November 1, 2014

What Are ECE Units And How Do I Get Them?

ECE units refer to early childhood education units. They are essentially units of measure akin to credits for courses related to early childhood education or early childhood development. Having them as part of your skill set is important if you want to obtain early childhood education jobs that work with and teach young children, infants, and toddlers. Currently, once you earn units there is no yearly requirement to maintain your standing as a professional. This means that if you are required to earn 20 units to become a preschool teacher, for example, there is no known requirement to keep taking courses every year in order to stay employed. It’s beneficial to you however, to keep up to date with the newest advancements in early childhood education, and so you are encouraged to keep taking courses that earn them.

Why do I need them?

ECE Units - PurposeYou need them for 3 primary purposes:

1. To fulfill your development as an ECE professional in order to obtain an early childhood development degree or certificate in an ECE program.

2. To satisfy requirements for certain jobs, such as a preschool teacher, child development assistant, or site supervisor.

3. To further your understanding of how you can setup young children for success through teaching and interaction.

The requirements are fairly straightforward in that you need to take ECE courses to earn your degree, certificate, or be employed in a licensed ECE position (e.g. a preschool teacher or site supervisor).

Where can I get them?

Early Childhood Education CoursesYou can earn units by taking courses in any post-secondary institution such as a community college, college, or university. Check your local institution and examine the course syllabuses. As long as it’s specifically mentioned that you will earn early childhood education units from the course, then you can take it to accumulate units towards your career.

It’s also possible to obtain units from online early childhood education classes. The advantage of this type of education is that it can be done remotely from home during your own schedule. For those with transportation difficulties to and from a school campus, online ECE courses are a viable option in furthering their education.

How long does it take to earn them?

This is completely dependent on how many courses or programs you are taking. If you are only taking some ECE courses to earn 6 credits for example, this could be as short as several months in a school semester. Alternatively, if you are pursuing a degree program comprised of over 100 credits, it could take 2-3 years to complete with full-time study. If you can only manage to do part-time studies, then you should expect the amount of time taken to be longer than if you were enrolled full-time. For those balancing a full-time job and doing studies on the side, taking early childhood education classes onlineis a good option as they can be done mostly on your own time as opposed to having a set schedule. For those interested in Early Childhood Special Education, you can expect your education to take a little longer to complete due to the possibility of specialized classes being required.

When are ECE units needed?

ECE Units - When Are ECE Units Needed?They are mostly needed when applying for jobs that require you to have them in place prior to securing the position. For instance, in California, you are required to have at least 12 units prior to becoming a preschool teacher in a licensed school. They are also needed if you are trying to obtain an early childhood development degree, or virtually any degree in early childhood education.

Units are also needed when trying to obtain a Child Development Permit in California. There are 6 levels of this certification, each focusing on a different area of child supervision or development.

Who is eligible to obtain them?

ECE Units - Who is Eligible to Obtain Them?Any current or aspiring early childhood educator or early childhood development worker can obtain credits towards their development. Students in early childhood special education classes are encouraged to take courses that earn units to further their careers and maximize their future early childhood education salary.

Have a look at your local college or university for ECE courses that offer units. There may be other entrance or eligibility requirements that are needed, such as general education courses, or a certain secondary school GPA requirement.

If you’re already enrolled in a degree-granting ECE program, chances are that you will have to maintain an overall GPA of at least 2-2.75 depending on the institution offering the degree.

How much do units typically cost?

This depends on the education institution that is delivering the course. On average, tuition is more expensive for in-class courses as opposed to online courses. Beware of online courses marketed as “free ECE units” or “early childhood theme units” as they are not the same as legitimate units. These are mostly lessons and seasonal themes that help plan the course of a day in a preschool for example. They are not actually true units and will not count towards your overall unit totals.

I’m interested in obtaining ECE units. Where do I start?

Check out our growing site for the best information that will help you develop yourself as an ECE professional and boost your early childhood education salary. If you have any suggestions on what ones are your favorite, let us know!