Skip Navigation
Request Info
Request Information


What Can You Do with an Early Childhood Education Diploma?

Posted: August 16, 2021


An early childhood education diploma can prepare you for a career as a child caregiver, an assistant teacher, or a teacher’s aide.

If you love working with kids, then there’s a lot you can do with an early childhood education diploma—and Career Quest Learning Centers can help you take the first step. Our Child Care Assistant diploma program can get you started in your new career in just 10 months.

Contact our Admissions team to find out how you can join our diploma program. Classes start every five weeks, so there are plenty of opportunities to join in and start taking steps toward your career in early childhood education.

First, let’s talk about the top three fulfilling careers that our Child Care Assistant diploma can prepare you for.

Check Out Our Child Care Courses

1. Child Caregiver

Working as a child caregiver is something that you’ll be qualified for with an early childhood education diploma. These professionals typically work in child care centers and private daycares. They may also run their own daycare out of their home if they have enough experience in the field.

In this role, you’ll provide a safe and educational environment for children while their parents are at work. A lot of your tasks will involve helping children take care of basic needs, like dressing and feeding, as well as supervising play and nap times. Some other responsibilities may include:

  • Planning and implementing structured, educational group activities
  • Preparing, organizing, and supervising mealtimes and snacks
  • Planning and supervising balanced routines, including rest and playtime
  • Notifying supervisors and parents of any signs of emotional or developmental issues in children
  • Providing responsible care and ensuring a safe, sanitary environment

Child Caregiver Work Environment

As a child caregiver, you’ll provide parents with peace of mind that their children are in good hands while they’re at work. So, you’ll find yourself working in a variety of environments. You may even work at an office or in a gym where parents can drop off their children before work or exercise.

In general, most child caregivers will work for the following employers:

  • Child daycare centers
  • Self-employed
  • Private households
  • Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations
  • Elementary and secondary schools

Eventually, after you’ve gained enough experience, you may even decide to convert a portion of your living space into a dedicated space for children and work as a self-employed child caregiver. Talk to our Career Services Department if this is one of your long-term goals.

Child Caregiver Pay and Career Outlook

Child caregivers provide an important service, so it’s no wonder that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that this career will grow by 2% between 2019 and 2029, and add approximately 19,500 new workers to the field.*

Additionally, the BLS indicates that the median pay for child caregivers is around $25,460 per year or $12.24 per hour in 2020.* Keep in mind that this is the median pay, so half of all workers will earn more and half will earn less. Your actual pay rate will also vary depending on your employer, location, and other factors.

2. Assistant Teacher

A diploma in early childhood education can also prepare you for an entry-level role as an assistant teacher. Assistant teachers oversee students when the teacher isn’t present—typically in non-classroom settings like lunch, recess, and field trips. They also work with small groups of students or one-on-one with individual students to reinforce educational lessons.

Overall, the exact duties of an assistant teacher will vary quite a bit based on the particular needs of the classroom or district where they work. However, this is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to work in an educational setting and help children learn. Some common responsibilities you’ll have as an assistant teacher include:

  • Preparing classroom equipment and instructional materials for lessons
  • Taking attendance and logging student grades
  • Instructing students on proper classroom procedures and behavior
  • Collaborating with teachers and parents on student progress
  • Adapting instructional materials to meet special education guidelines

Assistant Teacher Work Environment

Since their role is so heavily involved in the educational process, it’s no surprise that the majority of assistant teachers work in elementary and secondary schools. According to the BLS, elementary and secondary schools employ 78% of all assistant teachers.** Other employers include child daycare services.

As for their work schedules, most assistant teachers work full-time. However, part-time work is also common, so there’s truly a schedule for every lifestyle in this role.

Assistant Teacher Pay and Career Outlook

The BLS predicts that the assistant teacher role will grow by 4% between 2019 and 2029 and that 50,500 new employees will enter the career.** Will you be one of them? If so, then the BLS indicates that the median pay in 2020 for assistant teachers was around $28,900 per year.**

Remember, this is the median pay across all assistant teachers. So, some will earn more and some will earn less. Your exact pay will also depend on your experience, location, employer, and many other factors.

3. Teacher’s Aide

Teacher’s aides assist teachers in the instructional process, making this another great career choice for anyone who wants to work in education. In this position, you’ll work with students in small groups or one-on-one to review lessons and ensure students understand the material. You’ll also assist teachers in the preparation of instructional materials and help to implement lesson plans.

A large part of the teacher’s aide role involves assisting students with their academic and/or physical needs to help them better access the educational environment. Some responsibilities you may have as a teacher’s aide include:

  • Performing clerical duties, like grading student tests, logging grades, and taking attendance
  • Assisting students with toilet routines and diapering if necessary
  • Observing student behavior and reporting to teachers and parents
  • Assisting students with completing classroom assignments
  • Preparing for classroom activities and implementing lesson plans
  • Tutoring students one-on-one or in small groups

Teacher’s Aide Work Environment

Similar to assistant teachers, the majority of teacher’s aides work in schools. The BLS notes that approximately 70% of teacher’s aides work in public schools and 8% work in private schools.** Additionally, 11% of teacher’s aides are employed by child daycare services.**

Since teacher’s aides work primarily in schools, many of them have time off during the summer, and can use that time to pursue other careers, like tutoring, working in a daycare center, or any other work that interests them.

Teacher’s Aide Pay and Career Outlook

Since teacher’s aides and assistant teachers are so similar, they also have a similar career outlook. The BLS predicts a 4% growth rate for teacher’s aide and teaching assistant roles.**

As for pay, the BLS indicates that the median pay for teacher’s aides who work in schools was between $29,100 to $29,320 per year in 2020.** For teacher’s aides who work in daycare centers, the median pay in 2020 was around $25,590 per year.** Of course, your actual pay rate will vary.

Satisfying Career Options for Your Early Childhood Education Diploma

At Career Quest, we always want to set our students up for success in a fulfilling career that matches their skills and interests. If early childhood education is a field you’re interested in, then our Child Care Assistant diploma can prepare you for a variety of satisfying careers in the child care field.

To start, we recommend taking our Career Training Readiness Quiz to find out how career training can be the right next step for you. Once you’re a student with us, our Career Services Department can help you find a career that’s aligned with your goals.

Our Career Services Department helps with a variety of employment search tasks, including resumé and cover letter writing and interview prep. We also offer lifetime career placement assistance for all our students to ensure that they stay on the right path.

Should I Get an Early Childhood Education Diploma?

If you enjoy working with children and think you’d make a good teacher, then an early childhood education diploma could be a great fit for your interests. In general, this career path can be ideal for you if you are:

  • Patient when communicating with children
  • Resourceful and adaptable
  • Detail-oriented when managing recordkeeping
  • A team player who can work collaboratively with teachers and parents
  • Able to maintain focus and control in chaotic or noisy environments
  • Passionate about child development and care
  • Creative and willing to sing, dance, and be silly with children

Physically, child care workers need to be able to sit on the floor, bend, and lift children regularly throughout the day, so it’s important to keep these physical fitness requirements in mind.

How to Get an Early Childhood Education Diploma in Just 10 Months

As you can see, there’s so much you can do with an early childhood education diploma. If you think that this career path might be the right one for you, then you can earn your diploma in just 10 months by attending a career college.

At Career Quest, we have a Child Care Assistant diploma program that’s carefully designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in daycare or child care facilities. As a student in this program, you’ll take a variety of classes, like:

  • Foundations of Early Childhood
  • Growth and Development: 0-10 years
  • Child and Guidance Prep
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Math & Science and Art & Creativity
  • Health, Safety & Nutrition
  • Program Operation

All classes are delivered in lab, lecture, and work-based environments, so you can receive a well-rounded education with both classroom and hands-on experience. We have straightforward class scheduling too. We’ll take care of selecting your courses for you, so you know you’re taking the right classes in the right order to receive your diploma and start your early childhood education career in just 10 months.

Internship and Certification Opportunities for Your Early Childhood Education Diploma

In addition to the courses that you’ll take at our career college, you’ll round out your early childhood education diploma by completing a required internship, during which you’ll gain real-world experience in our on-site child care center, Little Rainbows.

To cap off your internship, you’ll also create a portfolio that’ll be reviewed by a Child Development Associate® (CDA) professional development specialist from the National CDA Council. CDA credentials are awarded from The Council for Professional Recognition, which is the leader in the credentialing of early childhood educators worldwide.

Our program will also prepare you to sit for your CDA certification. Having this optional credential shows future employers that you’re well prepared to foster the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth of young children, which can help to improve your future employability.

How Our Career College Helps You Get Ahead

Our goal is to help you start a new career you love, quickly. That’s why we offer a well-rounded early childhood education diploma that can be completed in less than one year. We also provide additional benefits to our students, like:

Small Class Sizes
We keep our class sizes capped at 25 students or less. This allows you to get the personalized attention you need from your instructor to ensure you fully understand the course materials.

Frequent Start Dates
New classes begin every five weeks, so you have plenty of opportunities to start on the path toward your next career

Financial Aid and Tuition Discounts to Qualifying Students
Every student who applies to our career college is eligible to apply for financial aid. As an accredited college, we’re able to offer local, state, and federal aid and grants to qualifying students. We also have several tuition discount programs, like our Michigan Works! tuition discount program and our Dislocated Worker Discount. Speak to our Financial Aid department to find out how you can qualify for any of our programs.

Inclusive Tuition
Our tuition covers all classroom materials, so you know that you won’t have any unexpected costs or fees.

No General Education Requirements
Our Child Care Assistant diploma program cuts right to the chase. We don’t include any “general education” courses as a part of our program. You only spend time learning about what’s most relevant to your future career.

Get Your Child Care Assistant Diploma at Career Quest

Are you ready to start a career in early childhood education? You can get your diploma at Career Quest in just 10 months. Contact our Admissions team to enroll in our Child Care Assistant diploma program today!