher in an Infant Room for 17 years, obtained my CDA years ago and continue to take college courses for professional development and can honestly say, my rate of pay is embarrassing. I have heard that "things are changing for the better, teachers are receiving recognition for their hard work". If that's true in other parts of the country I'm happy for my colleagues in this profession. The Northeast (New England area) is not seeing this, very sad.






14.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 18 days ago
Yes, Ms. Waldman Early Childhood Educators teaching Preschool Children need degrees in their professional field. I can see a CDA for infants and toddlers however, 3-5 year olds  need educated teachers with a B.S in Child Development ,and or B.A in Early Childhood Education. A CDA is not enough to guide our children toward an educational growth for higher learning.

------------------------------
Milagros Vargas-Neu
Edgewater NJ
------------------------------



15.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 18 days ago
I have seen freshly-degreed teachers come into classrooms and be the worst teachers. All their book knowledge and minimal practicum experience did not prepare them for the reality of the day in and day out active time with children, the creativity and quick thinking it takes to navigate issues. Several realized they'd chosen the wrong field completely. On the other hand, I've seen teachers with "just CDAs" committed to the education of young children, passionate about the field, and attending whatever conferences and workshops that can to continue to learn. I was one of those teachers, so it hits close to home for me. ;)

Although I absolutely agree that we should be working towards a profession in which all teachers are degreed, and providing teachers with the flexibility, support, and wages to become so...just saying that those without a degree cannot or should not be educators can certainly alienate many quality, dedicated, and intelligent caregivers.

It's important to consider how we discuss this topic. Let's continue to push toward excellence and professionalizing the field, while still respecting those that have committed years to the field and bettering themselves as teachers (even if they did not have the resources or ability to complete a degree). This is why we need advocates for the ECE field - so that we can push for better wages for educators and flexible arrangements for degree completion.

If you haven't yet, check out NAEYC's Power to the Profession initiative. They're working hard, with other organizations invested in early childhood to define what the profession is, what education and qualifications it requires, and what proper compensation should be (among other things!). www.naeyc.org/profession

------------------------------
Lydia M. Bowers
Sexual Health Educator
NAEYC Affiliate Advisory Council
Cincinnati, Ohio
------------------------------



16.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 6 days ago
Thank you Lydia! I have been in this profession for 16+ years. I am 53 years old. Prior to childcare I was a hair surgeon Yes, a hair cutter who felt the cut was more important than the color, a perm, etc. One could have the best color, perm, highlights, etc. But without the cut to go with it, it just didn't matter. I did this for 20+ years. Being in the education field always pulled on my heart strings. So I began to get the schooling I needed. By then I was in my 30's (married at 21) with a new baby.  I'm in that pocket of generation that  some went to college, others didn't. We never had the funds to do so. Trading schools were a big part of my generation. Many of us on just now working on degrees. Nowadays, kids come out of high school with their Associates. Me, it took me years to earn my Associate's (which is only National. I'm working on getting a Regional Degree so I can finally earn my Bachelor's). The only reason I am doing so is because without a degree I cannot go any further. However, I work with many "kids" who have their Bachelor's in Education. With all due respect to them, their textbook knowledge pales to the experience and knowledge I've gained over the years. Yes it is frustrating, but at 53 years of age I will earn that  piece of paper. As a matter of fact, I might even have it dipped in gold and buried with me since it's been the thorn in my side that I apparently couldn't  get far without. I just hope that those who have earned their degrees much easier than I have appreciate it and have just as much love and commitment in their hearts than I do.

------------------------------
Patricia Sclafani
Fresno CA
------------------------------



17.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 18 days ago
Milagros Vargas-Neu,

I am extremely curious as to why you feel it is ok for Infant Toddler Teachers to have a CDA when you insist that Pre-K Teachers need bachelors. The vast majority of brain development happens in those first 3 years. The rate of development is far faster during the first 3 years. The foundations of trust, learning, and social skills are built in those first 3 years. The skills and knowledge needed to teach 0-3, particularly if we are following best practice and relationship based continuity models, is at least equal - if not higher - to what is needed to teach Pre-K.

Please do not diminish your colleagues and their work. We need to move forward with a voice that encompasses our entire field and holds all of us to the same standards.

Respectfully,

------------------------------
Benjamin Planton
Infant Toddler Outcome Specialist - Partnerships for Early Learners
NAEYC Affiliate Advisory Council
------------------------------



18.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 18 days ago
Hi Sue,



To me this is a yes and no question. Yes, because children need to receive a good starting foundation when it comes to their education and we know that Day Care Centers are the first teachers. Every parents wants their child to be successful in life, and having a good foundation from start is very important. But there are teachers without degree that do a beautiful job when following the course description and educating our children. Where do these teachers stand?

------------------------------
Petra Wickham-Charles
Brooklyn NY
------------------------------



19.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 17 days ago
First of all I wholeheartedly agree with ensuring infant/toddler teachers getting degrees. We should be working from the "bottom " up in all our efforts in developing programming instead of "top" down as that is how human development works.

As for all the talented teachers without degrees there should be many different avenues for obtaining the degree including credit for experience and CDAs. I have worked in degree programs in universities in several states and have had grave concerns about the quality of these programs. But that's a topic for a different discussion.

------------------------------
Deborah Abelman
Watertown MA
------------------------------



20.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 17 days ago
Learning through play in a safe and nurturing environment is vital for quality early education programs.  However, it is also an important time for educational professionals to evaluate young children for any indicators of future developmental or learning differences.  States have Early Intervention Programs (Tennessee's is TEIS) that give support to children ages 0-2 and their families who have recognized learning or developmental delays.  If we believe that early identification and intervention is crucial, it follows that it is essential  that early childhood centers have degreed, knowledgeable staff who are trained  to make  quality front-line assessments as they work with children.  Perhaps the answers to both quality programming concerns plus cost concerns can be addressed by creating educator teams that are a mix of professional levels and talents for each age group.

------------------------------
Julie Petcu
NAEYC Affiliate
Nashville TN
------------------------------



21.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 13 days ago
What is a "talented" teacher? You separate the talented teacher from a degreed teacher. There are many running gears to teaching. Teachers need to develop and integrate all aspects of what it means to be an effective and "talented" teacher. We need to come to some agreement on what that means. I am not sure that we are there as of now.

I agree that it would be nice to have highly educated teachers in infant/toddler classrooms but the pay is so low, it will never happen until we address this issue. I think the work of Power to the Profession is very important but we must be careful not to make it so rigid that there is no flexibility in how one can enter the profession. We need to make sure that teachers who want to and are going to teach children from birth to age 8 are prepared for those ages and not mix it up with upper elementary preparation. I see the third grade as a transition year, which I know is a heretic position.

More importantly, early childhood teachers need to have content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge to be effective teachers. It is not about having "any" degree to teach in early childhood, it is about having the knowledge concerning children of these ages along with the academic content knowledge to create an environment where children have exciting and developmentally appropriate experiences that lead to learning and development.

------------------------------
Nora Krieger
Highland Park NJ
------------------------------



22.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 9 days ago
Of course teachers need good education!  Incentives can help make this feasible and worthwhile. One way to solve the financing problem is to have different ratio criteria for qualified teachers.  If it is 1:3 for infant caregivers with a CDA , make it 1:4 for caregivers with an AAS in ECE and 1:5 for caregivers with a BA in child development with relevant coursework and experience with infants.  The tuition for the additional children should go directly to the caregiver.  The same can be done with preschool 1:10, 1:11, 1:12.
It is the most simple way to help fund the cost of having educated teachers, although in most locations subsidy is still needed to bring compensation into the competitive range for teaching.

------------------------------
Patricia Meritt
Fairbanks AK
------------------------------



23.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 9 days ago
I couldn't disagree with Patricia more.  Just because a teacher has more academic qualifications does not mean he/she should care for more children. Those ratios are set, hopefully, to make it a good experience for the child, and to make it practical for the teacher. I do not work in a daycare, but teachers who do are entrusted with the care of those children which goes way beyond academics.  Teachers nurture, care, converse, play, comfort---so much that cannot be taught in a college classroom.  I'm all for higher education, but that does not always --translate to what the child needs in their day----teachers prepare for the child but then must be ready to follow where the child leads--and the more children in your care, the less that can happen.

------------------------------
Lorraine Hegarty
Jenkintown PA
------------------------------



24.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 7 days ago
I am a toddler teacher with a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction and over 25 years teaching experience. I could not disagree more with Patricia. My education does not give me more "hands" to give my little ones the individual attention and care that they deserve. What my education does give me is the knowledge about brain development and child development to prepare developmentally appropriate lessons and set up centers that meet the children's needs. The ratio of children to teachers here in PA is 4:1 for infants and 5:1 for toddlers and that is challenging enough! I respectfully request that people stop recommending giving teachers with more education more children.


------------------------------
Kathy Pelosi
Warminster PA
------------------------------



25.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 7 days ago
Although there are no easy answers to improving early childhood education while keeping quality childcare within financial reach of all familes, increasing the child to adult ratio is not the best answer.  Studies show, time and again, that increasing class size (even with additional adults in the room) decreases the quality of the educational experience for children.

------------------------------
Melissa Wilson
Alexandria VA
------------------------------



26.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 6 days ago
Thank you, Kathy, for taking this discussion in another direction. I think the question is not whether early childhood educators need a degree or even "What degree do they need?". As a college instructor, I have worked with students with degrees and students without degrees and it is not the degree but the skills and knowledge that makes them successful at supporting the growth and development of young children.

Kathy mentioned knowledge of child development and the skill to assess what each individual child needs in the learning environment. Some early childhood educators have these skills as a result of formal education, others gained the very same skills through first-hand experience. Adults, just like children, learn best in different ways. I think there are many pathways to gaining the skills and knowledge needed to be successful. What I think needs to be clarified is what we want early childhood professionals to know and be able to do. Some call these competencies. Others may refer to them as standards or qualifications. Not unlike the Early Learning Standards, it would be helpful to agree on expectations in a number of content areas for early childhood educators. Then we can provide a variety of paths for people to choose from that will prepare them to  meet those expectations.

------------------------------
Linda Boss
Lewistown PA
------------------------------



27.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 5 days ago
I believe the problem lies within the restricted walls of having to have a degree in the first place and then having to have the specific courses. Indeed, there are different types of learners. Unfortunately, to be able to utilize our skills and talents we're just given one path to choose from to have doors open- the degree path. Gone are the days that we put together an honest to goodness resume' without inflating it. If your actions meet up to the standards in your resume' you're good to go. You work your way up the totem pole by excellent work ethics, etc. Now, the degree has taken that spot. However, many places learn that although people have a degree some can hardly put one foot in front of the other to guide a child, let alone assisting a child on the most important years of their education!

Respectfully,
Patricia S.

------------------------------
Patricia Sclafani
Fresno CA
------------------------------



28.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 5 days ago
I totally agree with Patricia!  I have worked in this field for 10 years and the teachers that have degrees have shown that they are not very loving to the children, they want to teach in a way that's not age appropriate, and they don't know how to communicate with parents.  The teachers that have their CDA's seem to know better what to do in a classroom.

------------------------------
[Kim] [Richards]
[4's lead teacher]
First Years Community Preschool
[Massillon [Ohio]
------------------------------



29.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 5 days ago
Having started in the field of ECE working in a child care program without a degree and now teaching in higher education, I'm deeply concerned about the debate of the "good" teachers without a degree versus those with a degree.  Those who say that we shouldn't lose teachers who have been in the field for many years without a degree should remember that there was a time when they were "green" teachers as well.  Yes, much was learned on the job, and some of that was the caring aspect as well as working with parents.  I have seen teachers without degrees doing very INAPPROPRIATE things in their classrooms, and it takes much more than caring to be a high quality teacher.  In the same way, young teachers with degrees may need time to develop their skills, so they shouldn't be written off simply because they aren't perfect when they begin working.  Many of the students in our ECE program are employed in local child care programs, so they are getting a great deal of experience, in addition to their practicum placements, while they are studying for their bachelor's degree.  As for having the ability to train more teachers, our ECE faculty has doubled, from 5 to 10, and we are seeing increases in demand for our programs.

If we want to become a profession, we definitely do need competencies/standards, or whatever you want to call them.  It is my understanding that higher ed institutions would then have to agree to teach those competencies.  We look forward to a common set of required competencies to guide our instruction.  I would also then ask that those who are "good"teachers without degrees be required to demonstrate their ability to meet those same competencies or they should not be considered part of the profession.

I apologize if I appear to come across as harsh, but we will not move forward to becoming a profession if we continue to say that a degree should not be a requirement.  Would you want a hospital nurse with a good bedside manner, but who does not know how to administer a shot or start an IV?  How about a semi-truck driver with a friendly attitude, but not a CDL to demonstrate that he knows how to be careful driving on the road?

Also, as has already been noted, there are forces at work to increase salaries.  As with getting degrees, this will not be a quick nor easy process; however, we should support those who are working to make the changes.

As has already been mentioned, if you have not yet checked out NAEYC's Power to the Profession, I encourage you to do so.

------------------------------
Linda Taylor
Muncie IN
------------------------------



30.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 3 days ago
Thank you, Lynda!
It seems to be the people without degrees who keep asking why they are necessary.  They would not go to a surgeon who hadn't graduated from medical school.
If we are ever going to be considered professional, we need to accept the notion of actual professionalism.
Yes, there are some very caring people without degrees and some uncaring ones with degrees.  Nobody gets a degree in caring.  It's up to those who are hiring to choose people who are both educationally qualified (degreed) AND caring.  As a director for many years, I always looked for both.  And, btw, I didn't hire anyone - aide, assistant, etc. without at least an AA degree in ECE.  We always had a great program.
I agree with all of those who are wondering why we are still asking this question. Probably because we are in the field that pays the absolute lowest pay for any profession requiring a degree.  When pay is on a scale with other professions, people without the degrees will have more impetus to get them and hopefully, this question will stop.
When?  I don't know.  I've been wondering when we'll get decent pay for more than 50 years....

------------------------------
Ellen Cogan
Hilltop Early Childhood Services
Rego Park NY
------------------------------



31.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 4 days ago
I have to say I'm a bit offended that you lump all degreed teachers this way. That may be your experience, but it certainly has not been mine.

I graduated with my Bachelor's degree 17 years ago, but began working in a daycare when I was in highschool. I've been in the field for 24 years! I'm starting my 9th year as a classroom teacher for preschool, I have also been a Parent Educator for a Parents as Teachers program and run an in-home daycare. I am also beginning my Master's degree this fall.

I do agree that as a country, we need to adjust our teacher preparation systems. I think we need to do a better job of mentoring new teachers. There is something to be said for actual classroom experience. However, do not discount those who are just starting out. We were all once new to the field. We all have learned along the way.

If you see a teacher doing something you feel is inappropriate, ask them about it. Find out why. We should be doing this to any one in education regardless of the degrees they hold. They may have a good reason, or they may need a shift in thier thinking.

Please do not lump groups of people together, that doesn't help anyone.

------------------------------
[Heather] [Finnegan]
[Preschool Teacher]
[Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with School]
[Delavan] [WI]
------------------------------



32.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 3 days ago
Kimberly, it is unfortunate that your experience has been that degreed teachers are not as loving toward the children and do not prepare developmentally appropriate lessons; however, please do not make the assumption that this is always the case. As a toddler teacher with a Masters degree I feel that I am very loving toward the children and prepare very appropriate lessons. A CDA does not provide the depth of knowledge that an advanced degree affords. Teachers of all levels need both knowledge and a caring disposition to provide high quality care.

------------------------------
Kathy Pelosi
Warminster PA
------------------------------



33.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 6 days ago
With all due respect, I disagree with your ratio ideas. This cannot possibly work in all settings, especially when there is a special needs child who would need more attention. I have been teaching for 16+ years in the early childcare setting and quite frankly, I devote my life to the highest of quality. Your ratios would hinder that quality.
Respectfully,

Patricia S.

------------------------------
Patricia Sclafani
Fresno CA
------------------------------



34.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 3 days ago
This is such a difficult issue to debate because their are valid reasons both for earning degrees and against it.  I wish we could look at this issue on a case-by-case basis.  Of course, qualified and competent teachers who have dedicated to the field and their children should not have to take on the unnecessary burden of earning an expensive degree when they are already providing quality care and education to children and are continuing their professional development, but we also want to send a very clear message that children's early childhood development is of critical importance and a lot of what happens during this time can have a significant impact on a child's development!

I do believe that directors and administrators should hold Bachelor degrees as they are heavily involved in the curriculum development, professional support and administration of programs.  That should be a given, and of course, ideally, their salaries would reflect this task.  However, what about the case of teachers who really do need to further their education to provide children with the best learning environment and experiences? As a previous poster mentioned,  we must be competent and knowledgeable ourselves in math, science, literacy, etc. in order to educate and support young children. An early childhood degree will often provide not only the basic foundations of the academic skills necessary, but also the early childhood courses will support the best practices for effective teaching strategies and pedagogy.

------------------------------
Ludmila Battista
Kaplan University
Early Childhood Education
------------------------------



35.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 2 days ago
I have to agree with those who understand the importance of having a degree and not just a degree in fields that has nothing to do with children. Our children deserve a quality early childhood education where children are respected and guided appropriately.  With that said again and again a CDA = Child Development Associate = entry level training = advancement to attend college to further educate yourself in the field. I never went for my CDA I decided it was best to attend college and work hard while being an Assistant to move up the ladder. In order to that I had to go and study at night to earn my degrees-A.A.D in Early Childhood. B.S in Child Development and a Montessori Certificate all worth while to better guide the children I teach. It is also very rewarding to accomplish these milestone for your own self-worth!

------------------------------
Milagros Vargas-Neu
Edgewater NJ
------------------------------



36.  RE: Why do you think early childhood educators need degrees?

Posted 2 days ago
To me the issue is about holding our higher education programs accountable in ensuring they are providing appropriate quality education that fits the needs of the students. I have taught in two different higher education programs in two different regions of the country and left academia because I felt they were more about perpetuating their own needs than the needs of their students. I recently went to a meeting sponsored by higher education and their arrogance was overwhelming. Until we address this issue we are not going to be able to come to consensus about whether early education and care teachers should have a degree.

------------------------------
Deborah Abelman
Watertown MA
------------------------------



'