Introduction to Early Childhood Behavior Management, Instructional Design, Child Development, Instructional Resources and Technology
Early childhood education, child care management, teaching education
Preschool teachers, family support specialists, teacher’s assistants, childcare workers, Head Start teachers
The median salary for a family support specialist is $30,830 per year, $24,900 for a teacher’s assistant, and $20,320 for childcare workers.
Job prospects in the field of early childhood education are favorable, and are expected to increase by approximately 5% through 2024.
Online Early Childhood Education Degrees
If you want to make a difference in young children’s lives, becoming a teacher is one of the most fulfilling ways to inspire, educate, and contribute to the development of the next generation of students. Graduates from early childhood education programs typically become preschool teachers, childcare center directors, and kindergarten teachers. The degree requirements for early childhood educators vary depending on the state, and can range from an associate degree to a master’s with certification.
Schools always need more creative, patient, and organized teachers who love working with children. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a job growth rate of about 7% for early childhood educators between 2014 and 2024.
Online early childhood education programs are a convenient option for working professionals who want to advance their skills on a flexible schedule. For more information on early childhood education degrees, read on to learn about the many career opportunities available in the field and the academic requirements needed to earn a job.
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Online Early Childhood Education Degrees
|Degree||Avg Degree Cost||Avg Loan Default Rate||Time Commitment||Early Career Pay||Mid-Career Pay||Unemployment Rate|
The degree you need depends on the educational setting and the state. Preschool teachers in states with Head Start programs, for instance, must have at least an associate degree; in other states, they may need early childhood education degrees at the bachelor’s level. BLS notes that your job prospects will increase with a postsecondary degree in the field, and many professionals choose to earn an online bachelor’s in early childhood education while they are working. Additionally, many preschools require national certification, such as the Child Development Associate (CDA) or the Childcare Professional (CCP).
Online Early Childhood Education Degrees
Children’s Literacy, Educational Psychology, Classroom Management
Psychology, education, child care management, special education
Preschool teachers, kindergarten teachers, preschool and childcare center directors, Head Start teachers
The median salary for preschool teachers is $28,570; $54,550 for kindergarten and elementary teachers; $45,670 for preschool and childcare center directors.
The BLS projects a 7% increase in preschool teachers from 2014 to 2024, 6% for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, and 7% for preschool and childcare center directors.
Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s Degree Rankings
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||University of North Carolina at Greensboro||Greensboro||$$$$$||1400 Spring Garden St|
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
UNCG offers a multidisciplinary human development and family studies (HDF) program focusing on the crossroads of social and behavioral sciences as they pertain to early childhood development. The program offers two concentrations: birth through kindergarten teacher licensure and early care and education. UNCG's early childhood education bachelor's degree online program emphasizes culture, diversity and internationalization, studying early child development across cultural, school and family contexts.
|2||National University||La Jolla||$$$$$||11255 North Torrey Pines Road|
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
National University’s online bachelor's degree in early childhood education program provides students with the skills and field experience they need for a career in early childhood development. Students can pursue one of several concentrations relating to infant and toddler development, teacher education and early childhood administration. Courses are taught asynchronously, and online students enhance their classroom experience through discussion boards, lectures, readings, quizzes and interactive presentations.
|3||Florida International University||Miami||$$$$$||11200 S. W. 8 Street|
Miami, FL 33199
The ECE program at Florida International prepares students for rewarding careers in a variety of childhood specialist roles. Students focus on the cognitive, language and emotional development of children from birth through five years old. The early childhood education bachelor's degree online program themes include educational psychology, special needs children, community and beginning literacy.
Students use Blackboard for course deliverables, including lectures, readings and assignments. For webinars and live synchronous meetings with peers and faculty, Florida International uses Adobe Connect.
|4||University of Cincinnati||Cincinnati||$$$$$||2624 Clifton Avenue|
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0063
Cincinnati offers an online bachelor's degree in early childhood education that prepares graduates for professional careers in early childhood development. Online coursework meets the competencies outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Graduates often become preschool teachers, infant or toddler specialists and program administrators in early childhood settings.
Aside from field assignments, the degree is available entirely online and facilitated through Blackboard. Upon enrollment, a student orientation specialist guides each student through a technology orientation to acclimate distance learners with the program.
|5||Harding University||Searcy||$$$$$||915 E. Market Ave.|
Searcy, AR 72143
At Harding, students may pursue a degree in birth through kindergarten education (B-K). This comprehensive program blends coursework in ECE, child development and special education. By diversifying the fields of study in the B-K program, students can obtain teaching licenses in both general and special education.
Access to online materials, syllabi, assignments, quizzes and discussion boards is available through the Canvas learning management system.
|6||Granite State College||Concord||$$$$$||25 Hall Street|
Concord, NH 03301-3471
Granite State's online bachelor degree programs in early childhood education prepare graduates to obtain both the N-3 certificate in early childhood education and the Birth-8 certificate in special education. The program helps students understand current neurological research on children and its implications for teachers and students. The online program is supported by Moodle, a platform students can access to view course materials, check grades and participate in discussion forums.
|7||Southwestern College||Winfield||$$$$$||100 College Street|
Winfield, KS 67156-6224
Southwestern College offers an online bachelor's degree in early childhood education. The program also encompasses early childhood special education, providing students a versatile teaching license upon graduation. The ECE program offers courses on infant development, child psychology and educational psychology.
In addition to their on-campus preschool, Southwestern College has partnered with early education programs across the country to provide students with practical learning opportunities. The school's distance courses are supported by Blackboard. Southwestern encourages students to "test-drive" one of their courses for free to determine if they like the online format.
|8||California Baptist University||Riverside||$$$$$||8432 Magnolia Ave|
Riverside, CA 92504-3297
The ECE program at California Baptist is designed for students interested in pursuing a teaching credential in early childhood education and early childhood special education. Students learn how to create developmentally appropriate educational curriculums and are taught how to assess educational progress in toddlers.
While some online programs cater only to transfer students, CBU encourages freshmen to apply as well. Online coursework is managed through Blackboard, which also hosts online labs, lectures and discussion forums.
|9||Arkansas Tech University||Russellville||$$$$$||Administration Bldg 200; 1509 N Boulder Ave|
Russellville, AR 72801-2222
The ECE program at Arkansas Tech provides students with a thorough understanding of child development. As part of the curriculum, students learn the value of play for infants and toddlers, and are taught how to foster language development and healthy teaching environments for young children. The program also demonstrates how family dynamics affect child development.
|10||Brandman University||Irvine||$$$$$||16355 Laguna Canyon Road|
Irvine, CA 92618
Brandman's ECE program allows distance learners to study child development through guided fieldwork with children and faculty. The curriculum uses evidence-based practices regarding early brain development, and students learn to integrate childhood development theories into a classroom environment. Coursework is developed internally and assignments are transmitted through Blackboard.
|11||Florida State College at Jacksonville||Jacksonville||$$$$$||501 W State St|
Jacksonville, FL 32202
The ECE program prepares students for teaching careers in preschool through third grade in public and private settings. All students are required to pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations prior to graduation. Additionally, students are required to complete over 150 hours of fieldwork in Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Program.
|12||Utah State University||Logan||$$$$$||Old Main Hill|
Logan, UT 84322-1400
Graduates from Utah State's ECE program are prepared for careers in child care, early intervention, child welfare and teaching prekindergarten through third grade. Students can pursue several practicum and field experiences, and select an emphasis of their choice. Options include multicultural education, arts methods, healthy living and differentiated teaching strategies.
Students are permitted to take up to 12 credits at Utah State prior to matriculating. The school distributes all online coursework through its proprietary learning portal. Courses either follow the traditional semester schedule or FLEx plan for independent learning.
|13||City University of Seattle||Seattle||$$$$$||521 Wall Street, Suite 100|
Seattle, WA 98121
City University offers a bachelor's in education with an endorsement in early childhood education. The program introduces students to recent research in cognitive and brain development, while also demonstrating the importance of culture, the community and play in early childhood growth. Students are allowed to complete their coursework entirely online or supplement online classes with Saturday school in a hybrid delivery option.
The school creates its own course content, videos and discussion topics. These are made available to students through Blackboard.
|14||Mayville State University||Mayville||$$$$$||330 Third Street NE|
Mayville, ND 58257-1299
Mayville State's ECE program prepares students to teach children from birth to age eight, or to focus on more specific fields like educational psychology and special needs education. The program develops leadership skills in its students, preparing them to work with families and with children with disabilities.
|15||Notre Dame College||Cleveland||$$$$$||4545 College Rd|
Cleveland, OH 44121-4293
The early childhood education license is one of two licensure tracks available to students at Notre Dame College. Students are taught current educational research as it pertains to the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession, ensuring their preparedness for the field upon graduation. Graduates pursue careers as child care workers, preschool-elementary teachers, special education instructors, principals and school administrators.
|16||Central Methodist University - College of Graduate and Extended Studies||Fayette||411 Central Methodist Square|
Fayette, MO 65248-1198
CMU's program in child development is geared towards students seeking careers in a field that doesn't require a public school teaching certificate. Coursework provides students with the skills they need to establish and manage daycare centers. Careers relating to commercial or non-profit childcare initiatives are also available for graduates.
Central Methodist delivers its online courses through its own myCMU platform. Courses run for eight weeks apiece.
|17||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City||$$$$$||4001 East 700 South, Suite 700|
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
WGU's ECE program is unique in its competency-based learning approach. Students are required to complete WGU’s own "assessments" to determine competency in the field of early childhood development. All assessments are accompanied by a study guide and recommended resources to help students along the way. Assessments last six months and students are graded on a pass or not pass basis. Distance learners must also complete a capstone or a professional portfolio to graduate.
WGU provides its own student portal as a means to structure communication and connectivity across classes.
|18||Wilmington University||New Castle||$$$$$||320 Dupont Hwy|
New Castle, DE 19720
Wilmington offers their online BS in education studies as an entry-level major. The program is intended for students who would like to work with young children in positions that do not require teaching licensure, or for students wanting to obtain licensure at a later date. The online curriculum introduces students to learning theory, child development and education best practices.
All of Wilmington’s online courses are supported by Blackboard, providing distance learners with constant access to course materials, lectures, discussions and tech support.
|19||The University of Montana Western||Dillon||$$$$$||710 S Atlantic|
Dillon, MT 59725-3598
The online ECE program at Montana Western is designed for students who want to teach young children. Graduates are prepared to work with children through the age of eight in an array of childcare settings. Students take courses that integrate developmentally appropriate curricula with social, emotional and trauma informed practices. Montana Western uses Moodle as its online learning management system to host assignments, facilitate discussion forums and provide access to course materials.
|20||Park University||Parkville||$$$$$||8700 NW River Park Dr|
Parkville, MO 64152-3795
Park offers an online BSE program in early childhood education to students pursuing teaching certification for children from birth through grade three. The degree is offered both online or in a hybrid format for local students. Coursework includes several specialties, such as family study, language and literacy development, and emotional learning for young children.
Park University uses the Pearson eCollege learning management system to transmit course materials, lectures, quizzes and discussions to distance learners.
|21||State College of Florida - Manatee-Sarasota||Bradenton||$$$$$||5840 26th St W|
Bradenton, FL 34207
This ECE program is geared for students who want to teach infants and toddlers in Florida. Graduates of the program are prepared to teach children through the age of four. As part of the program, students fulfill the necessary requirements to become Head Start teachers and administrators as well as children’s services workers. The school uses Canvas as its online learning management system.
|22||Prescott College||Prescott||$$$$$||220 Grove Ave|
Prescott, AZ 86301
Prescott offers an online ECE program for students pursuing careers in early childhood development. Students are exposed to theoretical and in-person observational learning experiences online and in their home states. The school also offers courses in child growth and development, child guidance and classroom management, and early language and literacy for students interested in becoming educators.
Prescott University employs its own MyClassroom portal to serve as its online learning management system.
Education and Psychology, Curriculum Development in Early Childhood Education, Foundations of Educational Leadership
Special education, English, education
Kindergarten and elementary teachers, preschool and childcare center directors, elementary, middle and high school principals
The median salary for kindergarten and elementary teachers is $54,550; $45,670 for preschool and childcare center directors; and $90,410 per year for elementary, middle, and high school principals.
The BLS projects most positions in the field to grow by approximately 5%.
Early Childhood Education Master’s Degree Rankings
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus||Denver||$$$$$||1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400|
Denver, CO 80217-3364
The University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus is headquartered in Aurora, Colorado and primarily serves students in the health science professions. However, its online degree programs extend beyond the health sciences into other disciplines such as English writing and education.
CU Denver is an excellent choice for non-traditional students who want to obtain an early childhood education master's degree online; 95% of students work full-time. In addition to traditional coursework, this degree requires students to complete their practicum hours at a qualified educational institution. The core classes teach students about advanced literacy teaching methods and educational statistics. CU Denver’s school of education and human development is the largest graduate school of education in Colorado and has extensive partnerships with urban schools.
|2||University of Dayton||Dayton||$$$$$||300 College Park|
Dayton, OH 45469
The University of Dayton is a private Catholic research university in western Ohio. The school has over 3,000 post-graduate degree students taking courses both online and on campus. UD’s online offerings feature small class sizes and hybrid formats for students who wish to complete some of their classes in person.
The master’s of science in education in transdisciplinary early childhood development degree program at UD is targeted at students who want to work with young children and their families. The program has a blended format, focusing on both special education and general education. Students are required to complete courses in educational research, statistics, advanced pedagogy, and early childhood literacy. A practicum at an approved early childhood educational institution is also required.
|3||Erikson Institute||Chicago||$$$$$||451 N. LaSalle Street|
Chicago, IL 60654-4510
The Erikson Institute is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and specializes in the study of child development. The school is named after the famous developmental psychologist Erik Erikson. Currently, the only online master’s degree offered by the Erikson Institute is a master’s of science in early childhood education. This is a 28-month program that teaches graduates the skills they need to serve in leadership or specialist roles at early childhood education centers.
This online master's in early childhood education program focuses on essential childhood development theories, early childhood teaching theories, and leadership skills in the field of early childhood education. Students can elect to add a bilingual/English as a second language specialization to their degree, which requires additional courses in linguistics and ESL teaching theory.
|4||West Chester University of Pennsylvania||West Chester||$$$$$||University Avenue and High Street|
West Chester, PA 19383
West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a public university located about 30 miles west of Philadelphia. It is one of 14 state universities that belongs to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. WCU’s online offerings include four different master’s programs in education, business, and nutrition. Aspiring teachers who want to work with pre-K to eighth grade students can enroll in WCU’s early childhood education master's degree online.
Research, courses in advanced teaching theory, and a practicum are all required to complete this program. In WCU’s early education program, students conduct fieldwork during their very first semester of graduate school. Fieldwork is supervised by professors who have extensive experience working with urban or rural populations. The school offers two different early childhood education tracks: a program administrators track and an accomplished teachers track.
|5||Concordia University - Chicago||River Forest||$$$$$||7400 Augusta|
River Forest, IL 60305-1499
Concordia University-Chicago is a private liberal arts university with a main campus located 10 miles west of Chicago. CU Chicago offers several undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees that can be earned online in business, education, and arts and sciences. Online coursework is delivered through online lectures, videos, discussion boards, and assessments. CU Chicago’s master’s of arts in early childhood education program teaches students the skills and information required to take on leadership, research, and public policy roles in the field of early childhood education.
Coursework focuses on assessment, curriculum development, and professional leadership. This program culminates with a capstone course where students design a project to show that they are proficient in the National Association for the Education of Young Children advanced standards. CU Chicago also offers an MA in early childhood special education.
|6||Texas A&M University - Commerce||Commerce||$$$$$||2600 South Neal|
Commerce, TX 75429-3011
Located about 60 miles northeast of Dallas, Texas A&M University-Commerce is a public research university that belongs to the Texas A&M University System. This school was founded in 1889 and is the fourth oldest university in Texas. Today, A&M-Commerce reaches many online students through a variety of innovative degree programs. Most of its degrees can be completed at least partially online and many can be finished without ever stepping foot on campus. The school currently offers a variety of early childhood education master's degrees online, including an MED, MS, and MA.
The coursework for these programs differs slightly. The MA requires students to learn about the foundations of advanced study in the field, the MS requires additional statistics and research courses, and the MED requires additional research and more credit hours. Students can also add an ESL or bilingual education specialization. All ECE students must pass a written comprehensive examination after completing all of their courses.
|7||University of North Dakota||Grand Forks||$$$$$||264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193|
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
The University of North Dakota is a public research university based in Grand Forks. It was established in 1883 and is North Dakota’s oldest university. Thousands of students are enrolled in online courses and degree programs at UND. Many of UND’s online degree programs boast in-state tuition rates, even for out-of-state students; this includes the school’s online master's in early childhood education.
This program awards a non-licensing degree and has coursework that focuses on teaching methods that consider a child’s family, gender, community, and culture. This program requires completion of a two-credit teaching practicum at a qualified school or head start program. UND early childhood education graduate students can also enroll in additional courses to earn the national director credential for early childhood administrators.
|8||Stephen F Austin State University||Nacogdoches||$$$$$||2008 Alumin Drive, Rusk 206|
Nacogdoches, TX 75961
Stephen F. Austin State University is a public university headquartered in Nacogdoches, Texas. It began as a teacher’s college in 1923 and continues to produce graduates that excel in the field of education. SFA Online is comprised of 20 degree programs in a variety of fields. One such offering is its master’s of education, which provides EC-6 and 4-8 alternative teaching certifications.
The coursework in the master’s in early childhood education online program at SFA teaches students in-depth theory and research regarding child development, classroom practices, learning strategies, and child psychology. Classes are offered in half-term formats in the fall and spring semesters, and all courses are available online. Students can choose to take two extra classes or complete a research-based thesis focusing on an area of early childhood education. Graduates of this program are eligible to apply for elementary school certification in Texas and select other states.
|9||Mercy College||Dobbs Ferry||$$$$$||555 Broadway|
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Mercy College is a private liberal arts institution in Dobbs Ferry, New York with satellite locations throughout the state. It also has online degree programs to serve non-traditional students. The 30 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs at Mercy College are delivered through Blackboard, and online students benefit from video recordings of lectures and discussion boards. The master’s of science in early childhood education from Mercy College provides students with New York State certification to work in preschool through grade two classrooms.
The curriculum requirements of the online master’s in early childhood education include coursework that focuses on educational assessment, language acquisition, and child psychology. Field work at approved institutions is also required for every online class. Course requirements differ slightly based on the certification preferences of students, and distance learners residing outside of New York may have different requirements for certification.
|10||University of Alabama at Birmingham||Birmingham||$$$$$||Administration Bldg Suite 1070|
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public research university that belongs to the University of Alabama System. UAB’s eLearning and professional studies department offers several online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that can be completed entirely online, including a master’s in early childhood and elementary education.
Graduate students studying early childhood education online at UAB learn about cognitive theory, literacy and math instruction best practices, and research and assessment in education. A third of the credits needed to earn a degree at UAB consist of field work in approved educational settings. Blended courses that include both online and on-campus class sessions are available, and Saturday and summer classes are offered for some courses. Additionally, UAB has an alternative master’s program that is designed for individuals who hold an undergraduate degree in a field outside of education who want to become certified teachers.
|11||Northern Arizona University||Flagstaff||$$$$$||1900 S. Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center|
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-4132
Northern Arizona University is a public research university based in Flagstaff, Arizona. It has 36 satellite campuses around Arizona as well as many online offerings. With over 113 online degree programs spread out among 14 different disciplines, NAU is an authority in online education. Most of NAU’s online classes are asynchronous and do not require students to log in and attend class at set times. The master’s in early childhood education at NAU is meant for practicing pre-school and primary teachers who want to develop new skills and methods of working with young learners.
Students pursuing an early childhood education master’s degree online from NAU learn about developmental psychology, curriculum practices, and classroom management. They also conduct field work. In order to graduate, distance learners must successfully pass a series of assessments that are embedded into their required courses.
|12||Pacific Oaks College||Pasadena||$$$$$||55 Eureka Street|
Pasadena, CA 91103
Pacific Oaks College is a private college with a main campus in Pasadena, California. It is dedicated to providing students with degrees that are related to social justice, child development, and human development. Several education and human development bachelor’s and master’s degrees available to distance learners. Seven-week courses and a faculty mentorship program are highlights of the online educational experience at Pacific Oaks College.
The online master’s of arts in early childhood education teaches students the skills they need to assume leadership roles at schools, state agencies, and nonprofits in the early childhood education sector. Specific course topics include early childhood public policy, family and community studies, and combatting oppression in schools. This master’s in early childhood education online program can be completed in one year by full-time students, but part-time students are also encouraged to apply.
|13||University of West Alabama||Livingston||$$$$$||Station One|
Livingston, AL 35470
Founded in 1835, the University of West Alabama is a public university headquartered in Livingston, Alabama. Fully-online and hybrid degree programs in business, education, liberal arts, and the sciences are offered at UWA.
UWA’s master’s in early childhood education teaches subjects related to educational planning, educational research, and technology and education. Students are also required to complete field work at an approved school or organization. Graduates from this program learn the skills and theoretical background needed to become leaders, administrators, advanced teachers, and specialists who work with preschool through third grade students. UWA offers six terms a year that are each eight weeks in length in the fall through spring and six weeks in length during the summer. Students who do not have previous experience with special education must take a general survey course on the subject.
|14||Georgia Southern University||Statesboro||$$$$$||Brannen Hall, Room 2015, 2670 Southern Drive|
Statesboro, GA 30460-8126
Georgia Southern University is a public university based in Statesboro, Georgia. It belongs to the University System of Georgia. GSU is the sixth largest school in Georgia’s university system and has recently expanded its reach by offering online courses and degree options to students across the country. GSU has online programs in healthcare, business, and education. Hybrid course options that combine online and in-classroom activities are also available. GSU’s online master’s in early childhood education is designed for students who are currently certified and working in the field. Curriculum development, learning theories, educational research, and cultural issues in education are emphasized in this master’s in early childhood education online program. Full-time students can obtain this degree in a little over a year by taking classes in consecutive summer, fall, spring, and summer terms.
|15||Concordia University - Saint Paul||Saint Paul||$$$$$||1282 Concordia Ave|
Saint Paul, MN 55104-5494
Concordia University-Saint Paul is a liberal arts university based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a part of the Concordia University System, which has many locations across the country. The university currently offers 19 bachelor’s degree programs and 20 master’s degree programs. It is a leader of online education in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Online students at CU-Saint Paul have access to an easy-to-use online education portal and a help desk. Online courses in CU-Saint Paul’s master’s of arts in early childhood education are seven weeks in length and explore topics such as the theory of play, emergent literacy, diversity in the classroom, and ethics for educators. In order to be accepted into this program, applicants must be employed in some kind of early childhood education capacity.
|16||Nova Southeastern University||Fort Lauderdale||$$$$$||3301 College Ave|
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
Nova Southeastern University is a private university with a main campus located in Davie, Florida. Founded as Nova University of Advanced Technology during World War II, the university later merged with the Southeastern University of Health Sciences. NSU currently provides many bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs online. NSU’s master’s of science in education - prekindergarten through primary education curriculum focuses on research, child development, curriculum planning, and educational assessment. Coursework is primarily synchronous and is delivered through real-time video streaming software. Students are required to complete field work at an institution approved by NSU as the final step of the program before they are eligible to graduate. NSU provides online courses through Sharklearn, which is based on the Blackboard learning management system.
|17||Biola University||La Mirada||$$$$$||13800 Biola Ave|
La Mirada, CA 90639-0001
Biola University is a private, Christian university based in La Mirada, California. It is strongly committed to providing students with a faith-based educational experience. Biola University offers three bachelor’s degree programs and 13 master’s degree programs online. The school’s online programs are delivered through the Canvas learning management system. The teachings of the bible are integrated into course offerings to help students develop academically and spiritually. The master’s of arts in teaching - early childhood from Biola University qualifies graduates to apply for child development permits from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Biola University’s master’s in early childhood education online program covers topics that focus on education, child development, and assessment of early learners. Completion of field work and a capstone research project are also required in order to graduate.
|18||University of South Alabama||Mobile||$$$$$||307 N University Blvd|
Mobile, AL 36688-0002
The University of South Alabama (USA) is a national research university with a main campus in Mobile, Alabama. USA is the only public higher education institution in the upper Gulf Coast region of the United States. The university serves this region and beyond with traditional and online courses and degree programs. USA’s distance learners have access to online forums and web conferencing. The master’s in early childhood education at USA is designed to qualify graduates for the Alabama Class A Professional Early Childhood Education (P-3) certificate. Some of the course subjects in this program include instructional planning, trends in literacy and math instruction, and educational research. This degree program also requires early childhood education internships. USA’s online offerings are accessible through the Sakai learning management software.
|19||Edinboro University of Pennsylvania||Edinboro||$$$$$||219 Meadville Street|
Edinboro, PA 16444-0001
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania is a public university headquartered in northwest Pennsylvania. It is one of the 14 colleges and universities that belongs to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Edinboro University’s online degree programs are delivered through the D2L LMS. Its master’s in early childhood education program teaches students advanced research techniques and practices. It also requires a one-week summer residency that must be attended on campus during the summer after a student’s first year. The remainder of the coursework for this program can be completed entirely online. Course subjects include educational research, curriculum development, and child development. This program also requires students to complete a research project and present their results in a written report to a faculty member. Students may also choose to pursue an additional early childhood education certification.
|20||Champlain College||Burlington||$$$$$||246 S. Willard St|
Burlington, VT 05401
Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a private college with a main campus in Burlington, Vermont. Many of its students are distance learners who complete coursework remotely. Champlain’s master’s in early childhood education takes a project-based approach and utilizes an asynchronous course schedule, which allows students to view lectures, videos, and other course resources on their own time. The specialized tracks in this program include special education, teaching, and administration for early childhood education. Coursework for these tracks differs slightly, but all online master’s in early childhood education students at Champlain learn about essential child development and pedagogy theory. Courses are offered in eight-week terms and distance learners must participate in a four-day, face-to-face academic residency during their first year of enrollment in the graduate program.
|21||Northwestern State University of Louisiana||Natchitoches||$$$$$||University Parkway|
Natchitoches, LA 71497-0002
Northwestern State University of Louisiana is a public university with a primary campus in Natchitoches, Louisiana and additional locations across the state. The school’s online campus participates in the Louisiana Transfer Degree Program, and distance learners pay the same online tuition rate regardless of their state of residency. The online master’s of arts in teaching - early childhood education from NSU meets the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and qualifies graduates for certification in Louisiana as well as select other states.
NSU’s early childhood education master’s degree online program requires a year-long internship at a school or early childhood education organization in addition to online coursework. Classes focus on foundational and specialized topics including advanced child development, assessment of children, educational research, and community relations.
|22||Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green||$$$$$||1906 College Heights Blvd|
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000
Established in 1906, Western Kentucky University is a public research university in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The school’s online division has consistently received recognition from organizations such as U.S. News & World Report due to the caliber of its offerings. Support services for online students include tutoring, success coaching, and career search help. The online MAE in early childhood education/teacher leadership prepares early childhood teachers to assume leadership roles.
Students learn to create and plan experiences to support the development of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners, as well as their families, including children with disabilities. This program is offered approximately 80% online and requires some in-person participation at WKU’s main campus or at one of its regional locations. The coursework in the program emphasizes pedagogy, research, and leadership training.
|23||Jacksonville State University||Jacksonville||$$$$$||700 Pelham Road North|
Jacksonville, AL 36265
Jacksonville State University is a public university based in Jacksonville, Alabama. The university was established in 1883 as a state teacher’s college. Today, the school offers degree programs from all major areas of study, but its main focus remains on teaching educators. Online@JSU boasts a dedicated team of IT personnel and instructional designers who ensure that students receive a quality online education. Technical assistance is available to all JSU online students 24/7. JSU offers online master’s degrees in early childhood education and early childhood special education.
Online students in these programs learn about technology use in education, children’s literature, educational assessment, child behavior, and educational research. Students who choose the early childhood special education degree program take additional specialized coursework that focuses on teaching children with special needs.
|24||Saint Ambrose University||Davenport||$$$$$||518 W Locust St|
Davenport, IA 52803-2898
Saint Ambrose University is a private liberal arts school located in Davenport, Iowa. It has a Catholic affiliation. The university offers a variety of degree programs and courses that can be completed online. Some courses are available in an asynchronous format, while others must be virtually attended at specific days and times. The curriculum of the online master’s of early childhood education program at Saint Ambrose University focuses on promoting the wellbeing of children, making teachers more self-reflective, and promoting social justice. Course topics include cognitive science, teamwork, literacy development, and professional development. This program also requires a capstone research project. Applicants should have previous experience as a practitioner in an area of early childhood education, including working as a teacher, early interventionist, speech therapist, counselor, or social worker.
|25||University of the Southwest||Hobbs||$$$$$||6610 North Lovington Hwy|
Hobbs, NM 88240
The University of the Southwest is a private university headquartered in Hobbs, New Mexico. The school provides bachelor’s degrees in several disciplines as well as master’s degree in business and education. Distance learners at USW pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of their state of residency. Courses are delivered through Blackboard, CAMS-Enterprise course management software, and innovative video conferencing. Students enrolled in USW’s master’s in early childhood education online program can also choose to obtain a teaching license while completing their degree.
Child development, early childhood language acquisition, nutrition, family and community studies, and curriculum development are major facets of the required coursework at USW. This degree program also mandates that students complete a practicum at an approved early childhood education establishment.
Early Childhood Policy, Social Contexts of Learning, Curriculum Development, Research Issues and Assessment Techniques
Education, education and human development
High school principals, researchers and advisors, leaders in teacher training, instructional coordinators, teachers of education professionals (professors)
A high school principal earns a median salary of $90,410 per year; $62,270 for instructional coordinators; $72,470 for postsecondary teachers.
Principalship positions are expected to grow 6-13% through 2024.
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Average Early Childhood Education Salaries
|Growth Rate 2014-2024||Number of Jobs: 2014||Degree||Certifications|
|6%||1,517,400||Bachelor's||State licensure required for public schools|
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers work in public and private schools teaching students basic subjects such as math, English, and reading. They also evaluate student aptitudes, grade assignments, monitor student progress, help students overcome challenges, and supervise them during lunchtime or recess. These professionals require at least a bachelor’s degree, such as an online bachelor’s in early childhood education. Effective teachers must have patience, creativity, and enjoy working with young people.
|Growth Rate 2014-2024||Number of Jobs: 2014||Degree||Certifications|
|5%||1,260,600||High School Diploma or Equivalent||N/A|
When parents and other relatives are unable to care for their children, they turn to childcare workers. They work in centers, which may include their own homes or the homes of children they care for. They monitor the safety of children, organize and supervise meals, change diapers, ensure children have enough rest and playtime, and monitor their development and keep record of their progress. The position requires excellent communication and instructional skills, patience, and stamina. While not always required, professionals who complete online early childhood education programs will be more qualified and stand out to employers.
|Growth Rate 2014-2024||Number of Jobs: 2014||Degree||Certifications|
Childcare center directors are responsible for running the day-to-day operations at their facility. This includes supervising preschool teachers and childcare workers, providing professional development to staff, developing programming and standards, working with staff to interact with parents, and preparing budgets. Candidates who earn their bachelor’s in early childhood education online are typically qualified to work as childcare center directors.
|Growth Rate 2014-2024||Number of Jobs: 2014||Degree||Certifications|
|7%||441,000||Bachelor's||CDA or CCP|
Preschool educators teach children basic skills, such as shapes, colors, numbers, and letters. They create and implement a curriculum targeting different areas of childhood development, design activities for students to explore and develop their skills and interests, and record each student’s progress. Creativity, patience, and great communication and organization skills are vital. Earning an online bachelor’s in early childhood education will qualify you to work as a preschool teacher at most schools.