EKU Online > Bachelor of Science in Child & Family Studies – Child Development > Child and Family Studies Career Opportunities

A Growing Need for Child and Family Studies Graduates

Early childhood development and early childhood education are challenging and rewarding fields. The Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies with a concentration in child development prepares graduates to teach or administer in private early childhood programs. With an increase in both dual income families and single parent households, there will be a greater need for care of children under the age of six. The demand for professionals with these backgrounds has grown steadily in recent years, and is expected to continue to increase through 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics*.

As the profession grows, qualifications for employees are also increasing. Currently employed professionals with early childhood credential or associate degrees are required to complete a bachelor’s degree – especially those in Head Start programs. A bachelor’s degree is also required by state licensing and regulation entities for those looking to move into administrative roles within early childhood education. Salary increases may also be possible for those with additional education.

One option for those interested in child development careers is to begin by earning the Child Development Associate certification (CDA) and continue with a bachelor’s degree. Individuals interested in CDA classes should consider taking them with an accredited university where they will count as CDA certification hours, as well as college credit hours.

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Increase earnings and advancement opportunities

Career Success Starts with a College Degree

Regardless of U.S. labor market conditions one constant holds true: Education boosts earnings and reduces unemployment.

According to the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) the earnings gap between college graduates and those with less education continues to widen. In 2021, median income for recent graduates reached $52,000 a year for bachelor’s degree holders aged 22–27. For high school graduates the same age, median earnings were $30,000 a year.

Those with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, 75% more over the course of their lifetime.* In addition to increased earning potential, a bachelor’s degree can provide opportunities for promotion or entry into a new career.

*Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce

People with a bachelor’s degree earn on average

more over their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma

Popular Child and Family Studies Careers

Childcare Center Director

National Median Annual Salary
8% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
Updated March 2023
Companies for Child Care Directors in Kentucky:
Bright Horizons Family Solutions
Lightbridge Academy
Early Learning Academies

Bachelor typically required for entry-level positions

Preschool Teacher

National Median Annual Salary
15% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
Updated March 2023
Companies for Early Childhood/Preschool Teachers in Kentucky:
Bright Horizons Family Solutions
Early Learning Academies
Jefferson County Public Schools

Bachelor typically required for entry-level positions

Family Advocate

National Median Annual Salary
12% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
Updated March 2023
Companies for Family Advocates in Kentucky:
Magellan Health
Center for Women and Families, INC
Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative

Bachelor typically required for entry-level positions

*National job opportunities data is based on national medians and figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook handbook.
*Local job opportunities data is based on estimated base pay and figures from Indeed.com.

Other Child and Family Studies Careers

  • Public and Private Head Start/Preschool Teacher
  • Early Childhood Educator (Birth-8)
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Afterschool Teacher
  • Assessment Specialist
  • Home Visitor
  • Victim’s Advocate
  • Childcare Specialist
  • Court Designated Specialist
  • Profit/ Non-Profit Agencies and Departments for Children & Families

EKU Child and Family Studies Program in the Workforce

Where Have EKU Child and Family Studies Graduates Worked?
  • KinderCare Learning Center
  • Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
  • University of Kentucky Hospitals
  • Wild Health
  • Cumberland River Behavioral Health
Misconceptions About Childcare Workers

Early childhood educators are often mislabeled as babysitters or daycare workers. The field prefers the term childcare or early educator because we’re caring for children. Children should be considered a precious resource to our nation and to the world. We know that development is so important in those first few years of life. The brain is developing at a very fast rate. It’s important that we have nurturing caregivers with children that understand their development and can provide the curriculum needed to encourage and enhance that development.

Consider a two-year-old who bites or a three-year-old struggling with potty training. It’s important for those of us in the childcare field to understand development and be ready to assist, guide, or intervene in a developmentally appropriate way . Doing so helps to ensure the safe and proper development of children from all walks of life.

EKU Online Career Services

Career planning is tough, but with EKU you don’t have to tackle the process alone.

The EKU Office of Academic and Career Services is a one-stop shop for all of your career and professional development needs. We offer a variety of services to current online EKU students and alumni to help you with your career development, decision-making and job search.

Services include:

  • Creating/Updating Your Resume and Cover Letter
  • Interviewing Tips and Coaching
  • Career Documents Review
  • Job Search
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