For anyone that works in the field of early childhood education, having certifications can make a significant difference in both your short-term and long-term career. Not only does it demonstrate a commitment to the profession and teach you a myriad of valuable new tools, but it can also lead to increased job opportunities and higher compensation over time.
If you are looking for ways to find the right certification programs for your needs, here are some tips for finding the best opportunity for you and your career whether you are working towards a child development associate (CDA), a Director’s Credential, or continuing your formal education to complete your Associates, Bachelors’ or other advanced degrees.
Find an Accredited Service that Provides CEUs
The first step in finding a certification program is to look for one that offers CEU credits. You want to be able to work towards your CEU requirements while earning your certification. An accredited program also ensures that the subject matter in the courses has been thoroughly reviewed by other professionals in the field and certified for their quality.
You’ll also want to be sure to look for a service that offers a wide range of courses that are continuously updated to reflect the most up-to-date best practices possible. You should have the option to choose from topics and focuses that best suit the needs of your classroom and school.
Pick Certifications that Align with Your School’s Operations
When selecting a certificate program, you want to pursue a certification that can have an immediate benefit on your operations in your school. It is important to spend your time learning about the research-backed methods that can have a direct benefit in your specific classroom.
Think Outside the Box
While you want to seek a course that will apply to your school, you aren’t limited to advancing your education on subjects that you already know. You can also choose to enroll in certification programs that introduce something new to your classroom culture or help you move outside your comfort zone. Doing so helps introduce new ideas, perspectives, and teaching methods while providing you with the means to efficiently implement them in your school.
Decide Whether You Want Online or In-Person Classes
Certification programs can either be completed in-person or online, so you’ll have to choose which option makes the most sense for you and your schedule. Online classes are flexible, affordable, and can take place from virtually anywhere.
Meanwhile, in-person classes provide the added benefit of in-person interaction with instructors and peers, but they require that you live nearby and can clear space in your schedule to travel to and from lessons. There are benefits to both virtual and in-person classes, so you just have to evaluate which option is best for you.
Ask Your Certification Program if there are Exams to Earn Credentials
Not all certifying programs require that you pass an exam to obtain their credentials, but many of them do. If you have an exam that you are required to complete in order to show your competency in the subject matter, be sure to take thorough notes during your lessons so that you can take and complete the exam with greater confidence.
If you do not pass the exam, make sure the certification program provides a reasonable timeframe to retake the exam so that you can earn your new credentials in a timely manner without having to retake the entire course.
If you would prefer not to take an exam, be sure to find a course that specifically states that they don’t require one. This may be more difficult than finding one with an exam, but it is possible.
Share Certification Programs with Other Teachers at Your School
Certification programs are a great way to improve your school on a larger scale than individual classrooms. When all of the instructors in your school are continuously learning and improving, it benefits all of the students.
As an administrator, you can enroll your entire staff in a certification program that allows teachers to select the certifications that are most relevant and interesting to them. As a teacher, you could ask administrators to enroll by explaining the benefits that they have beyond earning CEUs. This will allow the entire school staff to cohesively work on improving the education that they provide to students.
Enroll in Innovative Preschool Certification Programs Today
Impact Early Education offers a wide selection of CEU certification courses designed by preschool teachers for other preschool teachers. Our courses, starting as low as $25, cover a range of topics and allow you to improve your classroom skills while earning CEUs on your own schedule.
Contact us to learn more about becoming a member today.