The Early Childhood Education program is one of the select career classes that was allowed to continue in-person classes after the temporary closure of school, and despite the changes made in the COVID-19 school year, students are lucky enough to still be able to receive the same training.
This worked based learning program is designed to give high school students hands-on experience in a classroom setting by working with the preschoolers at the Early Childhood Center, which is still open for business. This class readies students for a career that involves child care and education.
“The early childhood education program is a learning program for students who would like to work with children in some capacity. Many of our students would like to continue their education to become a teacher or child care worker, others are interested in various types of child related therapy, psychology, or social work,” instructor Lynsi Neyland said.
While the program is still able to continue, they had to overcome a lot of barriers to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, which included limiting the amount of students in training allowed in one classroom. Not to mention with the Black and Gold Hybrid schedules, students are only able to work in the center two to three days a week, meanwhile doing the classroom curriculum portion virtually.
“We do not meet formally for class time this year. The course curriculum is completed virtually,” Neyland said. “Last year students had more time in preschool classrooms for work based learning. This was necessary for students to be able to earn a Child Development Credential. This year we are working around that by putting students into before care classrooms and by allowing CDA eligible students the opportunity to volunteer time outside of class time to log hours and work toward the 480 clock hours necessary for this credential.”
This school year has posed many barriers and time-issues for official certification, but the Early Childhood Education program is holding their heads up high and are continuing to work their hardest this year.