10 reasons why a B.Ed. in Early Childhood Education could help your career
A Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in Early Childhood Education can seem daunting due to the energy, time and finances required. What’s the value of the Level 8 degree?
Hibernia College has designed a flexible B.Ed. (Honours) in Early Childhood Education to help you become a recognised professional in the field of Early Learning and Care (ELC). The degree is validated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and meets the professional award criteria of the Qualifications Advisory Board (QAB).
Have a look below at 10 reasons to consider this investment in your career.
1. Open doors
ELC is one of the most rapidly growing sectors in Ireland. Government has increased its investment by more than 137% since 2019, with the intent to transform the sector to a graduate-led profession. Getting a B.Ed. in Early Childhood Education will show employers that you have advanced knowledge and specific skills to lead in ELC.
The degree will open doors to these employment pathways:
• Early Childhood Educator
• Parent Support Advisor
• Early Childhood Educator for Professional Learning (academic educator)
• Early Childhood Researcher
• Early Childhood Inspector
• Early Childhood Education Policy Developer
• Early Childhood Community Engagement Consultant/Developer
• Early Childhood Education Officer with an NGO
• Early Childhood Educator with special/inclusive education expertise
• Leader, Manager and/or Principal Educator in an early childhood public and/or private setting
2. Meet changing criteria
Qualification criteria is changing in early childhood education and care provision. The QAB has established new criteria for all qualifications and has specific targets to ensure a graduate-led workforce by 2028 (read more in First 5: a whole-of-Government strategy for babies, young children and their families). These new standards will be based on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Earning an NFQ Level 8 degree will help you be prepared for the upcoming qualification criteria changes.
3. Develop your professional portfolio
Develop your professional identity, as well as your professional portfolio. Current and future employers will be impressed to view tangible evidence of your learning and practice journey. A Hibernia College graduate’s portfolio includes: creative resources; professional blogs; collaborative and innovative observations on practice; reports on policy and legislation, identifying new ideas and possibilities; professional practice placement observations from groups of 0-8-year-olds and inclusive special education settings; collaboration with allied professionals; and research interests and ideas — all in one easy-to-access digital location.
4. Master technological tools
You’ve finally figured out Zoom and you’re well-versed in Internet search — but have you considered using developmentally appropriate technology while working with children? A B.Ed. degree in Early Childhood Education from Hibernia College will give you a deep understanding of how to use technology as an educational tool to support and safeguard babies and young children. With a degree from Ireland’s first online third-level institution, you’ll become an expert in cutting-edge technology and interactive media for the early childhood care setting.
5. Learn from mentors
Sir Isaac Newton is credited with saying, ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’. If one of the world’s greatest mathematicians and scientists can learn from mentors, surely, we all can. You’ll benefit from the support and guidance of tutors, all of whom are experienced practitioners in the early childhood sector. Further, you will ‘stand on the shoulders’ of your very own Placement Educator and Peer Mentor during Professional Practice Placement.
6. Build your professional network
You’ll meet others who share your passion to educate and support young children. You and your fellow students will become holistic, highly competent, and research-engaged practitioners who can support each other’s career development. Your professional network will grow exponentially with these connections and those of your tutors — in Europe and internationally.
7. Promote child-centered philosophy
You believe children deserve the very best education and protection, but how can that be ensured? Your educational journey will teach you to interpret and apply ethical principles and inclusive practices in early childhood education settings, to ultimately become a transformative leader who promotes a rights-based approach where voices of children are heard.
8. Improve your knowledge and skills
A B.Ed. degree signals an independent learner who is skilled in critical thinking, reading and writing at university level. In the Hibernia College programme, you’ll gain knowledge of and practice in the areas of special education, inclusion and diversity in early intervention, early education and research methods. Colleagues, managers and parents will seek out your expertise on early childhood education research and methods.
9. Uphold quality
Foster children’s creativity, aesthetic awareness, meaning making and imagination consistently and equitably. In the B.Ed. programme, you’ll explore Aistear, the National Curriculum Framework and Síolta, the National Quality Framework in new and innovative ways. You’ll also learn to interpret and apply legislative policies and procedures, to ensure quality provision and best practice.
10. Increase your earning potential
While no degree programme can offer salary guarantees upon graduation, the rate of pay in ELC is predicted to rise. Government is establishing a Joint Labour Committee to determine a payscale as a result of organisation and activism within the sector regarding compensation. Earning a Level 8 degree, with all the benefits that are a part of the journey (deeper knowledge, skills, research practice, mentorship, connections) and in advance of the criteria changes outlined above, could increase your earning potential. Furthermore, the Hibernia College B.Ed. (Honours) in Early Childhood Education is flexible, allowing you to work while you study and progress your career along the way.