All You Need to Know About Early Childhood Education
Updated: May 24
For those of you who are drawn to the tiny humans, you may be interested in Early Childhood Education (ECE)! There are a lot of similarities between EL ED and ECE, but they are each unique in their own way.
There are so many amazing aspects to studying Early Childhood Education, but we will try to limit it to five fun facts:
#1 Age of Students
Most people wonder “what is the biggest difference between Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education?” That would be the age of the students they teach. ECE students learn to teach children from preschool to 3rd grade and earn a teaching license for grades PreK-3. ECE majors become experts in teaching young children in developmentally appropriate ways. You could think of ECE majors as the “specialists” with focus on all aspects of a child's development: social, emotional, physical, and cognitive.
#2 On-Site Preschool and Kindergarten
The McKay School offers students the chance to gain experience right here on campus. There is a preschool and kindergarten located right next to the McKay (MCKB) building, the Child and Family Studies Laboratory, otherwise known as the Lab School. Students in the ECE program have the chance to observe students and teachers in these classrooms, as well as actually work in them later on in the program. As they say, the best way to learn is through experience.
#3 Become a Child Development Expert
The Early Childhood Education program includes a mix of child development classes! In addition to learning HOW to teach, you also get to study the developmental progressions of children as they grow physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Becoming an expert in the stages of child development will allow you to teach more effectively and cater to the needs of young children. One of the required prerequisites, ECE 202, is a close reflection of what this program is like, so if you enjoy that class, this is the place for you! In addition, because you take quite a few development classes, you can easily take a few more classes to complete a family life minor.
#4 Professors Are Invested
The ECE professors really care, which helps you care. If you feel like you want to help children succeed now, just wait until you learn from the professors here at BYU; They’ll inspire you even more! The ECE professors are constantly working with teachers in local schools and in the Lab School on campus so they keep current on the best teaching methods and understand the new challenges that young children face in a rapidly changing world.
#5 You Truly Are Making A Difference
You change lives. As a future educator you might hear that A LOT, but it's true! Teaching the younger grades allows you to help kids learn how to how to deal with emotions, write, read, and work in teams; this is basic knowledge that prepares them for future education. This will open doors to them in the future, allow them to be successful, and lead them to opportunities that only a strong foundational education can provide.
The following classes are prerequisite courses that need to be taken before you apply to the program. Check them out to see if you're interested in ECE!
SFL 210 Human Development (you will need to take this one before ECE 202)
EL ED 200 Introduction to Education
ECE 202 Foundations of Child Development
The Early Childhood Education major is seriously amazing. This is just a little bit of information about it, but if you have any questions about what it is like to be an Early Childhood Education major, contact us here!
For more information, visit: https://education.byu.edu/ted/early_childhood