Career Path Series: Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education teacher reading to infants

A career in early childhood education is a rewarding one. You get to work with children every day, championing their well-being and continual growth. The critical role played by early childhood educators in supporting families became especially apparent during the pandemic, as teachers helped children cope with stressful shifts in their daily routines and transitioned them to the acceptance of a new normal. Bright Horizons was one of the few child care providers to remain partially open during the pandemic, partnering with the First Responders First program, a joint effort with Thrive Global, the Harvard School of Public Health, and CAA, to provide care and education to the children of first responders.

Those without access to child care during the pandemic felt the loss profoundly, according to the annual Modern Family Index survey. “Without consistent child care or in-person schooling, parents [predicted] negative consequences for their children, with 69% somewhat or very concerned that their children will not be able to meet key developmental milestones, particularly social and emotional milestones (76%), followed by communication (70%), cognitive (68%), and physical (64%) development.”

With working parents making up almost a third of the workforce, the struggles felt by families during the pandemic clearly illustrate the critical role played by early childhood educators in our society. Understanding the continued need for an educated and committed field of early childhood professionals to the development of our children and the growth of our economy, Bright Horizons offers opportunities for its employees to grow academically and professionally within the field, with costs entirely covered by Bright Horizons.

The Horizons Teacher Degree Program® allows full-time employees of Bright Horizons child care centers to earn their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, as well as their Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, completely free of charge—Bright Horizons pays for everything. How does it work? If a teacher does not already have their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, they can complete it through Bright Horizons’ free eCDA program, and this credential will also be accepted for transfer credit toward an undergraduate degree at Bright Horizons’ partner schools. When an educator is ready to pursue their degree in Early Childhood Education, they can start the Horizons Teacher Degree Program, with eligibility beginning immediately upon joining the Bright Horizons team on a full-time basis. Also available is our proprietary Bright Horizons FastTrack program, which helps employees complete the general education courses required for their degree in a self-paced, online format.

Going to school while working full time can be a challenge, so our partner schools offer various options for course completion, including accelerated and competency-based options. Students can earn their degrees completely online, with the flexibility to fit courses into even the most demanding schedule. And in addition to the Horizons Teacher Degree Program, Bright Horizons offers additional tuition reimbursement to employees to support their varied professional goals.

Joining the Bright Horizons team means joining an organization that works to make a difference in the community and in children’s futures. Our HEART Principles of Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Respect, and Teamwork ensure employees that we work every day to create an inclusive and safe place to work and grow, where higher education and higher earnings are within reach.

Check out career opportunities at Bright Horizons: www.brighthorizons.com/careers.

Written by: Joanna Williams

July 27, 2021

About the Author

Joanna Williams head shot

Joanna has been with the Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions academic coaching team since 2019. She approaches her work with adult learners full of positivity and encouragement to help them reach their academic and professional goals. Joanna has a master’s degree in Public Administration.