The implementation of standardized testing has changed education in the United States resulting in a content ripple effect from the higher grades down to preschool-aged children. To match that ripple effect early childhood education can be evaluated and reformed accordingly by exploring many factors that make up the early childhood education system. This manuscript addressed one factor, early childhood teacher preparation, through a synthesis of literature related to the potential benefits of earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Development and Education, or a BS. The theories of early brain development were explored first and then studies of the social components affecting an Early Childhood Educator's, or ECE's, choice in teacher preparation were reviewed. The review then defined and compared the Child Development Associate or CDA, the Associate of Arts degree, or AA, and the BS. Professional recommendations and standards according to the National Association for Young Children, or NAEYC were included to understand how valuable the BS is to these trend setters of the field. The review then explored how the BS is currently being used nationally in a state-funded program known as VPK, utilizing the National Institute for Early Education Research, or NIEER. This data provided a snapshot of the national demand for the BS in the early childhood field. The pay disparities were then correlated with levels of education and compared with primary and upper grade compensation. The final value explored was research of how the BS directly affected results of the quality in the early childhood classroom and teacher-child interactions. These studies used two quality rating scales, the ECERS and CLASS, which were defined and compared. The findings of the synthesized literature review provided understanding of a young field that is growing and implies where further research and change could happen to match the effects of an evolving education system in the United States of America.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Macy, Marisa


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Community Innovation and Education



Degree Program

Early Childhood Development and Education


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date