Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education

Early childhood is one of the most crucial periods for development in a person’s life. As an early childhood educator, you’re ultimately responsible for encouraging intellectual, emotional, and social growth in young children. The challenges and rewards can’t be underestimated. Fortunately, developments in technology and educational theory provide educators with more options than ever to encourage student development and learning, and skilled, dedicated teachers are always in demand.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects careers in early childhood education to grow at a rate of around 6% until at least 2024. If you’re interested in education, you’re likely more passionate about serving students than turning a profit. However, completing your early childhood education degree online can help you earn more in this vital field as you hone your teaching abilities. The schools compiled here represent some of the most respected, convenient, and affordable options for a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in the country.

Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education at a Glance

Fast Facts

Time to Complete 4 years
Core Courses
  • Foundations of Early Childhood Education
  • Children’s Literature
  • Child Development
Concentrations
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Early Childhood Administration
  • Special Education
Accreditation National Association for the Education of Young Children, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
Additional Considerations Students are typically required to complete a teaching practicum in an education setting.


Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Early Childhood Education
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

Florida International University

Value Score 7.19
Average Tuition $4,721
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $9,785
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 50%
Enrollment Rate 39%
Retention Rate 39%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 53%
Number of Online Programs 13

Aspiring educational professionals in any state can take advantage of Florida International University's online early childhood education degree. The Miami-based school's bachelor's in early childhood development degree completion program prepares its graduates to work with children from birth to age five. Though the program does not lead to teacher certification, it delivers a comprehensive education in the cognitive and social development of young children. Its 60-credit fixed curriculum explores learning styles, teaching methods, community and family issues, and practical classroom skills.

All courses can be completed online; however, two field experiences must be conducted on-site at an approved educational facility. This program accepts applicants who hold an associate degree or its equivalent and a GPA of at least 2.5. Distance learners may complete lower-division course requirements online at FIU, or transfer these credits from another institution. Classes begin in summer, fall, and spring, and full-time students can expect to meet degree requirements in two years. FIU's early childhood education online degree is affordable, particularly for Florida residents.


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2

Fort Hays State University

Value Score 6.94
Average Tuition $3,574
Students Receiving Financial Aid 70%
Net Price $8,911
Graduation Rate 42%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 86%
Enrollment Rate 48%
Retention Rate 48%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 77%
Number of Online Programs 22

Fort Hays State takes a two-pronged approach to its early childhood education degree online. Geared to either aspiring teachers seeking licensure or to administrators who professionally serve these children and their families, this bachelor's in early childhood unified education leads to an endorsement for regular and special education students from birth through third grade. The upper-division fixed curriculum explores the growth and development of both student populations, emphasizing the professional skills required for both instruction and assessment.

Coursework is offered entirely online; however, distance learners must arrange for three on-site practicums and one semester of student teaching at an approved facility. Students may begin the program after earning 44 credits in general education requirements, including lower-division prerequisites; transfer students who meet this standard are also welcome. The program's curriculum meets requirements for a teaching license in Kansas; distance learners in other states may also use the degree toward licensure. Online study may be asynchronous or synchronous, depending on instructor preference.


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3

University of Nebraska at Kearney

Value Score 6.57
Average Tuition $5,325
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $12,885
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 85%
Enrollment Rate 44%
Retention Rate 44%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 50%
Number of Online Programs 4

The Kearney campus of the University of Nebraska offers an online early childhood education bachelor's degree with two specialization options. Its bachelor's in early childhood inclusive degree completion program is intended for adult learners currently working in preschools, elementary schools, or Head Start initiatives. This program builds on students' prior field experience and education, leading to teaching licensure for regular students, special education students, or both.

The curriculum, which begins after an associate degree or its equivalent is completed, delivers instruction on the development, teaching, and assessment of children in both student populations from birth to age eight. Degree candidates specialize their studies in either birth through kindergarten, or age three through third grade. All class study is asynchronous; supervised field experience requirements, however, must be conducted on-site. Though time to completion varies depending on transfer status, most full-time students complete this degree in two years. UNK does charge out-of-state tuition to nonresidential students.


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4

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Value Score 6.14
Average Tuition $28,932
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Net Price $15,355
Graduation Rate 50%
Student to Faculty Ratio 6:1
Admissions Rate 59%
Enrollment Rate 43%
Retention Rate 43%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 44%
Number of Online Programs 25

As one of the earliest pioneers in the development of distance education options, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods continues to offer a wealth of choices for nontraditional learners. This private Catholic school offers bachelor's degrees in education in nine concentration areas, including PreK-3 and special education. After basic general education competency requirements are completed, the program's core curriculum explores growth and development, literacy, educational psychology, and mild disability intervention and instruction.

Online coursework is augmented by short practical field experiences and two student teaching assignments. This early childhood education degree online leads to teaching licensure in Indiana, as well as in other eligible states. SMWC offers this program on campus in traditional classes, or entirely online. Distance learning courses are delivered in eight-week blocks, and students may start at any point during the year. A full-time student can earn this bachelor's degree in four years. In addition to its affordable tuition rates, SMWC also dedicates scholarship funds to eligible distance education students.


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5

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Value Score 5.80
Average Tuition $25,498
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $16,847
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 78%
Enrollment Rate 44%
Retention Rate 44%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 14%
Number of Online Programs 2

Working adults who aspire to a P-5 teaching license in Ohio and other eligible states may find Mount Vernon Nazarene University's online program to be an excellent fit. This private college's early childhood education degree online is offered in an accelerated format that builds on students' prior education. In addition to licensure, this bachelor's degree completion program leads to an early childhood endorsement. The upper-division curriculum, all of which focuses on a Christian approach to education, explores developmental literacy, cognitive growth, the learning process, and classroom management skills in the lower elementary grades.

Online courses are augmented by on-the-ground experiences in three short practicums, followed by a student teaching assignment. Students take one course at a time for 27 months, and all learning is asynchronous. Upon completion, graduates are eligible for licensure from grades P-5 and endorsement in grades 4-5. Distance learners enjoy small class sizes and progression through the program in a cohort of their working peers. MVNU strives to make education affordable; non-residents enjoy in-state tuition rates, and tuition rates are locked when students begin their programs.


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6

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Value Score 5.57
Average Tuition $21,650
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Net Price $17,436
Graduation Rate 47%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Admissions Rate 82%
Enrollment Rate 34%
Retention Rate 34%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48%
Number of Online Programs 10

Chaminade University is a small, private Catholic college that primarily serves the island of Oahu. The college's distance education offerings are tailored to adult learners throughout Hawaii and the U.S., and include a bachelor's in early childhood education. Aspiring PreK to kindergarten teachers can complete all or part of this early childhood education degree online, depending on their prior college experience.

The program's upper-division core emphasizes appropriate growth and development in young children, curriculum development, and classroom management techniques. While all coursework can be completed online, distance learners are responsible for conducting two supervised field experiences at an approved educational facility. Graduates will be eligible for licensure in Hawaii and in other eligible states. Online classes are delivered in 10-week sessions, and classes may be started on one of four available dates throughout the year. Students who hold Montessori credentials from an approved institution may be granted up to 18 credits toward the degree. Chaminade is a military-friendly school, discounting its competitive tuition rates significantly for service members and their families.


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7

Fresno Pacific University

Value Score 5.53
Average Tuition $27,430
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $13,714
Graduation Rate 54%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 63%
Enrollment Rate 52%
Retention Rate 52%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 22%
Number of Online Programs 1

As a private Mennonite school, Fresno Pacific University is dedicated to delivering a Christian education to all its students, regardless of field of study. In addition to its four traditional campuses in California, FPU also offers online classes and degree programs to students across the U.S. FPU's bachelor's in early childhood education degree completion program, aimed towards PreK to third-grade educational professionals, can be completed either through a mix of online and traditional classes or exclusively online.

Though it is a non-licensure program, this online early childhood education degree meets California State Department of Education guidelines. The program's curriculum explores growth and development in very young children, curriculum development, student assessment, and the teaching of the special needs child. There are no fieldwork requirements in this program. Applicants must demonstrate 60 credits of general education requirements and a 2.4 GPA for admission. FPU's asynchronous distance learning courses are deployed in blocks of six weeks; many students find that they can finish this program in three semesters. Because the university is privately funded, it is endowed with significant scholarship funds to defray the cost of attendance for eligible students.


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8

Mayville State University

Value Score 5.51
Average Tuition $4,930
Students Receiving Financial Aid 50%
Net Price $9,341
Graduation Rate 27%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Retention Rate 38%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 57%
Number of Online Programs 9

Designed for adults already employed in early childhood education settings, Mayville State University's early childhood education online degree qualifies its graduates for teaching licensure for students from birth through third grade. General education and lower-division education requirements may be met online or on the campus in Mayville, North Dakota. The upper-division core is then delivered over the span of two years, including two intense sessions during successive summers.

The program's curriculum delivers instruction on the social development, cognitive growth, learning process, and psychology of young children. Because the second summer session must be completed on campus, distance learners are expected to arrange for a six-week stay in Mayville during their final summer. In addition to meeting on-campus requirements, distance learners must also conduct field experiences and student teaching at approved on-site locations. Distance learning classes at Mayville are completely asynchronous and taught by the same faculty who teach on campus.


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9

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Value Score 5.39
Average Tuition $2,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $5,621
Graduation Rate 35%
Student to Faculty Ratio 23:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Retention Rate 38%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 44%
Number of Online Programs 6

Florida State College's bachelor's in early childhood education degree program delivers no fewer than six professional credentials to Florida residents, preparing its graduates for a wide range of careers in early childhood education. Available online or on campus, the 120-credit program's curriculum emphasizes the principles of developmental growth and learning in young children, bolstered by the practical application of classroom teaching skills. This early childhood education degree online leads to Florida GK, PED, and PK-3 teacher certification; graduates are also qualified for Florida professional educator certification, an ESOL endorsement, and Florida Department of Children & Families staff credentials. Students in other states may also use this degree toward licensure.

Working professionals who hold an associate degree and have met required prerequisites may also transfer existing credits to complete the online early childhood education bachelor's degree. Though all coursework can be completed via asynchronous online study, program participants are expected to complete 150 hours of on-site fieldwork in an approved setting. Distance learners may begin their studies in the spring, summer, or fall semesters. Online tuition at FSC is affordable and does not include non-resident fees.


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10

Concordia University - Portland

Value Score 5.36
Average Tuition $27,900
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Net Price $17,157
Graduation Rate 48%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 51%
Enrollment Rate 16%
Retention Rate 16%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 83%
Number of Online Programs 3

Concordia University is a private Lutheran college that is nationally known for its excellence in teacher education. The Portland, Oregon campus hosts an early childhood education degree online that is designed for working professionals who seek to advance their careers in the field. This non-licensure bachelor's degree delivers specialized training to educators working with children from birth through age five. Program participants build on the foundation of an associate degree, exploring principles of literacy, math, and science development in the young learner.

Instruction in practical teaching techniques and child development program administration rounds out these students' preparation for more advanced roles in the workplace. All coursework can be completed through asynchronous online study; however, two required on-the-ground internship experiences must be conducted at an approved facility. Students can begin the program on six dates throughout the year, progressing through the curriculum in cohorts. Full-time students can expect to complete this program in five semesters, including student teaching.


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11

California Baptist University

Value Score 5.35
Average Tuition $28,574
Students Receiving Financial Aid 76%
Net Price $25,711
Graduation Rate 60%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 65%
Enrollment Rate 40%
Retention Rate 40%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 46%
Number of Online Programs 18

Riverside-based California Baptist University's online early childhood education bachelor's degree completion program is intended for working adults seeking to advance their careers as teachers, early intervention administrators, researchers, and advocates for early childhood learning. The private Christian school's bachelor's in early childhood studies emphasizes learning in children from birth through age eight, whether non-disabled or disabled.

The curriculum, based on an associate degree or its equivalent, delivers upper-level instruction on growth and development in infancy and early childhood. Much of the upper-division core is devoted to the education of special-needs children. Graduates of this online program are prepared for K-12 teaching certification, or an early childhood intervention specialist credential. There is no fieldwork component; full-time students can complete this degree in 16 months. CBU's online programs are designed for adult learners and are transfer-friendly. All learning is asynchronous. Classes are delivered in eight-week blocks, and may be started in spring, summer, or fall semesters.


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12

Granite State College

Value Score 5.16
Average Tuition $7,032
Students Receiving Financial Aid 56%
Net Price $12,765
Graduation Rate 23%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Retention Rate 38%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 82%
Number of Online Programs 32

Granite State College is a public school that is dedicated to meeting the needs of adult learners. Aspiring early childhood educators may find its early childhood education degree online to be a unique fit. GSC's bachelor's in early childhood education prepares its graduates for New Hampshire teaching credentials in PreK through third grade, and additional special education certification for infants through age eight.

The 120-credit curriculum delivers instruction in childhood development and learning theory, heavily emphasizing the educational needs of the special needs child. After all asynchronous online coursework is completed, students are expected to student teach on-site during their final semester. Working adults who hold an associate degree may also transfer credits from an accredited college and complete the program's upper-division core for a bachelor's degree. Admission to GSC is rolling, and students may begin their studies at one of four dates during the year. Tuition for out-of-state students is only minimally more than for New Hampshire residents, making this a cheap option for an online early education bachelor's degree.


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13

University of Cincinnati

Value Score 5.04
Average Tuition $9,322
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $16,461
Graduation Rate 65%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 86%
Enrollment Rate 34%
Retention Rate 34%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 39%
Number of Online Programs 8

Working adults seeking to enter the field of early childhood education have several online options at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to individual online courses that qualify for professional development or recertification, the college offers online degrees at the associate and baccalaureate level.

The school's online early education bachelor's degree delivers comprehensive instruction in the education of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The program's fully accredited curriculum explores the development, learning styles, and education of children from birth to age five; it's important to note, however, that the degree leads to Ohio state certification in PreK only. Students in other states may also be eligible for PreK licensure. All coursework can be completed asynchronously online. UC's early childhood program does have considerable fieldwork requirements, which are expected to be met at the student's place of employment. Most students transfer into this two-year program with an associate degree and some experience in the field, but beginning freshmen are welcome to complete it in four years.


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14

University of Toledo

Value Score 4.80
Average Tuition $8,052
Students Receiving Financial Aid 72%
Net Price $12,142
Graduation Rate 42%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 93%
Enrollment Rate 34%
Retention Rate 34%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36%
Number of Online Programs 11

The early childhood education degree online at the University of Toledo is designed for working education professionals who already hold an associate degree in early childhood education. This non-licensure program equips graduates for supportive roles in preschools, elementary schools, and the agencies that serve these students. Other graduates use this degree as preparation for postgraduate study.

The university's bachelor's in early childhood education program consists of four semesters of combined online study and job-embedded field experiences. Online coursework delivers instruction on creating an effective learning environment, subject-specific teaching to young children, and educating disabled children. Distance learning may be synchronous or asynchronous, depending on instructor preference. The University of Toledo charges competitive tuition rates. It also offers scholarships to eligible transfer students, making it an excellent option for an affordable early childhood education degree online.


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15

Wilmington University

Value Score 4.68
Average Tuition $10,380
Students Receiving Financial Aid 60%
Net Price $14,677
Graduation Rate 23%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Retention Rate 38%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 85%
Number of Online Programs 18

Northern Delaware-based Wilmington University offers future educational professionals a broadly based online bachelor's degree in early childhood studies. Students in the program choose one of four concentrations: early childhood, elementary, middle grades, or skilled and technical sciences education. The early childhood specialty track is a 122-credit non-licensure program that prepares graduates to work with children from birth through kindergarten.

Wilmington's program is notable in its inclusion of fine arts and social sciences to the standard online early childhood education bachelor's degree curriculum. In addition to online courses, this program requires a supervised on-the-ground internship of 45 full-time days. Distance learning at Wilmington is completely asynchronous, and is delivered in blocks of seven or 15 weeks. Wilmington charges the same affordable tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, making this a solid choice for an affordable early childhood education degree online.


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16

Southwestern College

Value Score 4.55
Average Tuition $25,796
Students Receiving Financial Aid 65%
Net Price $20,033
Graduation Rate 44%
Student to Faculty Ratio 8:1
Admissions Rate 91%
Enrollment Rate 27%
Retention Rate 27%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 58%
Number of Online Programs 20

Southwestern College, serving the Wichita, Kansas area, is a private institution that's dedicated to providing educational options to working adults. The college's early childhood education degree online is designed for working adults who aspire to teaching licensure in Kansas and other eligible states. Southwestern's bachelor's in early childhood education prepares its graduates for careers working with children from birth through age eight. This program ultimately leads students to a professional credential that combines early childhood and special education.

Within the core curriculum, students examine the physical, social, and cognitive development of young children. This instruction is augmented by training in classroom instruction and assessment. While all coursework can be completed online, students are required to complete two practical experiences and a student teaching assignment at an approved location. Students may meet this requirement at Southwestern's on-campus preschool, or at a facility convenient to home. Southwestern is transfer-friendly, and requires at least six credits from an accredited school for admission.


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17

Lewis-Clark State College

Value Score 4.26
Average Tuition $6,000
Students Receiving Financial Aid 57%
Net Price $13,151
Graduation Rate 21%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 99%
Enrollment Rate 51%
Retention Rate 51%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 41%
Number of Online Programs 3

Aspiring educators in the Lewiston, Idaho area and elsewhere may find Lewis-Clark State College's early childhood education degree online to be a great fit. This public college's bachelor's degree completion program in early childhood education offers a non-licensure program that equips its graduates for employment in preschools and childcare programs.

Designed for students who already hold an associate degree or its equivalent, this program combines online study with practical experiences in the classroom for four semesters. Program participants are expected to spend 8-10 hours per week at an approved facility each semester throughout this two-year program, executing lesson plans in conjunction with their coursework. Distance learning is completely asynchronous, and classes follow a traditional semester calendar. Southwestern offers affordable tuition rates, and does not charge out-of-state fees for residents outside of Idaho.


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18

Vanguard University of Southern California

Value Score 4.24
Average Tuition $29,980
Students Receiving Financial Aid 78%
Net Price $21,182
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 68%
Enrollment Rate 37%
Retention Rate 37%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 4%
Number of Online Programs 2

Vanguard University is a private Christian college serving the Costa Mesa, California area. Its early childhood education degree online is offered in an accelerated format that allows students to complete a bachelor's in early childhood education in 22 months. This non-licensure program delivers instruction on the Christ-centered teaching of young children in public or private early learning environments.

The program's core curriculum includes an examination of the behavioral and cognitive development of young children, subject-specific teaching strategies, and program administration. Attention is also given to special education assessment and advocacy. While all coursework can be completed online, students must conduct two on-site field experiences at an approved facility. The program culminates in a capstone research review. Distance learning at Vanguard is delivered in seven-week class sessions that begin every eight weeks. Students may begin their studies at any point during the year; once 57 credits are earned, students progress through the remainder of the program in cohorts. The college's private endowments allow for considerable scholarship funds for eligible students.


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19

National University

Value Score 4.23
Average Tuition $12,744
Students Receiving Financial Aid 64%
Net Price $23,483
Graduation Rate 30%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Retention Rate 38%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 69%
Number of Online Programs 36

A private school based in La Jolla, National University has a well-deserved reputation for delivering excellent educational options to students throughout southern California. Its bachelor's in early childhood development program offers an online early childhood education degree that leads to teaching licensure in California and other eligible states. Students may choose study concentrations in early childhood administration, infant and toddler, or teacher education.

In addition to the required general education courses, admission to the upper-division coursework requires four prerequisite classes in general child development and health. The core curriculum is devoted to pedagogical theory, early cognition, and student assessment, including that of special-needs children. Students who choose the teacher education concentration further examine literacy development, fine arts in the classroom, educational technology, and crisis and abuse management. All concentrations conclude the program with an on-site student teaching experience. Distance learning at National is completely asynchronous. The university's cost of attendance is competitive; additionally, it offers need-based scholarships to eligible students.


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20

Notre Dame College

Value Score 3.85
Average Tuition $26,820
Students Receiving Financial Aid 64%
Net Price $16,735
Graduation Rate 39%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 91%
Enrollment Rate 17%
Retention Rate 17%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 34%
Number of Online Programs 8

Notre Dame College is a small, Catholic liberal arts college that serves students in the greater Cleveland area. Distance learners seeking careers in education can complete the college's bachelor's in education program entirely online. This fully accredited program offers its students two study concentrations: mild to moderate intervention, resulting in K-12 licensure, or early childhood education, resulting in PreK-3 licensure.

Graduates of this program are eligible for a state teaching license in Ohio or other eligible states. The program's core curriculum explores the cognitive and social developmental skills that are necessary for children to transition to elementary school. While all coursework can be completed online through asynchronous study, the program's field component requires three short on-site practicums and a semester of student teaching. This is a traditional four-year baccalaureate program, but the college is happy to consider transfer credits from other accredited colleges. Notre Dame College offers affordable tuition rates, particularly for a private Catholic school.


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What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Degree?

CAREER PATHS

A bachelor’s degree in early childhood education is applicable to range of teaching, administrative and service positions, preparing students for work in schools, childcare centers, and social services. While the work can vary widely, early childhood educators must possess creativity, flexibility, and strong communication skills, all of which helps them meet the diverse needs of students. Because the field isn’t known for its high salaries, educators are generally more motivated by a passion for teaching rather than a top salary.

Preschool Teacher

$28,790 Avg Annual Salary
Master's Degree Required

Teachers at the preschool level are responsible for educating children ages five and under, introducing kids to the basics of reading, writing, math, and science. Employed in both public and private schools, preschool teachers also introduce students to socialization and communication, training them to develop empathy, responsibility, and fairness.

Projected Growth Rate 7%

Kindergarten Teacher

$55,490 Avg Annual Salary
Master's Degree Required

Kindergarten teachers develop student knowledge of basic subjects and prepare them for future learning. A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for this position, though some teachers may possess more advanced degrees. Most teachers at this level don’t work during the summer.

Projected Growth Rate 6%

Special Education Teacher

$57,900 Avg Annual Salary
Master's Degree Required

These teachers work with differently abled students who possess a range of mental, physical, emotional, and learning issues. Due to the differing needs of students, special education teachers must understand how to design curriculum to best fit unique student learning styles.

Projected Growth Rate 6%

Educational Administrator

$45,790 Avg Annual Salary
Master's Degree Required

Focused more on management than teaching, educational administrators oversee operations for preschools and childcare centers. They also develop curriculum, organize staff, prepare budgets, and coordinate the school’s daily activities. Educational administers are responsible for wide-ranging communication with staff and parents, assuring that the needs of both student and teacher are met.

Projected Growth Rate 7%

Child and Family Social Worker

$46,890 Avg Annual Salary
Master's Degree Required

Social workers teach in a different sense — they work with children and families to solve social and emotional problems, and to ensure quality of life. Specially trained social workers may also diagnose and offer solutions to behavioral and mental problems. These educators work in a variety of settings, from schools to human services agencies.

Projected Growth Rate 12%

EDUCATIONAL PATHS

While an online early childhood education bachelor’s degree is enough to begin teaching, many educators choose to pursue an advanced degree for increased specialization and better job prospects. A master’s degree in education typically focuses on teaching strategies, providing educators with advanced skills that help them impart information to students more effectively. For many teachers, increased pay also plays a role: PayScale reports that early childhood educators with a master of education degree earn up to $67,760 annually.

What Will I Learn in My Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Program?

SAMPLE COURSEWORK

  • Child Development Students gain an understanding of the emotional, social, psychological, and physical factors that affect early childhood development. Courses typically explore different theories of cognitive, literacy, and language development.
  • Early Childhood Literature This course explores different genres of childhood literature, with an emphasis on educational context and learning activities. Students also gain strategies to analyze and evaluate literature for classroom use.
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition Students explore the relationship between nutrition and healthy childhood development, gaining skills to assess and encourage children’s physical and cognitive well-being.
  • Educational Psychology This course examines theories of childhood learning and motivation, with an emphasis on physical, cognitive, and sociological development. Students learn to apply theoretical concepts to effective classroom learning.
  • Cultural Diversity Students gain perspectives on diversity and its sociological effect on childhood learners, developing strategies to work with different learning styles. The course typically examines topics in behavior, cognition, and communication.

Employment Outlook for Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Graduates

BACHELOR’S IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SALARY

In addition to position, experience level, and education level, location can also bear influence the salaries of early childhood educators. This chart compiles data from PayScale that reflects the highest paying states for early childhood educators. New York, California, and Massachusetts top the list, followed by Illinois.

State Annual Median Salary
California $53,000
Massachusetts $46,400
New York $46,000
llinois $43,600
Florida $41,000

Licensure and Certification

Licensure and certification requirements for early childhood educators can vary widely between states, though almost all teaching positions require some form of licensure. While requirements vary for other teachers, the Childhood Development Associate (CDA) credential is the most widely recognized certification for early childhood education in the United States. Earning the CDA credential can help teachers progress in the field, and it is required for many positions. However, teachers should still check with their state education board to determine certification requirements.

Financing Your Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Program

Even though you’ll save big by earning your early childhood education degree online, there are still several options to help you finance your program. Completing your FAFSA form gives you access to a range of federally funded grants, scholarships, loans, and work study programs, but there are also other ways to fund your education.

Several programs offer education grants for teachers who agree to teach in low income school districts after graduation, including the TEACH Grant program and Teach for America. Teachers in training may also pursue a wide range of scholarships intended specifically for educators, several of which are cataloged below.

Prospective Educator Scholarships

Overview Offered by professional educator organization Phi Delta Kappa (PDK), this scholarship is open to students pursuing an education degree.
Amount Offered $1,000
Scholarship Deadline April 2018
Eligibility Requirements Student must have either a relative or teacher who is a PDK member, or alternately be a member of PDK’s Educator’s Rising group.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Overview Available through the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, this award is available to Hispanic students pursuing any type of undergraduate education degree.
Amount Offered $500 to $5,000
Scholarship Deadline March 2018
Eligibility Requirements Student must hold either a minimum 3.0 GPA (for high school students) or a minimum 2.5 GPA (for college students) and be of Hispanic descent.

Inspire our Future Scholarship

Overview This scholarship is offered by Teach.org to undergraduates majoring in early childhood education, childhood development, or special education.
Amount Offered $2,500
Scholarship Deadline April 2018
Eligibility Requirements Student must hold at least a 3.5 GPA and complete a 500-700 word response to an essay question provided by Teach.org.

Gates Millennium Scholarships

Overview Offered through the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, this scholarship is available to minority students who are also eligible for the Federal Pell Grant.
Amount Offered Varies
Scholarship Deadline January 2018
Eligibility Requirements Student must be of minority descent, possess at least a 3.3 GPA (or have earned a GED), and qualify for a Federal Pell Grant.

Ron Brown Scholarship

Overview This scholarship is made available through the Ron Brown Scholarship Program to African American high school seniors who demonstrate an interest in public service, with education majors specifically encouraged to apply.
Amount Offered $40,000 ($10,000 each year)
Scholarship Deadline January 2018
Eligibility Requirements Student must be high school seniors who can show significant achievement in public service and community engagement.

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