How Five Students Found Their Way to (and Through) an Early Childhood Education Program

early childhood education

You’ve likely found this article because you’re looking for educational options for yourself, but how amazing is it that you’re looking to educate yourself to then educate our youngest children? Entering an Early Childhood Education program may feel like a leap or something out of reach, but take it from these five community college students below who have gone through a program and earned their certifications and degrees.

No matter what the circumstances, if you have a passion for education, you’ve come to the right place.

“I had two kids, but by the time my daughter started pre-school, I thought I needed to try something and go back to work part time,” she said. “I started substitute teaching for a year, was hired on full time – then was laid off, which was when I decided to go back to school to get my associates degree.”

Sherry, New River Community College

“When I was told I wouldn’t have any children, no life after me, I was devastated,” she said. “It was a grieving process, but I prayed to God – and He led me to realize that I had life all around me with the children I teach. He opened my eyes to see that.”

Rachel, Patrick & Henry Community College

“I signed all the paperwork [for culinary school], had everything filled out, but at the last minute I went back to the drawing board to figure things out. I always said I didn’t want to be a teacher, but you know what? I just really love kids and once I really thought about it, it was the obvious choice for me.”

Audra, Patrick & Henry Community College

“[Head Start teacher] Ms. Cookie impacted my life in a way that affirmed my love of learning. She was the best preschool teacher. Her voice was different – always calm. She was nice in and out of the classroom. From an early age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher like Ms. Cookie.”

Talitha, New River Community College

“As a 44-year-old I was very nervous to enter back into school, but the advisors [in the ECE program] take that all away and give you all the encouragement that you need if you’re feeling intimidated by entering class with a 19-year-old. Just getting the right people in place can make a difference—the advisors gave me the confidence I needed to enter that room and be a leader, not a follower. They’re compassionate and passionate about what they do, and that’s poured into you, and you pour it into the children.”

Paula, Danville Community College

To learn more about G3 funding and what options are available where you live, visit Learn how to Qualify and Programs for more information.

Editor’s Note: At the time of publishing, Patrick & Henry Community College was named Patrick Henry Community College.