The job outlook for early childhood education (ECE) workers continues to be good because these workers are vital to the well-being of young children. The services they provide to preschool and kindergarten children cannot be overemphasized. Also known as nursery education, ECE is an important time in a preschooler’s life because it lays the groundwork for lifelong learning. Here is some information on the job outlook for various ECE workers.

Types of ECE Workers

When we think of early childhood educators, what typically comes to mind is kindergarten or Head Start teachers. However, there are various types of early childhood educators, and each has his or her own role in the life of a young child and at a certain period of a child’s life. Here are just a few of the many early childhood education workers there are helping our young children today.

• Early childcare special education teachers

• Preschool and childcare center directors

• Childcare workers

• Preschool teachers

• Kindergarten teacher

The above list includes the most common workers you hear about working in ECE or with early childhood educators. There are many more, including teaching assistants, teacher aides, helpers and nannies to name just a few. Behind almost every good teacher there will be at least one assistant to help.

See our ranking of the Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Early Childhood Education Degrees Online.

Career Outlook

Although some may be better than others, ECE workers overall have good career outlooks. As of a May 2017 wage report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), early childcare special education teachers could see an employment growth of eight percent from 2016-2026, while preschool and childcare center directors could see an 11 percent growth in jobs during these same years.

An employment growth of seven percent was predicted for childcare workers between 2016 and 2026. The Bureau projected that preschool teachers and kindergarten teachers could experience job growth of ten percent and seven percent, respectively.

Wages for ECE Workers

Early childhood educators cannot only expect good job outlook but also the potential for good wages. The Bureau reported the following average annual wages for these early childhood educators.

• Early childcare special education teachers – $60,750

• Kindergarten teachers – $57,110

• Preschool and childcare center directors – $53,550

• Preschool teachers – $33,590

• Childcare workers – $23,760

Wages can be affected by different factors such as years of experience, level of education, certifications earned, employer and geographic location.

Best States for Preschool Education

As stated throughout this article, the early start that young children get from preschool and kindergarten plays a role in how they do later in school. Almost 25 percent of the nation’s preschool-aged children are enrolled in some sort of preschool. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked states based on best states for preschool through kindergarten education as well as how well they prepared their young students for colleges. The top five states for preschool education were the following.

• Massachusetts

• New Hampshire

• New Jersey

• Vermont

• Connecticut

Early childhood educators work with young children to help them meet their intellectual, physical, social and emotional needs. What young children get from these workers stays with them for years to come and is acknowledged as vital by elementary and middle school teachers. These are just a few reasons for the good job outlook for early childhood education workers.