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Old 08-12-2010, 02:01 PM
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Default Debate About Higher Education

Carrying this over from another thread in the parent forum, so as not to derail that parent's thread:

I wanted to leave this alone, but it's really bugging me. Why is it NOT okay for a provider to mention having an education? I have never seen anyone here say that they are better than anyone else because they do have an education, unless you consider a provider mentioning HOW having an education has HELPED THEM or made it possible for them to make IMPROVEMENTS in THEIR program saying they are "better" than another provider.

I could understand it NOT being okay to bring it up if it's in the context of being nasty and mean spirited to another provider with less education, but I have never seen it presented that way here.

I worked hard to earn my degree, I am proud of it and I am not NOT going to mention it because it may make someone else feel inferior - that's the problem of the person who has chosen, for whatever reason, not to pursue higher education, whether it be because they do not think a "piece of paper" is important, or they just don't care.

So, I am curious, what is your stance on Child Care Professionals working towards and earning their degree in ECE? Do you think it could be a valuable tool, and why or why not? Do you think that providers who DO have or are working towards a degree are wasting their time and that only experience matters? TIA for your feedback!
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Old 08-12-2010, 02:21 PM
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I think that if you look at it in any field, not just daycare it makes a difference.

For example...
I work for a company as an accounts receivable specialist...along with closing month end. Did I go to college for this??? NO, I worked my way up and as a result have many years experience.
Do I make as much as someone that would have this same position with a degree?? NO. It's just seems to be a standard in today's world. People are willing to pay more for a degree.
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Old 08-12-2010, 02:23 PM
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I guess I should add...

Would it offend me if someone said they had a degree in the same field as I work in??? NO, I would congratulate them because I know it would be hard work!!

Is it frustrating when we have hired someone with a degree and I spend a lot of time training them and don't get the credit for it??? YES!!!
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Old 08-12-2010, 02:40 PM
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Thank you. I agree with you
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Old 08-12-2010, 02:43 PM
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Crystal, I'll answer as a parent....

I would appreciate my child having a teacher that has taken the measures to obtain a higher education. In fact, I appreciate anyone who takes their time to advance themselves with ongoing education and I think they should be rewarded for their time, dedication, and work. Why so you ask? Because while a higher education may not be necessary to perform most jobs, it shows that a person has gone an extra step and actually worked towards learning more about their chosen field (presumably prior to jumping into it) rather than "on the job training" (equates to trial and error). For me, obtaining a degree shows that a person is interested in learning all facets of childcare rather than the basics that any human that has been around children could pick up on. Obtaining a college education shows me that a person is driven, teachable, sets goals for themselves and consequently will have expectations for children in their care, dedicated and open to new ideas which may mean better care for my child. I'm not saying that spending 2-4+ years in school means that a person walks out as an expert. Certainly education and experience would be the best combo.

This is a good question: throughout the US, how many states require their primary school educators to hold a degree? I haven't researched but I'd like to know and will look into it. If we're expecting our children's educators to hold degrees, why wouldn't we want the same for when they are infants/toddlers?

Here's my theory on people who have experience and no education: first, let me place a disclaimer: my following statement is not my experience with childcare providers since I do not work in childcare, but rather my experience as a professional in finance. Based on MY OWN experience with people who have countless years in a field but no education, those people tend to believe and outwardly exude that they know everything there is to know about their profession over anybody else. In my experience, these types of people also often times make jest at someone who has a degree.
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Old 08-12-2010, 02:49 PM
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Aya, thank you for a thoughtful reply. I agree wholeheartedly
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:06 PM
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I have earned my AA in Early Childhood and am now (starting next week) beginning online classes to work toward my BA in Early Childhood. It is not a necessary step to do my job...but just something I want to complete. I think degrees can be overrated. But I have learned a lot from getting my AA and can only expect that the next 2 years of upper division classes will add to my knowledge and professionalism.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:35 PM
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I went to college, got an AA (in electronics). With that degree I got hired on at one of (if not the leading) microchip manufacturer in the world. Intel Corp. Did I need my degree to get that job? Yes and No. Intel wouldn't have looked twice at me without it. Also, it was through school that I heard about the hiring team coming to Minnesota. HOWEVER, I rarely, if ever, used my degree in my day to day work. Was I proud, yes and no. Single mom, put myself through college (without student loans, but with help of National Guard) and landed one heck of a job, so yeah for me! To my friends and family in Minnesota it sounded very exciting. To the people in Oregon who I worked with or lived near, eh, big deal, just another Intel employee. (There are MANY!!)

Now, I'm a stay at home mother of three, doing daycare in my home, back in Minnesota. I have that AA in electronics. I don't have a degree in EC. Right now I don't see it making a big difference with my daycare. I do take continuing ed classes every year, but not enough for a degree. Where I live it's considered a higher poverty rate. I'm on the higher paid food program tier based on my location and school info. Parents in my area don't seem to care about the education a provider has. They want their kids to be happy, stay out of trouble, have fun, and most importantly be safe. I think some day I'd like to get a CDA or EC degree, but that's more for me than for the kids. I won't be able to charge more (and actually expect to get it) if I have higher education, at least not the way things look now.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:43 PM
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I have a Masters Degree in an unrelated field (Sports/Recreation) but I do mention it in my ads because a lot of the courses did directly relate to what I'm doing now and I think for SOME people it speaks to my character (I am hard working and put a lot of effort, work and dedication into my schooling). I would definitely not consider myself better than anyone else and putting it in my ad is just like adding "I'm a mother, I'm a wife, I taught preschool...I have a higher ed degree".
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by originalkat View Post
I have earned my AA in Early Childhood and am now (starting next week) beginning online classes to work toward my BA in Early Childhood. It is not a necessary step to do my job...but just something I want to complete. I think degrees can be overrated. But I have learned a lot from getting my AA and can only expect that the next 2 years of upper division classes will add to my knowledge and professionalism.
Does anyone know the current books they're using in college courses and authors or ISBNs? I would love to purchase these on ebay or amazon and just read them at my own time, but it is difficult to guess what they are using in college when I am not a student anymore. THANKS
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:00 PM
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My answer as a daycare provider without a degree............

I havent read the other debate, But I feel if you have a degree, Tell everyone, I do not have a degree, But have been looking into taking classes here and there, Just hard right now, with 2 little ones of my own, And I just havent researched enough, Obviously I do as much training as I can every year, But were I to have a degree in ECE, I would never keep it quiet, If I work hard for something that benefits my job, I will brag about it! Who cares if you have a one up on other providers, I personally would not be made insecure as a provider, I have a great program, I do preschool curriculum, And have a full house, and love my kids, and my parents love me..........Now do I think someone with a degree will be better than someone without, No I don't , I think its a huge benefit, But I think without a degree you can be just as good with children, I do believe the best education in children, Is raising some of your own, cause some things you just cant be taught, But If I do ever get a degree, which I would love to, It will for sure be one of the first things I mention when I get phone calls, And parents will be impressed, were I looking for daycare, hearing a degree, would make me more excited at first, But Doesnt mean I'll like the person, or the house................I say yell to the world your degree, good for you, you should be proud of it, Its a great tool in your field!
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aya477 View Post
Crystal, I'll answer as a parent....

I would appreciate my child having a teacher that has taken the measures to obtain a higher education. In fact, I appreciate anyone who takes their time to advance themselves with ongoing education and I think they should be rewarded for their time, dedication, and work. Why so you ask? Because while a higher education may not be necessary to perform most jobs, it shows that a person has gone an extra step and actually worked towards learning more about their chosen field (presumably prior to jumping into it) rather than "on the job training" (equates to trial and error). For me, obtaining a degree shows that a person is interested in learning all facets of childcare rather than the basics that any human that has been around children could pick up on. Obtaining a college education shows me that a person is driven, teachable, sets goals for themselves and consequently will have expectations for children in their care, dedicated and open to new ideas which may mean better care for my child. I'm not saying that spending 2-4+ years in school means that a person walks out as an expert. Certainly education and experience would be the best combo.

This is a good question: throughout the US, how many states require their primary school educators to hold a degree? I haven't researched but I'd like to know and will look into it. If we're expecting our children's educators to hold degrees, why wouldn't we want the same for when they are infants/toddlers?

Here's my theory on people who have experience and no education: first, let me place a disclaimer: my following statement is not my experience with childcare providers since I do not work in childcare, but rather my experience as a professional in finance. Based on MY OWN experience with people who have countless years in a field but no education, those people tend to believe and outwardly exude that they know everything there is to know about their profession over anybody else. In my experience, these types of people also often times make jest at someone who has a degree.
I like your response and think this is a well-rounded answer. I do have a question though. How much of a difference does would it make to you (and others) if a person's degree is not related to the field in which they work?
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:53 AM
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I like your response and think this is a well-rounded answer. I do have a question though. How much of a difference does would it make to you (and others) if a person's degree is not related to the field in which they work?
This question wasn't for me, hope you don't mind if I answer it anyways

I think that there are a lot of related degrees that give people a lot of knowledge to be able to effectively work with children (social work, rec, psychology, etc.). I think that a completely un-related degree, while it shows a person's drive for obtaining an education (which is a plus), doesn't really help them too much in the classroom. So as a parent, I probably would be less likely to send my child to someone who has an unrelated degree than to someone who has a related degree.
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:24 AM
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I haven't had a chance to read all the previous posts, so I'm just answering the OP's question. I do have a degree, but not in ECE. I did consider it and would have pursued it if I stayed in daycare. As many of you know, I had to shut down due to a combination of financial hardship (trouble getting clients that pay according to their contract) and medical issues related to my twin pregnancy. However, my degree has helped me in this field. My degree is in criminal justice. I got the degree because it was the closest thing to pre-law at my university and I wanted to go to law school. During my education, I took a lot of courses in child development and planned to work in juvenile law and family law. I have always had a passion for children and families, especially protecting children during a divorce and keeping children from veering off course (into a life of crime). I did go to law school and complete just over 1/3 of it (33/90 credits). I was in my second year (out of 3 years) when I quit to be a mommy. However, my passion for children and families has never waivered. I just thought of being a daycare provider as a way to influence the children BEFORE the problems arise rather than AFTER they get into trouble when they are older. Since I had training in how different things influence a child's choice in the future, I thought I could help children at risk by providing a loveing environment for them while they are young.

However, my law school education has also helped me to construct a very good contract so I could avoid many of the pitfalls that new business owners face (daycare business and other businesses). I have never lost a court case when I have had to take someone to court. I'm not proud of that because I wish it never came down to that, but it happens when you run a business.

As for the actual care of the children, my experience comes from being from a huge family with a ton of cousins, second-cousins, nieces, nephew, etc. I have been watching and taking care of children for free for family (that's how my family does it - we don't charge for occasional babysitting) since I was 9 or 10 years old. It started with my mom present. As I got older, I started babysitting on my own. I had logged thousands and thousands of hours of hands-on experience prior to opening my own daycare (professionally) at age 33. So, I feel like I had a ton of experience plus some education to draw upon. And like I said, I intended to get an ECE. But I can't just say that it was to bolster my reputation as a provider. I love going to school and learning. I know, I'm wierd. But I love learning and growing. I do not always agree with the philosophies that are being taught, but that's when I take what I like and ignore the rest (when it comes to real life).

I did mention my education to prospective clients, but it was in a way where I was saying, I am doing this by choice, because I have a passion for children and helping them to become the best they can be and that I believe that the first 5 years are cruical to who they will become. I thought that they would appreciate knowing that I did not just fall into this or am doing this because I couldn't find something else. I wanted them to know that this was a choice I made based on my natural love for children. I would also remind them that there are many women (without the advanced education) out there that are doing it for the same reasons and that they should also be considered before making a decision.

It was never mentioned in an arrogant way. I would also tell people that I am very lucky to have the opportunity to do something I love, while being home with my child(ren). I think it's all in how you say it. However, the problem with forums like this and others, as well as any other typed or written form is that TONE can not be typed or written, so it is up to the reader to infer the tone, which can cause A LOT of problems and misunderstandings. I have made this mistake many times, so I try to comment on the tone I am using. But it still does not solve all the problems.

Finally, I don't see a problem in mentioning your education as long as it is in the context of "here's what I have learned" or "in case you were wondering". And for those of us with degrees (in ECE or other fields) need to remember, the degrees do not make us better, it just makes us a little more resourseful because we were exposed to a greater number of resources during our education. But for the truly dedicated, but degree-less person, that doesn't matter because they can find resources. And in this day and age, that piece of paper does not guarantee a job, clients, or higher pay. It helps. But it's not the guarantee that it used to be. So, it may make those of us with degrees, just more in debt (student loans). Right now I am torn on the education issue. Is it really worth it? It's a delicate balance between the cost and reward. Will the reward outweigh the cost of getting the education? In this economy, that's a tough question with no clear answers.
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by QualiTcare View Post
Nice response. I've questioned before why the standards for providers are lower than the ones for teachers.it doesn't change anything for me since I already have an ec degree which I got for teaching, not daycare.most providers wouldn't take the time to get one n I don't blame them since its not required, but since the first 5 yrs are the most crucial, I don't see why the standards are lowered to the point that any 18 year old w a GED can do the job.yet to teach an 18 year old adult whose a senior in hs u need a 4 year degree.
The difference is, one position is child CARE, the other is child TEACHING.

What about the parents interacting with their own children? Why is it a daycare providers duty to teach and raise these kids?

Now, if you want a 'school-like' atmosphere, then by all means, seek one out and pay the extra fees to have your child in their care/teaching.

But, many parents are not in search of a Toddler University.

If you're going to raise the bar for providing daycare with the logic of "the first 5 yrs are the most crucial", maybe instead we should raise the bar on who is allowed to have kids. Cuz that's who the onus of responsibility should be placed on, not the person who provides care for a small fee.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Aya477 View Post
Crystal, I'll answer as a parent....

I would appreciate my child having a teacher that has taken the measures to obtain a higher education. In fact, I appreciate anyone who takes their time to advance themselves with ongoing education and I think they should be rewarded for their time, dedication, and work. Why so you ask? Because while a higher education may not be necessary to perform most jobs, it shows that a person has gone an extra step and actually worked towards learning more about their chosen field (presumably prior to jumping into it) rather than "on the job training" (equates to trial and error). For me, obtaining a degree shows that a person is interested in learning all facets of childcare rather than the basics that any human that has been around children could pick up on. Obtaining a college education shows me that a person is driven, teachable, sets goals for themselves and consequently will have expectations for children in their care, dedicated and open to new ideas which may mean better care for my child. I'm not saying that spending 2-4+ years in school means that a person walks out as an expert. Certainly education and experience would be the best combo.

This is a good question: throughout the US, how many states require their primary school educators to hold a degree? I haven't researched but I'd like to know and will look into it. If we're expecting our children's educators to hold degrees, why wouldn't we want the same for when they are infants/toddlers?

Here's my theory on people who have experience and no education: first, let me place a disclaimer: my following statement is not my experience with childcare providers since I do not work in childcare, but rather my experience as a professional in finance. Based on MY OWN experience with people who have countless years in a field but no education, those people tend to believe and outwardly exude that they know everything there is to know about their profession over anybody else. In my experience, these types of people also often times make jest at someone who has a degree.
Nice response. I've questioned before why the standards for providers are lower than the ones for teachers.it doesn't change anything for me since I already have an ec degree which I got for teaching, not daycare.most providers wouldn't take the time to get one n I don't blame them since its not required, but since the first 5 yrs are the most crucial, I don't see why the standards are lowered to the point that any 18 year old w a GED can do the job.yet to teach an 18 year old adult whose a senior in hs u need a 4 year degree.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:32 AM
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:48 AM
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I haven't read all responses yet, so I'm just commenting on OP's questions:

This is my take on it. I have a Master's in Human Development (for whatever that may or may not be worth ) and about 10 years of experience working with children and families in several different kinds of settings. I've also worked as an ECE trainer- some of my 'students' had formal education, others did not.

Those that have experience and not a lot of EC/CD education, I think that they learn on the job and they learn by using their common sense and reacting and then making adjustments based on what works best. They also may not have a lot of knowledge about child development or how children learn best.

For someone that has education, they have that child development knowledge before they start gaining experience (if that's the order in which they did it), so they go into their job understanding what's appropriate for what ages/developmental levels. They have knowledge in child development, in education theory, in parent relationships, among other things.

After I got my bachelor's degree and started working as a preschool teacher, i had no clue what I was doing in the classroom (I don't think I'm alone in this one). Sure, I understood child development, I understood 'classroom management', etc etc etc. But, to apply it is a whole different world. And I often used my common sense and just 'reacted' to situations as that was what felt natural to me. It took me quite a while before I began feeling comfortable (and confident enough) using my knowledge, especially in terms of dealing with difficult behaviors as I tend to feel frustrated quickly and my gut is to react frustrated, even though I know this is not always appropriate. But, it was because of the education that I received and the awesome mentors that I had, that I was able to step back from what I was doing and reflect on how best to work with children. I would not have soooo many tools at my disposal had I not received an education.

I don't understand how someone can think that education doesn't matter. I think that someone who says that is maybe reacting to a person or two that they met that had education before they got experience. Or they may be feeling defensive about not having received their education.

It's not an either/or situation---the BEST providers that I've known have both education and experience.

Katy
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