Early childhood education (ECE) programs cover the educational theories, methods, and tools used to teach children from preschool through second grade. ECE also covers strategies parents can use to evaluate and educate their infants and toddlers. In addition to classroom teachers, many ECE graduates become paraeducators and classroom assistants, special education specialists, childcare center employees, and child psychologists.

A bachelor's degree is considered the minimum educational requirement for most ECE professionals, including preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school teachers. ECE bachelor's programs equip students with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to lead lessons, games, and other activities for young learners. Most programs also feature required practicum components, which allow students to receive supervised training from established teachers in actual classrooms.

Today, many students are choosing to earn their bachelor's in early childhood education online. Web-based programs follow the same rigorous curriculum as classroom-based options, and the flexible schedule is particularly convenient for students with jobs, childcare responsibilities, or any other commitments that make attending classes on campus difficult. Read on to learn more about what you can do with an online bachelor's degree in early childhood education, and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to in this comprehensive guide.

WHAT IS THE BEST ONLINE SCHOOL FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION?

BestColleges.com ranks Florida International University's bachelor's in early childhood education at number one, but each school is different. Prospective students should check whether schools meet their needs and will help them achieve their goals. Read more here..

CAN YOU GET AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DEGREE ONLINE?

Yes. BestColleges.com ranked 25 of the best online bachelor's in early childhood education. Read more here..

HOW TO GET AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DEGREE ONLINE

After students have been admitted, they must complete all curriculum requirements, which may include a set amount of student-teaching hours or a capstone project. Most programs also require learners to maintain a minimum GPA. Read more here..

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DEGREE?

Graduates with a bachelor's in early childhood education are prepared for many careers, including kindergarten teacher, special education teacher, and preschool director. Read more here..

IS AN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DEGREE WORTH IT?

Professionals with a bachelor's in early childhood education make 29% to 32% more than those with an associate degree. A bachelor's degree also prepares learners for more careers. Read more here..

WILL AN ONLINE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

ECE bachelor's programs teach students how to educate young children. Students are taught how to incorporate games, songs, art projects, and other engaging activities into their lesson plans. They also study procedures for evaluating young children in different academic arenas, and how to work with children who have learning disabilities or behavioral issues. Other areas of focus include state and federal laws governing public education, strategies for holding parent-teacher conferences, and ways to integrate disabled and gifted children into the classroom dynamic.

WILL AN ONLINE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Most online ECE bachelor's programs follow an asynchronous (self-paced) schedule, which allows students to access course lectures and materials, submit written assignments, take exams, and communicate with their professors on their own schedule. The latest in educational technology also allows them to study away from home using a laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other Wi-Fi-compatible devices. For additional convenience, distance learners can usually coordinate practicum courses at schools and other training sites near their residence.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DEGREE?

Many ECE bachelor's program graduates pursue careers as kindergarten or elementary school teachers; however, public school teachers at all grade levels must be certified or licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Public school licensure requirements vary by state, although the criteria may include successful completion of a state-issued licensing exam, a set number of classroom-based training hours, undergraduate grade point average, or specialization in specific academic subjects. A background check is usually also required. ECE roles that may not carry licensure requirements include private school teachers, childcare center personnel, and paraeducators.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is a very personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school's strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online ECE programs in the United States. If you want to pursue an ECE degree, and you value the opportunity to study online, read on to learn more about the top online early childhood education programs in the country.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Florida International University

Miami, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Founded in 1972, Florida International University boasts 54,000 learners and more than 200,000 graduates. A public university based in Miami, FIU focuses strongly on research and ranks among the U.S. News and World Report's top 100 public schools.

The College of Arts, Sciences, and Education offers a bachelor of science in early childhood education that emphasizes cognitive and social development from birth to age five. The program explores the impact of community on development, and examines early development for special needs children.

Earning this early childhood education degree online requires 120 credits in classes including cultural/social foundations of education, early childhood educational programs, and educational psychology. Although the degree does not lead to teaching certification, coursework addresses classroom concepts such as relevant curricula for early childhood. Some courses include field experience at age-appropriate organizations.

Candidates must complete general education requirements or an associate program and hold 60 credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA before entering this program.

FIU online provides students with personal coaches for one-on-one guidance. Distance learners also benefit from tutoring through Smarthinking and the FIU Writing Center, job postings through Handshake, and online library resources. Learners can also pursue study abroad opportunities to places like India and Belize.

FIU's College of Education holds accreditation through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits FIU.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Early Childhood Education
Available Concentrations: Early childhood development
Tuition: $130/credit in-state; $247/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (855) 782-1802
Email: onlineprograms@fiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Brandman University

Irvine, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

Brandman University, originally called Chapman University College, began in 1958. Around 10,000 students study at this private, nonprofit school. This military-friendly school in Irvine, California offers more than 80 programs and holds accreditation through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Brandman delivers a bachelor of arts in early childhood education that focuses on children eight and younger. This program comprises 120 credits, with core classes including introduction to curriculum for young children, child growth and development, dual language learners and their families, and the professional early childhood educator. Students must complete two practicums and a capstone project to obtain this early childhood education bachelor's degree online. Graduates earn positions as teacher assistants, preschool educators, and childcare administrators.

The department requires 12 credits for program entry, but allows students to use military experience or complete the Brandman track for these credits. Applicants must also hold a minimum 2.0 GPA. Online applicants should ensure Brandman admits students from their state for this bachelor's.

Online students can access resources through the Online Writing and Math Center. The center provides tutoring, including an essay submission tool with a 72-hour turnaround time. The library also offers e-reserves and a live chat option to connect with librarians.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Early Childhood Education (degree completion)
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (949) 341-9800
Email: apply@brandman.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

University of Washington

Seattle, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 84%

The University of Washington in Seattle began in 1861 and currently offers more than 600 programs to more than 57,000 learners annually. This public institution emphasizes research and ranks among the U.S. News and World Report's top global universities. Former students include seven recipients of Nobel Prizes and 16 MacArthur Fellows. UW holds accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The school delivers a bachelor of arts in early care and education. This 180-credit program embraces the Intentional Teaching Framework which emphasizes experience and observation, and also emphasizes current research and educational theory.

Students choose from the program's two learning paths. The core pathway examines child development for careers in social services, childcare, and early education. The teaching and learning pathway includes all core pathway classes, but requires supplementary coursework in teaching careers. For either path, learners complete courses in cohorts, but can study full or part time, with respective graduation times of two or three years. Graduates qualify for preschool teaching, early learning coaching, and education advocacy careers.

Candidates can attend virtual information sessions to learn about the program before applying. Applicants must already hold 70 credits to pursue an early childhood education degree online through this university.

Students may also consider UW's online certificate in practice-based coaching to prepare for early childhood careers. This certificate includes nine months of coursework.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Early Care and Education (degree completion)
Tuition: $231/credit
Credit Requirements: 180 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 506-1325
Email: help@uw.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia was founded in 1971, with an initial enrollment of just 154 students. This private, nonprofit school currently educates more than 100,000 students through over 600 programs, including 400 online options. Candidates choose from 17 schools and colleges, with online learners benefiting from an interactive, 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. This Christian institution holds accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The School of Education includes a 120-credit bachelor of science in early childhood education. This program explores teaching techniques and developmental stages through eight-week classes. Curriculum addresses classroom management, childhood psychology, learning theory, and also includes a fieldwork capstone project. Learners can transfer 75% of program coursework from other schools. This early childhood education program holds accreditation through CAEP.

Students can earn this early childhood education degree online in 3.5 years with a minimum 2.0 GPA and at least a "C" in all upper-level core classes. Graduates can work in schools and early childhood organizations, or pursue Liberty's master's in teaching for certification. Related programs at Liberty include bachelor's degrees in elementary education and special education. Candidates can additionally earn undergraduate certificates in preschool education and English as a second language (ESL).

Liberty provides degree seekers with free digital textbooks. Current and former military personnel and their spouses also benefit from discount tuition. Liberty also applies military training for academic credit. Online learners can sample a course and view webinars on admissions, educational funding, and specific academic departments before enrolling.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Early Childhood Education - Interdisciplinary Studies (degree completion)
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 3.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (434) 582-2000
Email: luoundergrad@liberty.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Lincoln, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

The University of Nebraska - Lincoln began in 1869 through legislative charter. Over 82% of first-year students who studied full time in 2016 returned to UNL, and 42% of beginning, full-time learners in 2013 graduated within four years. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits this public institution.

The College of Education and Human Services delivers a bachelor of science in child, youth, and family studies, with emphasis in early childhood in a mobile setting. This early childhood and primary education degree online focuses on children under the age of eight who frequently relocate for military, work, and financial circumstances. Candidates learn to foster encouraging environments and interact with families to help children cope with change. To earn this degree, learners complete 120 credits, including three practicums.

This program does not prepare for certification, but embraces standards from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Program graduates can pursue master's degrees in educational administration, special education, child development/early childhood education, youth development, and family and community services through UNL. Similar bachelor's programs at UNL include degrees in elementary education, secondary education, and special education.Teaching programs at UNL hold CAEP accreditation.

UNL offers career assistance to on-campus and online students, such as guidance on resumes and interviews. Candidates can explore available jobs and internships online and attend the Hire Big 10+ Virtual Career Fair. Alumni also benefit from career assistance, including one-on-one career coaching, and gain discounts on insurance, cars, and hotels.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Child, Youth, and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Early childhood in a mobile society
Tuition: $245/credit in-state; $772/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (402) 472-2023
Email: admissions@unl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Fort Hays State University

Hays, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

The Western Branch of the Kansas Normal School opened in 1902 to 57 learners, each paying $5 in tuition. This university became Fort Hays State University in 1977. Today, this public school includes 15,100 students, including 7,005 attending online. More than 3,000 students graduated from FHSU in 2016-2017 and benefited from the institution's 95% job placement rate for alumni. The Higher Learning Commission accredits FHSU.

The Department of Teacher Education offers a 126-credit bachelor of science in early childhood unified. Courses include emergent literacy, educational psychology, assessment in special education, and behavior strategies and support. Curriculum includes an internship and student teaching, completed in the student's home community. Nonresident learners should research their state's requirements to determine if the program prepares for licensure. In Kansas, the early childhood unified credential allows educators to teach in classrooms up to the third grade, including special education, and can lead to initial licensure. Graduates can also work in early childhood organizations as coordinators and administrators.

FHSU offers related master's degrees in fields such as instructional technology, school psychology, educational administration, and special education. Relevant FSHU programs hold accreditation through CAEP. Learners taking early childhood education degree online courses through this university can connect with five related student organizations: Kappa Delta Pi, the Kansas National Education Association, the National Science Teachers Association Student Chapter, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the Kansas Association of Teachers of Mathematics.


Program Overview
Program Name: B.S. in Early Childhood Unified
Tuition: $219/credit
Credit Requirements: 126 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or Praxis

Contact
Phone: (785) 628-4204
Email: fhsunews@fhsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

The University of Cincinnati in Ohio was established in 1870. UC currently educates around 46,000 students and ranks second on U.S. News and World Report's list for innovative schools. Boasting an 87% employment rate for alumni within three months of graduating, UC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services delivers a bachelor of science in early childhood education. With a focus on children up to age five, candidates explore theoretical and ethical practices for teaching through classes such as introductory child development, classroom organization and guidance, creative arts in early care and education, and infant and toddler care and education. The department offers focuses in pre-K, administration, and infant-toddler studies. This program may lead to pre-K licensure recommendation in Ohio.

Students can graduate in four years, but must hold a minimum 2.8 GPA, and complete 30 credits at UC. This program holds accreditation from CAEP and the Ohio Department of Education.

Degree seekers can earn and renew the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential using UC courses. Students can also pursue undergraduate certificates through UC on autism spectrum disorders, STEM teaching, gifted education, and reading instruction, along with endorsements and licenses. After graduation, learners can earn online master's degrees in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, instructional design and technology, literacy, and special education.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS Degree in Early Childhood Education
Available Concentrations: Birth - age 5; pre-K - grade 3
Tuition: $5,500/term in-state; $5,680/term out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: (513) 556-1000
Email: onestop@uc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

The Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi began in 1878, following the Morrill Act of 1862. This public school in Starkville boasts Carnegie Classification and accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education's bachelor of science in elementary education provides focuses on middle school and early childhood. Each concentration requires 123 credits, with a maximum of 61 transfer credits. Core classes for the early childhood focus include child development and creativity, and play in young children. The program requires field experiences with specific age groups and time frames. For instance, the early block involves 20 hours in K-3 grade classrooms, while the teaching internship requires full-time attendance in K-6 grade settings.

Earning this early childhood education bachelor's degree online leads to Mississippi licensure. Since the department cannot oversee Georgia internships, learners from that state cannot gain certification. Candidates from other areas should check state requirements to determine the program's applicability for licensure. This bachelor's program holds CAEP accreditation.

Graduates can pursue advanced degrees through the university, such as a master of science in elementary education and a doctorate in elementary, middle, and secondary education administration. Distance learners can take an online assessment to explore the online learning setting. Virtual students can also attend online orientation, benefit from the Writing Center's online tutoring, and gain professional guidance from the Career Center. Online candidates can also access catalogues, articles, and databases from the school's library, as well as online workshops on APA format, publishing, and plagiarism.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Elementary Education
Available Concentrations: Early childhood
Tuition: $356/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT or Praxis
Work Experience: 40 hours

Contact
Phone: (662) 325-3473
Email: ahp3@colled.msstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

University of Nebraska at Kearney

Kearney, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

The University of Nebraska at Kearney started in 1905 as the Nebraska State Normal School. The institution joined the University of Nebraska system in 1991, and currently holds Higher Learning Commission accreditation.

Students can pursue two 120-credit early childhood education degrees online at UNK. The bachelor of science in early childhood and family advocacy prepares students to work, but not teach, in early childhood organizations. The program focuses on improving education and life by engaging with students and families. Classes include families in crisis, counseling skills, and child and family home visitation. Learners must also complete two field experiences for different age groups.

Students can choose the early childhood inclusive bachelor's to work as special education teachers for children up to five years old, or as regular teachers for children eight and under. This degree offers two specializations: birth through kindergarten, and age three to grade three. Both specializations requires fieldwork and courses such as early childhood program administration, literacy assessment, and math for elementary teachers. Both paths hold accreditation from CAEP and are delivered asynchronously. Students can also earn endorsements for related positions through UNK, such as special education generalists and school librarians. Candidates can also pursue graduate degrees in fields like art education, curriculum and instruction, educational administration, and special education.

Online students can attend virtual orientation and watch tutorials on plagiarism and citation styles. Distance learners can also access library materials, including ebooks and articles, and obtain one-on-one research assistance through the Ask-A-Librarian feature. The Career Center provides career fairs, resume feedback, and mock interviews for students and alumni.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Early Childhood and Family Advocacy; BA in Education in Early Childhood Inclusive
Tuition: $255/credit in-state; $387/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: BS is online; BA is hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (308) 865-8441
Email: ecampus@unk.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

Located in Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama began in 1831 has grown into the state's largest university with a fall 2018 enrollment of 38,392 students. Past and present students include over 600 National Merit Scholars, along with Goldwater, Rhodes, Truman, Hollings, and Boren Scholars. This public institution holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

UA offers a bachelor of science in human environmental sciences, early childhood education, that focuses on early child development. The program targets present and future early childhood education employees and explores cognitive, social, and physical development through age eight. Students examine methods for parental engagement, and create programs that increase childhood learning.

Degree seekers complete 120 credits to obtain this early childhood education degree online. Coursework involves a semester-long internship and fieldwork at organizations with NAEYC accreditation. Other classes include preschool development, educational statistics, program evaluation, and developmental perspectives of young children with disabilities.

This program does not lead to licensure, but holds NAEYC accreditation. Candidates interested in Head Start employment should choose UA's human environmental sciences bachelor's with a child development practitioner concentration instead of this early childhood option. Graduates can continue their studies with a master's degree in educational leadership, educational psychology, elementary education, and special education in blended or online format. UA additionally offers an online certification in counselor education.

UA's Writing Center provides asynchronous tutoring for online students. The Career Center offers virtual mock interviews and free portfolio headshots for students and alumni. Distance learners can access library resources, including articles and citation guides.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Human Environmental Sciences, Early Childhood Education
Available Concentrations: Early childhood development; child development practitioner
Tuition: $364/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (800) 467-0227
Email: kschaefers@ches.ua.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

The Central Michigan Normal School and Business Institute began in 1892, and changed to Central Michigan University in 1959. The public university's enrollment surpasses 23,000 students, with more than 8,000 taking classes online. Located in Mount Pleasant, notable CMU alumni include former U.S. Ambassador Alfonso Lenhardt and Fox19 Cincinnati's Catherine Bodak. The Higher Learning Commission accredits CMU.

CMU students can pursue two early childhood education bachelor's degrees online: a bachelor of science in early childhood development and learning, and an applied arts bachelor's in the same field. Both degrees require 124 credits, a practicum experience, and a capstone project, along with classes like infant toddler development, guidance for young children, and constructivism as a tool for learning. The applied arts degree requires a minor, with online options including psychology, political science, geography, and coaching.

Students complete most courses asynchronously through Blackboard, and either program prepares for teaching careers outside of elementary schools. Curricula adheres to NAEYC training concepts, and early childhood teaching standards for the Michigan Department of Education. Programs also boast CAEP accreditation. Graduates may continue their education at CMU through an online master's degrees in education, educational leadership, reading and literacy, and special education.

The Math Assistance Center offers tutoring online, and over the phone. Online students can submit papers to the Writing Center for feedback, and attend Handshake sessions through the Career Development Center. Additional benefits for distance learners include the Counseling Center's therapy assistance online project, access to library resources, and more than 150 study abroad opportunities to countries such as China, Argentina, France, Iceland, Greece, and Croatia.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Early Childhood Development and Learning; BAA in Early Childhood Development and Learning
Tuition: $417/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (877) 268-4636
Email: cmuglobal@cmich.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

California Baptist University

Riverside, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

The California Southern Baptist Convention started California Baptist University in 1950. Located in Riverside, this private, nonprofit school educated 10,486 students in fall 2018 and ranked on U.S. News and World Report's lists for regional institutions in the West and online bachelor's programs. CBU holds accreditation through WASC.

CBU's bachelor of arts in early childhood studies addresses cognitive, physical, and social developmental concepts from infancy to age eight. The program trains degree seekers for non-teaching positions in advocacy and intercession. Candidates explore early childhood theories for building learning atmospheres, resolving early childhood issues, communicating to children and faculty, and encouraging family involvement.

The department requires 48 credits in program-related courses. These classes include early childhood curriculum, administration of early childhood, STEM integrated with the arts, early intervention, and cognitive development in infancy and early childhood. On average, learners finish this program in 16 months.

Candidates who intend to teach can choose a K-12 teaching credential program, or pursue an early childhood education specialist credential. Candidates can also obtain online master's degrees in education for early childhood, leadership, and teaching through CBU.

Distance learners benefit from one-on-one career coaching and may view the Career Center's Quick Clips videos for career guidance. Candidates can also access more than 150,000 ebooks and 40 databases through CBU's library. The library participates in the Document Delivery Service and Interlibrary Loan program that deliver requested items to students within a 25-mile radius of CBU.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Early Childhood Studies
Tuition: $589/credit
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Program Length: 16 months

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (877) 236-1617
Email: cbuonline@calbaptist.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

National University

La Jolla, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

Retired U.S. Navy Captain David Chigos started National University in 1971. This private, nonprofit school in San Diego focuses on assisting military personnel. Specifically, NU participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, offers reduced tuition to military students, and maintains the Veteran Center to help military candidates ease into civilian life. The school boasts more than 150,000 alumni and accreditation from WASC.

The Sanford College of Education offers a bachelor of arts in early childhood education that explores curriculum development, advocacy, and teaching strategies. Candidates learn to improve learning environments by examining factors that impact learning, maintaining a positive attitude, and encouraging parent involvement.

To earn this early childhood education degree online, students complete classes such as early cognition, play as pedagogy, children with special needs, and infant and toddler care. Learners also gain field experience with children age five or under at authorized locations, including Head Start programs and NAEYC-accredited organizations.

This bachelor's may not certify students in all states. However, the program holds CAEP accreditation, embraces NAEYC guidelines, and CDA National Competency Standards. NU also boasts membership with the American Association of Colleges for Teaching Education, and 15 NU alumni have become California Teacher of the Year.

NU offers ongoing enrollment and four-week courses, allowing students to apply monthly and complete one course per term. Online students can access a job portal and resources on resumes and cover letters through Career Services, and also attend online workshops on profiles and interviews. Distance learners also benefit from online tutoring through the Writing Center.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Early Childhood Education
Tuition: $430/credit
Credit Requirements: 180 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (844) 814-4863
Email: soe@nu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

The University of Southern Mississippi began as Mississippi Normal College in 1910, before changing to its current name in 1962. This public institution in Hattiesburg holds Carnegie Classification and accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

USM's bachelor of science in child and family studies equips learners to manage family issues in schools and human service organizations. The degree prioritizes developmental growth, and explores theory and research related to the family. Coursework includes family life education, developmental disabilities in early childhood, the family in later life, parenthood, and behavior and guidance of the young child. Candidates must complete a practicum and capstone to earn this early childhood education degree online. The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) accredits this program.

Graduates can pursue master's degrees in child and family studies, marriage and family therapy, and school counseling through USM. Similar undergraduate programs include bachelor's degrees in elementary education, special education, and the education of the deaf. Online students pay resident tuition and can access Handshake for job searches. Distance learners can obtain feedback on resumes and recorded interviews through Career Services. Candidates can also take career assessments and download the Career Guide through this department.

Online students can view resources on mental health, nutrition, and ADHD through Student Health Services. This department offers free medical testing and the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students. The library provides distance learners with access to ebooks, articles, and databases.

USM delivers study abroad opportunities to places like Spain, Austria, France, and the United Kingdom. Students can earn the $4,000 Luckyday Scholarship to pay for these experiences.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Child and Family Studies
Tuition: $360/credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (601) 266-5518
Email: admissions@usm.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

West Virginia University began in 1867. As of fall 2018, this public school in Morgantown boasted nearly 30,000 students among all campuses. WVU holds Carnegie Classification and accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The College of Education and Human Services provides a bachelor of science in child development and family studies with two emphasis areas. The child development emphasis does not lead to certification. The preschool education emphasis leads to pre-K certification in West Virginia and requires the PRAXIS Core Exam, an ACT score of 26, or an SAT score of 1170.

Both areas include 120 credits and classes such as infant development, childcare center administration, introduction to parenting, and families across the lifespan. Students can take all courses online, but must complete Red Cross Agency CPR/First Aid training and field experiences in person. The department may discharge students whose GPA falls below a 2.5.

Both tracks hold accreditation from CAEP and adhere to NAEYC concepts. Curricula also embraces the West Virginia Early Standards Framework and the West Virginia Core Knowledge and Core Competencies. WVU awarded $320 million in aid to all of its campuses in one year. Online students taking early childhood education degree online courses pay in-state tuition.

Online learners can explore more than 600,000 ebooks and 90,000 online journals through WVU's seven libraries, and connect with more than 480 student organizations. WVU also provides study abroad opportunities to places such as Israel, Thailand, France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom for semester exchanges.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Child Development and Family Studies
Tuition: $396/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 253-2762
Email: web_services@mail.wvu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

The Arizona Normal College began in 1899 with only 23 learners. The school became Arizona State University in 1966 and, as of fall 2018, the public university enrolls nearly 32,000 students, including more than 5,500 online. NAU prioritizes research, includes over 400 student clubs, and holds accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.

The College of Education's Department of Teaching and Learning delivers a bachelor of applied science in early childhood. Candidates explore education administrative concerns, and build technological skills for non-teaching positions. Coursework for this 120-credit degree includes play education, curriculum and assessment in early childhood, and integrated literacy. The program's design targets community college graduates, but does not lead to certification. NAU offers most online coursework asynchronously through Blackboard.

After earning this early childhood education bachelor's degree online, candidates can pursue online master's degrees in areas such as early childhood education, educational foundations, special education, and educational leadership. NAU also offers certificates in autism spectrum disorders and positive behavior support, along with endorsements for reading specialists and ESL education.

NAU provides tutoring for online studies in English, math, and science. Online learners can access resources from the Cline Library, and request books and articles through the Document Delivery Service or Interlibrary Loan program. NAU also offers guidance and support for veterans and Native Americans through the Veteran Student Success Center and the Office of Indigenous Student Success.


Program Overview
Program Name: BAS in Early Childhood (degree completion)
Tuition: $425/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 GPA minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: 800-426-8315
Email: admissions@nau.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Fresno Pacific University

Fresno, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 65%

The Pacific Bible Institute started in 1944, with ties to the Mennonite Brethren Church. The school became Fresno Pacific University in 1997. This private, nonprofit school in California ranks as a top-value college by U.S. News and World Report. Over 80% of FPU's faculty boast terminal degrees for their discipline, and the school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

FPU offers a bachelor of arts in early childhood development that addresses child growth through age eight. Students complete 39 units in program courses, such as children's art and literature, curriculum development for early childhood education, children's play and learning theory, and a child observation practicum. This curriculum coincides with the California State Department of Education's California Preschool Learning Foundations and holds CAEP accreditation.

Applicants must hold 60 transfer credits with a minimum 2.4 GPA. Once accepted, learners complete synchronous courses in cohorts of no more than 24 students. Candidates can earn this early childhood and primary education degree online in 18 months. Graduates can pursue a master's in educational technology or earn a librarian credential online through FPU. The university also offers continuing education opportunities for renewing teaching certifications.

Online students can use library resources, virtually explore the school's Student Health 101 magazine, and study abroad in places such as Costa Rica, Israel, and India. Alumni benefit from career assistance through a job board and guidance on interviews, cover letters, and resumes.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Early Childhood Education (degree completion)
Tuition: $495/credit
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Program Length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.4 minimum

Contact
Phone: (559) 453-2000
Email: profd.ev@fresno.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Located in Richmond, Eastern Kentucky University began in 1906 as Eastern Kentucky State Normal School. The institution became EKU in 1966. In 2014, this public institution educated more than 12,000 full-time learners. EKU boasts accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and ranks among U.S. News and World Report's top regional schools in the South.

EKU students can earn a bachelor of science in child and family studies - child development. The 120-125 credit program trains candidates for education and human services positions, with classes that include family involvement with young children, early childhood literacy, and observation and assessment in early childhood education. Most online courses last eight weeks, and include asynchronous delivery through Blackboard. Degree seekers must also complete two practicums. This program holds accreditation from AAFCS and relates to careers in curriculum development, education, court proceedings, advocacy, and childcare.

This early childhood education degree's online courses coincide with NAEYC concepts and apply toward the CDA credential. Candidates can also pursue early childhood director and infant-toddler care and education certificates through EKU, along with an endorsement preparation in ESL education. Program graduates can obtain online master's degrees in elementary education, gifted education, special education, and literacy. Military students receive a tuition discount of more than $150 per credit. General tuition rates do not increase due to residency.

EKU offers online tutoring in math, psychology, and writing through live sessions and paper submissions. The library provides online databases and ebooks, and ships physical materials to students' homes.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Child and Family Studies
Available Concentrations: Child development
Tuition: $409/credit
Credit Requirements: 120-125 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (859) 622-9951
Email: https://ekuonline.eku.edu/contact-us
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Mount Vernon, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 63%

Founded in 1968 as a private, Christian school, Ohio's Mount Vernon Nazarene University has since graduation more than 20,000 students. The school participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, boasts a 79% retention rate, and holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The School of Graduate and Professional Studies delivers the bachelor of arts in early childhood education. This program involves classes such as general teaching methods, developmental literacy, classroom management, and adolescent literature. Students also complete an early childhood generalist practicum, and 600 hours of fieldwork. The Ohio Board of Regents accredits this program.

Candidates pursuing this early childhood education degree online benefit from a tuition guarantee, and can earn 40 credits for professional or military training. MVNU also accepts every higher education course for which the student earned a "C" or higher, and allows learners to bypass some classes through examinations.

This degree prepares students for Ohio teaching certification with specific coursework, which includes foundations of education, curriculum in early childhood education, children's literature for early childhood education, and learner and learning process. After graduating, learners can pursue a graduate degree in teaching and learning. MVNU also offers licensing opportunities for intervention specialists and professional educators.

The Career Development Center provides resources on resume writing, interviews, and career searches online. The library maintains databases, a digital library, and online maps that distance learners can access.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Early Childhood Education
Tuition: $398/credit
Credit Requirements: 56 credits

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT
Work Experience: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (800) 839-2355
Email: GPSAdmissions@mvnu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

20

Mayville State University

Mayville, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

Mayville Normal School was founded in 1889 and welcomed its first class in 1890, before changing its name to Mayville State University in 1987. Located in North Dakota, this public school offers a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and class sizes that typically include no more than 20 learners. MSU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

MSU delivers a bachelor of science in education in early childhood education for education professionals. Candidates learn to build encouraging classrooms while refining their knowledge of elementary concepts. Classes include language arts in the elementary school, remedial reading, kindergarten methods, and science strategies for elementary teachers. The 132-credit program focuses on children up to eight years old, requires field experience, and an electronic portfolio. CAEP accredits this program.

Earning this early childhood education bachelor's degree online qualifies learners for North Dakota teaching licensure. Learners from other states can consult the Teacher Education Department or the Office of Extended Learning to determine the program's applicability. Graduates can obtain an online master's in teaching, a graduate certificate in online digital teaching, and a kindergarten endorsement through MSU. The school also delivers similar bachelor's degrees in mathematics and special education. MSU provides online tutoring through Smarthinking and the Writing Center. Online students can view online library materials and request books and articles through the Interlibrary Loan program. Candidates can also download the Distance Student Handbook for guidance on learning platforms, academic policies, and support services.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Education in Early Childhood Education
Tuition: $295/credit
Credit Requirements: 132 credits

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (701) 788-4721
Email: connie.kaldor@mayvillestate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Honolulu, HI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Founded in 1955 as a two-year institution named St. Louis Junior College, by 1960 Chaminade was a four-year school. The university underwent its latest name change in 1977. Based in Hawaii, this private institution embraces the Marianist beliefs of Catholicism. The university offers a community atmosphere with an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, small class sizes, and enrollment of just over 2,000 students as of fall 2018. Chaminade is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

The School of Education and Behavioral Sciences offers a bachelor of science in early childhood education. Students earning this early childhood education degree online explore child development, teaching strategies, and assessment for children 2-6 years old. Candidates examine academic subjects for early childhood classrooms and learn to structure activities that encourage learning for children with various needs. The program also emphasizes parent engagement and professional presentation.

This 120-credit degree requires courses like educational technology, children's literature, and curriculum foundations, as well as two seminars and two field experiences. This coursework aligns with NAEYC standards, holds CAEP accreditation, and may lead to teaching licensure. For admission, the department requires five prerequisite classes that explore child development, family involvement, and creativity in early childhood education. Bachelor's graduates may apply to Chaminade's online master's programs for teaching or education.

Chaminade offers online tutoring through Smarthinking for writing, math, business, and science. Online students can obtain library materials, such as ebooks and journal articles. The library also provides databases for specific disciplines, including education. Chaminade students with at least 30 credits and a 2.75 GPA can participate in study abroad opportunities to areas such as Australia, England, Spain, and Italy.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Early Childhood Education
Tuition: $550/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 3-4 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (808) 739-8597
Email: compliance@chamiande.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Wilmington University

New Castle, DE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

Wilmington University first opened its doors in 1968, with an initial enrollment of just 194. This private, nonprofit school in Georgetown, Delaware now educates around 20,000 learners, with a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits WilmU.

The College of Education delivers a bachelor of science in early childhood education (preschool) for candidates seeking non-certification positions. The program explores teaching strategies, developmental stages, and also prepares learners for licensure programs.

Students must complete 122 credits, beginning with e-folio and instructional technology courses. Additional classes include child abuse, recognition and investigation, infant and toddler development, creating environments for learning, professional issues in early childhood, and differentiated methods of teaching preschoolers. Candidates must also complete a 45-day internship. Learners can transfer up to 90 credits of coursework, but must earn at least a "C-" in each core course to graduate. This program holds CAEP accreditation.

Candidates pursuing this early childhood education degree online can earn an undergraduate certificate in child advocacy studies. WilmU also offers graduate degrees in reading and teaching English to non-native speakers, along with multiple graduate certificates in special education. WilmU is a military-friendly institution, providing reduced tuition and credit for military training.

The Career Services department offers career assessments and access to Handshake. The department also maintains Buzzfile, where students explore jobs based on major. Online students can also view ebooks, journal articles, and tutorials through the school's library.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Education Studies
Available Concentrations: Early childhood education
Tuition:$372/credit
Credit Requirements: 122 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: Math and English skills assessment

Contact
Phone: (877) 967-5464
Email: infocenter@wilmu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Colorado Christian University started in 1914 and currently includes more than 8,000 students. Over half of CCU learners study out-of-state, and 99% qualify for financial assistance. CCU conferred nearly 1,200 degrees in 2018, and boasted a 92% freshman retention rate as of 2017-2018. This private, nonprofit school holds accreditation through the Higher Learning Commision, and Council of Christian Colleges and Universities membership.

The College of Adult and Graduate Studies provides a bachelor of arts in early childhood education with licensure and non-licensure options. Both 120-credit tracks include classes such as teaching as a profession, math and science methods, and assessment and measurement. The licensure track requires student teaching.

Licensure relates to pre-K through third grade teaching in Colorado. Learners from other states may earn licensure by reciprocation, depending on state standards. CCU education licensure programs hold the approval of the Association of Christian Schools International and the Colorado Department of Education.

Admission to either program track involves an interview, writing sample, recommendation letters, and a background check. Licensure track applicants need a minimum 2.75 GPA, and non-licensure candidates need a 2.5. CCU delivers coursework asynchronously through Blackboard in 5-10 week terms. Candidates can obtain 75 credits through the prior learning credit program. CCU students also benefit from a six-year tuition rate guarantee.

Similar programs to this early childhood education degree online include elementary and special education bachelor's degrees. Graduates can also earn online graduate degrees in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and special education.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Early Childhood Education
Available Concentrations: Licensure; non-licensure
Tuition: $469/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.8 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (303) 963-3000
Email: AdmissionsSupport@ccu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

In 1965, Florida Junior College was founded with an initial enrollment just over 2,600 students. The school has grown rapidly and, after became Florida State College at Jacksonville in 2009 now boasts enrollment of 50,000 learners. The southern association of colleges and schools commission on colleges accredits FSCJ.

The School of Health, Education, and Human Services delivers a bachelor of science in early childhood education, exploring teaching strategies from kindergarten through third grade. Students complete 120 credits through courses like cognitive experiences for young children, children's literature in early childhood education, and foundations of child and adolescent psychology. The program requires more than 150 hours of fieldwork, and students must pass a background check to begin internships. The program also mandates a portfolio and completion of three Florida teaching exams.

Admission for this early childhood education bachelor's degree requires a related associate degree, a class for Florida Teacher Preparation, and a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants must also take the Florida Teacher Certification General Knowledge Examination. After graduating, students can pursue the Florida Department of Education Professional Educator Certificate, the Department of Children and Families Staff Credentials, and English for Speakers of Other Languages endorsement. The school also delivers the 24-credit educator preparation institute for a nontraditional path toward teaching.

FSCJ offers career assistance through job listings, workshops, and resume guidance. Distance students benefit from online tutoring, and access to the library's electronic resources, such as video collections and ebooks. Alumni also earn discounts on dental work, and can use the school's massage therapy and spa services.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Early Childhood Education
Tuition: $105/credit in-state; $219/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (904) 633-8182
Email: eceinformation@fscj.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Saint Mary of the Woods, IN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College's history begins in 1840, when several Sisters of Providence took steps to create an all-female school. Today, the Catholic school in West Terre Haute, Indiana educates men and women and offers 50 programs. Students learn with a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, and 95% of campus learners obtain financial aid. SMWC boasts 8,487 alumni, ranks among U.S. News and World Report's top Midwest colleges, and holds Higher Learning Commission accreditation.

Students can earn an early childhood education degree online through the university's bachelor of science in education by choosing the preschool to grade three/mild intervention focus. This degree combines child development and special education concepts to prepare students for general and special education licensure. Required coursework includes growth and development, education in a global setting, understanding mild disabilities, reading in the content area, and early childhood program administration. The program also requires field experiences that must be completed in Indiana or Illinois.

This program holds approval from the Indiana Department of Education and embraces the Rules for Educator Preparation and Accreditation's guidelines. Graduate students can earn teaching certifications through SMWC's exceptional needs: mild intervention and transition to teaching programs.

SMWC's Career Development Center offers online job and internship postings, and provides career and networking events. Distance learners can obtain online tutoring through the Learning Resource Center and the Writing Center. The Rooney Library also mails requested materials to online students, and offers electronic resources, such as ebooks.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Education
Available Concentrations: Preschool - grade 3; kindergarten - grade 6
Tuition: $496/credit
Credit Requirements: 86 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (812) 535-5151
Email: smwc@smwc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

An early childhood education degree online program allows you to gain the education and training you need to be successful in this engaging field. There are many programs available, and most allow you to complete your bachelor's degree partially or completely online. Below is some general information on what these programs typically involve.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Concentration Description Careers This Concentration Prepares For
Birth to Grade 2 This concentration prepares students to teach and nurture young children, from birth to second grade. Students learn how to provide a strong foundation for children during their formative years, promoting problem-solving and critical-thinking skills at a young age. K-2 teacher, preschool teacher, childcare director, child and family social worker, guidance counselor
Youth Development Students focusing on this concentration learn the skills, theories, and techniques necessary for success working with young children and their families. Key areas of study include child advocacy, administration, and youth-focused program planning and implementation Social worker, guidance counselor, recreation worker, social service manager
Special Education This concentration allows students to learn how to best fit the needs of young children with special needs. The concentration focuses on the variability of how children develop and how early childhood educators can best serve the diverse needs of young students Special education teacher, early intervention specialist

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Depending on the online early childhood education bachelor's degree you choose, there may be different courses required as you complete the program. However, there are a few common courses that can be found in most early childhood education programs online. The following is a sample of courses you might expect to take:

  • Foundations of Early Childhood: This course provides a baseline for future coursework in early childhood education. Topics explored include historical and current best practices, the evolution of teaching methods, and the theories that drive the work of professionals in the field.
  • Child Growth and Development: Students explore the different factors that affect young people's physical and mental development, including health, nutrition, and level of activity. Students may also discover how a child's family and community relationships impact their development.
  • Children, Families, and Cultures: This course focuses on diversity and how families and communities of different backgrounds view early childhood education and related issues. Students explore best practices in early childhood education as they relate to multiculturalism and diversity.
  • Early Childhood Educational Psychology: Through this early childhood education degree online course, students will learn about theories of teaching, learning, and motivation, and how they affect children's mental, emotional, physical, and socio-cultural development.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION?

Most online early childhood education bachelor's degree programs can be completed in four years or fewer. Whether students attend full time or part time and when certain courses are available affect program length. Programs may differ in terms of how students move through their required coursework. Some feature a cohort learning model, which places individuals in groups with other students who all move through the program together. Other online bachelor's in early childhood education programs allow students to take courses at their own pace.

Although different early childhood education online degree programs have varying requirements, most involve students successfully completing about 120 credit hours of general education and major-focused courses. Students may also need to complete a practicum, in which they work alongside a professional in a real-world classroom setting.

When researching the top online colleges for early childhood education, one important consideration is the accreditation status of the program or institution. Schools should be either regionally or nationally accredited by an independent agency. Regional accreditation is considered more prestigious and comprehensive. Nationally accredited colleges may offer lower tuition rates. It's advisable to avoid programs that have not been accredited at either a regional or national level.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provides accreditation specifically for online schools for early childhood education. NAEYC collaborates with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation to ensure the efficacy of bachelor's and master's programs through a comprehensive peer review program. It maintains accreditation status on 256 different institutions in 37 states and two U.S. territories.

Overseeing the activities of the various accrediting agencies across the country are the U.S. Department of Education and the nonprofit Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The Department of Education maintains stringent standards for all federally recognized accreditors, while CHEA includes more than 3,000 college and universities throughout the United States. The organization currently oversees roughly 60 recognized accrediting agencies. To find out if an early childhood education degree online program is accredited through a reputable agency, click here.

Job Placement

ECE graduates enjoy more favorable job placement rates than students who earn degrees in other fields. A recent survey by the National Center of Education Statistics looked at the employment outcomes for 25-29-year-old college graduates in various professional fields. Using data from this survey, the following table compares the unemployment rates of education degree-holders against the rates for college graduates who have earned a bachelor's degree in other common fields of study.

Undergraduate Degree Field Unemployment Rate for 25- to 29-Year-Old Degree Recipients
Average for All Major Fields of Study 4.8%
Elementary Education 2.9%
General Education 3.3%
Education (Other) 3.3%
General Business 4.1%
General Engineering 4.4%
Communications/Communication Technologies 4.8%
Marketing/Marketing Research 5.0%
History 5.8%
Psychology 5.8%
Criminal Justice/Fire Protection 6.2%

Source:'Employment Outcomes of Bachelor's Degree Recipients' by National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)'

As the data table indicates, the unemployment rates for all three education-related majors were 1.9% to 1.5% lower than the national average. And due to the steady demand for qualified educators in public and private schools across the country, employment experts predict that unemployment rates will remain steady for ECE graduates and other professional teachers in the years to come.

Earning a Living

According to the 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report, students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in ECE earn, on average, $30,700 as entry-level employees and $37,500 after 10 years on the job. Comparatively, those who complete their education with an associate degree in ECE earn $23,200 as entry-level employees and $28,900 after 10 years. This amounts to a wage premium of roughly 29% to 32% for ECE bachelor's-holders. Keep in mind that your salary expectations for specific positions should vary based on a number of factors, including a position's specific job title, location, and your experience.

The following table looks at career growth rates for five of the most common ECE professions.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10+ Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Early Childhood Educator (ECE) $26,000 $30,000 $34,000 $39,000
Kindergarten Teacher $34,735 $40,046 $43,191 $47,505
Preschool Teacher $26,670 $29,076 $29,417 $30,215
Special Education Teacher (Preschool, Kindergarten or Elementary) $39,973 $43,926 $49,929 $54,788
Preschool Director $35,512 $36,663 $39,410 $40,844

Source: PayScale

Of the five occupations listed on the table, special education teachers at the preschool, kindergarten, and elementary levels saw the highest career growth, a salary increase of 37.1% between the entry-level and late-career stages. Kindergarten teachers followed closely behind with a salary growth rate of 36.8%, and ECE educators saw their earnings rise by 33.3% after 20 years on the job. Salary growth was slower for preschool personnel; preschool teachers saw their salaries grow by 13.3% over 20 years, while preschool director salaries rose 15.0% over that same time period.

Career and Further Education Opportunities

Students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in ECE are qualified for dozens of jobs ― including positions at public elementary schools if they have also completed their state-specific licensure requirements. Below, we covered four of the most common careers for ECE graduates.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: Teachers at the kindergarten and elementary school levels focus on building core skills and knowledge in subjects like reading and writing, mathematics, science, and music. All 50 states require kindergarten and elementary teachers at public schools to obtain a teaching license or certification, and a background check is usually mandated as well.

Special Education Teachers: Special education teachers teach and support students with physical or cognitive disabilities, as well as behavioral disorders. At most public schools, special education teachers lead independent classrooms where students can receive individualized attention. Special education teachers at public schools must obtain a teaching license in all 50 states.

Preschool Teachers: Preschool teachers instruct children ages five and under. Since preschool is designed to prepare students for kindergarten, these teachers lead lessons involving core subjects like phonics, listening comprehension, and basic math.

Preschool and Childcare Center Directors: These directors oversee teachers and other personnel who work at pre-kindergarten childcare facilities. These facilities are usually located in either public buildings or private residences. In many states, public and private childcare center directors must become certified and receive comprehensive CPR and first aid training.

Profession Median Annual Salary Projected Industry Growth (2014-24)
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers $54,550 6% (+87,800 jobs)
Preschool Teachers $28,570 7% (+29,600 jobs)
Special Education Teachers $56,800 6% (+28,100 jobs)
Preschool and Childcare Center Directors $45,670 7% (+4,200 jobs)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Many students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education go on to pursue a master's degree in this field. For more information about opportunities for grad students, please visit our Guide to Online Early Childhood Education Master's Programs.

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning as much as you can about early childhood education is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you'll find three of the country's most prominent organizations established for ECE educators. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates.

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children: The NAEYC offers a range of supportive services for professionals who teach and assist children from birth through age eight. Member benefits include discounted books and other resources, complimentary magazine and newsletter subscriptions, and access to 'Members Only' areas of the organization's website.
  • National Child Care Association: The NCCA is an advocacy-driven organization that fights for classroom equality, safe learning environments, and educational funding. The website features a resource library, discussion forums, and links to webinars and continuing education opportunities.
  • Association for Early Learning Leaders: Founded in 1984, the AELL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to childcare center directors and administrators across the the globe. The website offers a job board, online training and webinar programs, continuing education courses, and other professional development opportunities.

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We've curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Early Childhood Education Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location
1 Florida International University Miami, FL
2 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
3 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
4 Brandman University Irvine, CA
5 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
6 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
7 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
8 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
9 University of Washington Seattle, WA
10 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
11 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS
12 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
13 National University La Jolla, CA
14 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
15 Fresno Pacific University Fresno, CA
16 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
17 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY
18 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
19 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
20 Pacific Oaks College Pasadena, CA
21 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH
22 Mayville State University Mayville, ND
23 Southwestern College Winfield, KS
24 West Virginia University at Parkersburg Parkersburg, WV
25 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL
Best Online Early Childhood Education Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 Florida International University Miami, FL
2 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
3 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
4 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
5 Granite State College Concord, NH
6 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
7 National University La Jolla, CA
8 Concordia University-Portland Portland, OR
9 Southwestern College Winfield, KS
10 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH
11 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
12 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
13 Fresno Pacific University Fresno, CA
14 Mayville State University Mayville, ND
15 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
16 Vanguard University of Southern California Costa Mesa, CA
17 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL
18 University of Toledo Toledo, OH
19 Lewis-Clark State College Lewiston, ID
20 Pacific Oaks College Pasadena, CA
Best Online Early Childhood Education Programs of 2016
Rank School Location
1 Florida International University Miami, FL
2 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
3 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC
4 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH
5 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
6 Vanguard University of Southern California Costa Mesa, CA
7 Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, AR
8 National University La Jolla, CA
9 Notre Dame College Cleveland, OH
10 Lewis-Clark State College Lewiston, ID
11 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
12 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
13 Mayvill State University Mayville, ND
14 Granite State College Concord, NH