Good for you! Working with children can be very rewarding and I am glad you are considering it. You will be helping to prepare a foundation for their future studies and helping to positively shape their lives as well.
Community college courses for those seeking to work with children will include:
- Early Childhood Education
- Pedagogy (Teaching skills)
- Child Growth and Development
- Lesson Planning
The list above is not all of what you will study or all of what you should study. Depending on the ages of the children you are interested in teaching (daycare, preschool, elementary), you may be required to obtain a Child Development Associate credential (CDA), become licensed in your state by passing a certification exam, and/or receive CPR training, as well as a course(s) to teach you to recognize signs of abuse. Your studies will also include field-based internships/practicums. This will require you to observe an experienced teacher and later require you to demonstrate your pedagogical (teaching) skills by teaching a class as well. Also, be prepared to have continual training, continuing education, and ongoing professional hours that will need to be maintained so that your employer can report them as completed.
For the most part, you will specialize in developing communication skills, interpersonal skills, and sharpen your reading, writing, and math skills so that you can teach those skills to your class. Moreover, creativity and patience are a must when teaching students at any age so be prepared to inspire and motivate while practicing these two soft-skills.
While in college, if not before, do your best to gain experience as a childcare worker or teacher's assistant so that you can associate your classroom skills with what you are learning academically in college. If you haven't already, this experience can be gained by volunteering at your local church, after-school program, or any non-profit organization. Keep in mind, a background check is required.
Once again, I am so glad you are considering to help cultivate the young minds of our future! My best to you on your future endeavors.
You can learn more about the teaching profession at: Teach.com
L.N. recommends the following next steps:
When starting at a community college and it is your desire to transfer to a university to complete your degree, you should take all of your general education courses like english, math, and social science etc. Completing those courses will guarantee that those course will transfer to the university. If you take for example "Fundamentals of Child Care", that course may not transfer. If you have additional questions, make an appointment to see the career or transfer counselor at your college.
I hope this encourages you! Many blessings!
Angelica recommends the following next steps:
In my opinion I would think about taking classes that would benefit both you and the child where you both would get the most out it.
Psychology classes would allow you to hone in on personality traits of different children so that you can identify different cues that would allow you to help and relate to them.
Foreign language classes, especially deciding to double major in a specified foreign language, would diverisfy your resume and open you up to more job opportunities with children.
Outside of the college courses, if I were you, I would also try to find a mentor in your chosen career field and shadow them to gain some on the job knowlegde. This may help you identify other courses you would need as well.
Congratulations and best of luck to you!
Some community colleges have a mapping of classes you need to take depending on what part of child care you want to be involved in.
for example go to Early Childhood Education section
depending on the college look at the catalog
Here is a website which could help. Since you are in California that can direct you.
child care licensing in California
hope it helps, wishing you the best.