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Professionals specializing in early childhood education are typically qualified for a number of professional positions including teaching, counseling and consulting. Early childhood education consultants work in a variety of capacities. They are qualified to become school teachers or administrators, assist educators in grades pre-K through 5 in developing curriculums, identifying and implementing new learning strategies and creating specialized programs for at-risk students who are slow learners or have learning disabilities.
Obtain a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from an accredited college or university. Areas of study should focus on research methodology, early education practices and techniques and mental and emotional child development. You may opt to go on to secure a master’s or doctoral degree if you have an interest in teaching early childhood development consulting in a higher education setting.
Secure an internship or job shadowing opportunity that will give you hands-on experience in one or more areas of specialized interest. The placement or career counseling office of your educational institution can assist you in identifying such opportunities. This approach will help you decide whether the career path you’re interested in is a good match in practice. It will also allow you to make contacts that could lead to future employment and consulting opportunities.
Narrow the focus of the career path you would like to pursue in early childhood education consulting. Options include working as a full- or part-time consultant for a public school district or a private school or as an independent contractor. An independent contractor is a self-employed position in which you will market yourself and your skills and services on a contractual basis to educational institutions.
Search for employment opportunities in line with the career path you’ve chosen. Attend university job fairs, join educational networking groups, employ a headhunter or sign up with an employment agency that specializes in educational job placement. You may also search job postings at the educational institutes of your choice or send your resume to organizations you have an interest in working with.
Obtain a business license if you plan to work as a freelance consultant. You can do this by contacting your local business licensing bureau or visiting the website of your state's Attorney General's Office.
Earning potential for early childhood education consultants increases with the level of your education and experience.
Consider taking elementary education courses in conjunction with early childhood education courses. This will make you more versatile and will give you greater flexibility in education-related career opportunities.
Early childhood education is a constantly evolving field that will require you to participate in continuing education activities throughout the course of your career.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.