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Online Colleges for Early Childhood Education

COLLEGE FINDER

Article Sources

Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2015-16 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  5. Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  6. Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources

  1. University, Cannon-Clary College of Education, https://www.harding.edu/academics/colleges-departments/education
  2. Clarion University, Department of Education, http://clarion.edu/academics/colleges-and-schools/college-of-arts-education-and-sciences/school-of-education/education.html
  3. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Online, https://www.uwsp.edu/online/Pages/degree-programs.aspx
  4. Chaminade University, Online Programs, http://www.chaminade.edu/online
  5. Lewis-Clark State College, Online Degrees, http://www.lcsc.edu/e-learning/online-degrees/
  6. Southern Arkansas University, Online Learning, https://web.saumag.edu/online/
  7. Southwestern College, Professional Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education, http://ps.sckans.edu/programs/undergraduate/education/early-childhood-education
  8. Shasta Bible College and Graduate School, Distance Education, http://www.shasta.edu/distance-education.html
  9. University of Toledo, Online Degree Programs, http://www.utoledo.edu/online-degree-programs/
  10. Prescott College, Bachelor of Arts in Education and Teacher Preparation, http://experience.prescott.edu/education-and-teacher-preparation?lead_source=google&lead_medium=search&lead_distro=search&clickid=&campaign=Branded_PS&ad_group=prescott_college&network=g&device=c&keyword=prescott%20college%20online&match_type=e&leadfreeform1=&leadfreeform2=
  11. Childcare Workers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/childcare-workers.htm
  12. Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm
  13. Preschool Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm
  14. Special Education Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm
  15. Childcare Workers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/childcare-workers.htm
  16. Council for Professional Recognition, http://www.cdacouncil.org/
  17. National Early Childhood Program Accreditation, http://necpa.net/?
  18. National Association for Family Child Care, http://www.nafcc.org/Getting-Started
  19. Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Ashford University, https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/education/associate-of-arts-early-childhood-education
  20. Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Ashford University, https://www.ashford.edu/online-degrees/education/bachelor-of-arts-early-childhood-education
  21. Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Aspen University, http://www.aspen.edu/degrees/bachelors-degree/bachelor-of-science-in-early-childhood-education
  22. Doctor of Education, Early Childhood Development or Early Childhood Policy, Columbia University, http://www.tc.columbia.edu/curriculum-and-teaching/early-childhood-education/degrees/doctor-of-education/
  23. Early Childhood Education Associate Degree, Penn Foster College, https://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/education-and-child-care/early-childhood-education-associate-degree
  24. Early Childhood Education Certificate Online, Ashworth College, https://www.ashworthcollege.edu/undergraduate-certificates/early-childhood-education/
  25. Early Childhood Education Specialization, Capella University, https://www.capella.edu/online-degrees/masters-early-childhood-education/
  26. M.S. in Early Childhood Education (Online), Erikson Institute, https://www.erikson.edu/graduate-school/programs/masters-online-early-childhood-education/
  27. Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education, O*NET Online, https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/25-2011.00
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To paraphrase Bill Gates, the first 5 years of a child's life can help determine his or her next 80. Quality early childhood education can have a far greater influence on a child's future than you may imagine.

Early childhood education generally refers to the formal and informal teaching of children up to the age of 8. It doesn't mean simply drilling a three year old on his ABCs. In fact, much of early childhood education is centered around play and exploration. An online degree program in early childhood education is meant to teach about developmental milestones, educational theory, and strategies and best practices for the classroom.

Early childhood educators set our youngest children up for success by teaching them ways to become lifelong learners and find success in school. Below you'll find information on early childhood education, including the top accredited colleges, forms of certification and the career outlook for the field.

Best Online Colleges for Early Childhood Education in 2018

Many jobs in early childhood education require formal education, as well as certification or licensure. Online and hybrid programs allow professionals to pursue the necessary qualifications with a greater degree of flexibility than traditional on-campus programs.

This list has been created using data from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and a unique methodology, which you can learn about in more detail at the bottom of this page. Read on for OnlineColleges.com's top 10 online schools for early childhood education.

1

Harding University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$19,385
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
9%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
23
School Type
4-year

Topping our ranking for early childhood education is Harding University, a Christian, liberal arts school. Harding offers online, hybrid, and on-campus courses in early childhood education at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Additionally, they offer a K-6 Elementary Education degree completion program for adults 23 and older who have already completed at least 60 college credit hours.

Harding conveys online courses to its students through the Canvas learning management system. While the university does not offer any undergraduate programs fully online, its many online and hybrid courses for early childhood education can relieve pressure from a busy student's schedule, giving the school's early childhood education programs an appreciated flexibility.

Accreditation:

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • The Higher Learning Commission

Location:

915 E. Market Avenue
Searcy, AR 72143
 
2

Clarion University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$10,890
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
49%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
22
School Type
4-year

A prominent accredited institute, Clarion University has a long tradition that dates back to 1867. The university offers several online options for early childhood education. Undergraduates can pursue the school's Associate of Science in early childhood education, a program designed for full-time working professionals.

Meanwhile, Clarion also offers an online Master's in Education (M.ED.) with an early childhood concentration degree program tailored to teachers who are already working in pre-K or daycare programs. Alternately, there's the early childhood directors program, which is geared towards teaching professionals who are interested in career advancement. Finally, Clarion offers educational directors an online credential renewal program as well.

Accreditation:

  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Middle State's Commission on Higher Education

Location:

840 Wood Street
Clarion, PA 16214
 
3

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$8,209
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
15%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
7
School Type
4-year

Coming in with favorable marks for both tuition costs and graduation rate, UW-Stevens Point has been working to further the education of teachers since 1894. It offers a fully online Master's of Science degree in education with a focus on early childhood education and early childhood special education. This program does not lead to certification. However, UWSP does offer a number of "add-on" teacher certification options, including Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education, and Early Childhood through Middle Childhood License (ages 0-11 or through grade 6).

Accreditation:

  • The Higher Learning Commission

Location:

2100 Main Street
Stevens Point, WI 54481
 
4

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$24,514
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
51%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
21
School Type
4-year

The accredited Chaminade University of Honolulu is a Catholic University in the Marianist tradition. Their education coursework weaves together a liberal arts education with teaching research and practice. The university offers a number of fully online programs in early childhood education:

  • Associate degree, Early Childhood Education
  • Bachelor's degree, Early Childhood Education
  • Bachelor's degree, Early Childhood Education: Montessori Credential
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Early Childhood Education PK-3 with Licensure
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Early Childhood Education Montessori/PK-K with Licensure

Chaminade boasts an overall student-teacher ratio of 19:1. The field experiences and observation the school promotes give students multiple opportunities for hands-on practice and exposure.

Accreditation:

  • Accrediting Commission for Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Hawaii Teacher Standards Board
  • Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)
  • affiliated by the American Montessori Society (AMS)

Location:

3140 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816
 
5

Lewis-Clark State College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,334
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
42%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
9
School Type
4-year

Lewis-Clark State College offers two programs in early childhood development: an online Associate of Applied Science and an online Bachelor's of Applied Science. These fully online undergraduate programs include roughly 8-10 hours of supervised practicum experience and work with a practicum mentor teacher. Student teachers can share their lessons and get feedback from their peers using Blackboard. Courses may have state residency requirements.

These programs are appropriate for those interested in working with young children prior to kindergarten. K-3 teacher education requires entry into the campus-based elementary education program.

Accreditation:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification

Location:

500 8th Avenue
Lewiston, ID 83501
 
6

Southern Arkansas University Main Campus

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$8,346
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
52%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
15
School Type
4-year

Established in 1909, Southern Arkansas University has had a long time to perfect the delivery of its affordable educational programs. The university's Department of Education offers three online upper-division degree programs for students who are interested in early childhood education:

  1. The first is a fully online Master of Arts in Teaching for K-6 that can lead to initial licensure in the state of Arkansas.
  2. The second is the completely online non-licensure Master of Education: Curriculum & Instruction for P-6.
  3. Finally, there is the Master of Education: Special Education hybrid program for Early Childhood Instructional Specialist (P-4).

Accreditation:

  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Location:

100 E University St
Magnolia, AR 71753
 
7

Southwestern College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$28,750
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
47%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
43
School Type
4-year

Southwestern College may be best known for its rather unusual school nickname: the Mound Builders. While it may seem strange to outsiders, the Mound Builders take pride in knowing that the name symbolizes "the traditional constructive tendencies of the College."

The creatively constructive college offers a fully online bachelor's in early childhood education program to interested undergraduates. This lower-division program offers a pathway to licensure in Kansas for "birth through age 8" general and special education. Students can learn many things about entry-level teaching through the program's reading practicum, student teaching seminars, and observation and supervised teaching.

Accreditation:

  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Kansas State Board of Education

Location:

2040 South Rock Road
Wichita, KS 67207
 
8

Shasta Bible College and Graduate School

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$12,060
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
55%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
13
School Type
4-year

As the name suggests, Shasta Bible College and Graduate School is a Christian school with deep ties to the Baptist Church. The college had the highest acceptance rate of all 32 schools we looked at, and its online courses are delivered in an asynchronous fashion. This means you can access course materials at any time and join in on class discussions when it is convenient for you. Online semesters run on the same schedule as their on-campus equivalents. 

Shasta offers a certificate program and and an Associate of Arts program in early education, both entirely online. The early childhood education curriculum includes coursework in biblical literature and interpretation, theology and ministry.

Accreditation:

  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)

Location:

2951 Goodwater Avenue
Redding, CA 96002
 
9

University of Toledo

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$9,547
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
38%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
29
School Type
4-year

The University of Toledo is a nonprofit four-year university that offers four different early education degree programs online:

  • The online bachelor's degree in early childhood education is a fast-track, non-licensure program. It is designed for professionals who have earned an associate degree and are not seeking teacher certification for public schools.
  • The non-licensure Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education includes a culminating thesis or project. Graduates of this program are not licensed to work with students older than age 3 in a public school setting.
  • The Master in Special Education (Early Childhood) emphasizes research and best practices for teaching students with special needs from birth through age 6.
  • Finally, the post-master's educational specialist (Ed.S) is a terminal degree for teachers and supervisors who want to delve more deeply into curriculum and supervision — or simply want to improve their own teaching.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

Location:

2801 W. Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43606
 
10

Prescott College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$30,501
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
58%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
49
School Type
4-year

Prescott College's hybrid Bachelor of Arts in teacher education and preparation program begins with a short-term on-campus orientation. The program features a blend of "mentored independent study" and online courses, with the opportunity for a 12-week teaching stint in addition to other field experiences. This program can lead to teacher certification. Specializations include Early Childhood Education and Mild to Moderate Early Childhood Special Education.

Prescott College was founded in the 1960s. Its founder, Dr. Charles Franklin Parker, had a radical vision for the school that is still evident: Prescott does not follow a traditional grading structure, but rather one that places a high value on evidence-based assessment and real world experiences.

Accreditation:

  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • approved by the Arizona State Board of Education

Location:

220 Grove Avenue
Prescott, AZ 86301
 
Want to see additional online colleges for early childhood education?
Search our school directory to find the right program for you.

Interview with an Expert

To begin with, our faculty is wonderful. They are truly dedicated. They all share the philosophy that teaching and learning are built on relationships — whether those relationships are virtual or face-to-face. Our students are phenomenal as well. They all really want to be here. That's important because you have to be invested in the program. With online learning a lot of the responsibility for success lies with the students.

Dr. LouAnn Bonnett

Associate Professor, Education

Clarion University

 
Interview with an Expert
LouAnn Bonnet

Dr. LouAnn Bonnett

Associate Professor, Education

Clarion University

Q:  What qualities make Clarion Online's early education programs so outstanding?

A: To begin with, our faculty is wonderful. They are truly dedicated. They all share the philosophy that teaching and learning are built on relationships — whether those relationships are virtual or face-to-face.

Our students are phenomenal as well. They all really want to be here. That's important because you have to be invested in the program. With online learning a lot of the responsibility for success lies with the students.

Another aspect that makes our program stand out is that our students get out in the field right from the get go. From the very beginning, they are observing real children in real situations. As they progress, they might observe in a NAEYC accredited facility, a Head Start classroom, or on a home visit. When it comes time for student teaching, we help them select high quality placements. And, we stay in close contact with the professionals at those sites.

Q:  What support does Clarion University offer their online student body?

A: When students enroll into our online program, one of the first things they do is go through an online orientation. They learn about Clarion's D2L program and they also learn about the difference between online and on-campus learning. With online learning, a lot of the responsibility is on the student. There is no one watching their facial expressions in a classroom to gauge whether or not they grasp a subject.

Our librarians are another wonderful resource. They often help online students find resources they need. And, they have developed a module for teaching APA style, which is required for written assignments. Our writing center offers online support services. And, our students can receive math assistance as well.

Clarion Online's Director, Lynne M. Lander Fleisher, is another great resource for our online students. She's always there to help them out.

Q:  How does the online early education program differ from the on-campus program?

A: It's mostly just the delivery mode that is different in our on-campus and online programs. Courses are taught by the same faculty. We use the same teaching strategies, though we may be modeling them a different way. And, with the online program, we are responding to questions every day as opposed to just the days we have a scheduled class.

The online associate degree program is actually created to articulate directly into the bachelor's degree program. Students will be taking some of the same courses to earn an associate degree as they would to earn a bachelor's degree.

One thing that does separate the two programs is the field experience supervision. With on-campus students, I am able to observe their student teaching directly in the classroom.

Why Pursue an Online Early Childhood Education Degree?

Students who earn online early childhood education degrees open the door to a wide variety of career opportunities. They could work in childcare services, teach preschool classes, run a childcare center or work as a leader in the K-12 system. If you're interested in unlocking these opportunities for yourself, understanding what to focus on during online courses in early childhood education might help you get started on your way.

What Online Early Childhood Education Courses Can I Take?

Those who want to jump into an early childhood education career as quickly as possible may consider earning a certificate in early childhood education. This usually takes less than one year to complete and addresses the skills necessary for students to begin work with daycare centers, childcare centers and the like. Basic courses common to these programs include:

  • Careers in Early Childhood Education
  • Creative Expression and Play
  • Guidance and Discipline

Credits earned during the pursuit of the certificate can often transfer to an associate degree program to enhance your education down the line. Most associate degrees take up to two years to complete, and include courses such as:

  • Curriculum Instruction for Early Childhood Education
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Essentials of Psychology

In order to work in some more advanced early childhood education settings, students might need to earn a bachelor's degree. If completion time is a concern, you'll be pleased to know that online bachelor's degree programs often offer accelerated courses, which means the program can be completed in less than the usual four years. Coursework at this level might include:

  • Language Development in Young Children
  • Children's Literature
  • Collaboration with Parents & Community

Programs at this level may also require a practicum, which consists of field work at an agreed-upon school. Many online colleges have agreements with schools in many different regions for this purpose, allowing students to complete the practicum in their local community.

Those who are interested in working in administration, curriculum design, research or higher-level teaching can opt to enter a graduate program in early childhood education. This could be a master's degree, which often takes about 18 months to complete and consists of much more specialized courses, such as:

  • Exceptional Children in the Early Childhood Setting
  • Development of Cognition, Language and Play
  • Children, Families and Society

At the highest level, a doctoral program, students often create their own curriculum, focused heavily on research and administrative options. Most programs at this level require applicants to have a previous education experience and a planned path for their future career in early childhood education. Students can expect a rigorous, demanding program that might take anywhere from two to five years to complete, but can also expect to be exposed to an impressive understanding of concepts and skills relevant to the job, enabling the maximum amount of opportunities in the early childhood education field.

What Skills Are Necessary to Become an Early Childhood Educator?

Early childhood education programs are typically built to impart various skills that should be useful in a career in the field. Some of these skills are both obvious and predictable: it is probably no surprise that a career in early childhood education can make use of public speaking in a classroom or administrative position; monitoring and assessing students and/or other faculty; and problem solving in order to figure out how to perform the responsibilities of the career.

However, early childhood education involves many skills more subtle than these, which students may not even notice they are being taught. Some examples are:

  • Coordination: Working with groups of children is by definition not a solitary task. Not only are you coordinating your students to work with both you and each other, you are teaching students who have been taught by other teachers and/ or will go on to be taught by other students. Teachers and administrators alike must work with one another to create a smooth progression through the educational system for their students.
  • Social perceptiveness: As an early childhood education student, chances are good that you will be learning alongside other students who hail from many different households, backgrounds and ancestries. As a teacher or an administrator, you will be doing the same. Pay attention to the views and reactions of others around you; when you are shaping young minds, it is just as important to understand their perspective as it is for them to understand yours.
  • Time management: If you think it's stressful trying to complete and turn in an assignment as a student, just consider what it's like to be the one planning, assigning and then grading that assignment for an entire classroom of ten, twenty or thirty students! Time management is critical for careers in this field, and being a student yourself puts you in the perfect position to look at that career and its responsibilities from an outside view before plunging in.

Paying attention to your use of these skills while in the midst of an early childhood education program may result in learning more about them, better preparing students for earning or moving up in their careers after graduation.

 

Early Childhood Education Career Opportunities

Early childhood educators most often work in school settings, especially preschools and elementary schools. They can also work in daycare facilities and home-based child care. Common tasks for early childhood educators include crafting lessons, planning activities, and supporting young children as they learn, play, and explore their world. The common thread runs that runs through each of these potential positions is that they care for and teach children from birth to age 8.

Here are four potential careers for future early childhood educators:

Elementary School Teachers
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2017 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$60,830
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
112,800
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
7.4
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
Bachelor's degree

Early childhood elementary school teachers know there are few things as magical as watching a kid crack the code of learning to read. Teaching in kindergarten, first or second grade offers the chance to help students build the skills that serve as their foundation for life. Some programs provide a pathway to teacher certification and licensure that is necessary for job in public schools. Private schools generally require at least a bachelor's degree in early childhood education.

Preschool Teachers
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2017 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$33,590
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
53,600
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
10.5
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
Associate's degree

Preschool teachers are our first teachers. They help the youngest students, generally ages 3 to 5, learn what it is like to be in school, building learning habits that will last a lifetime. These educators are responsible for creating theme-based lessons and units to structure their classrooms, made from the best practices for working with our littlest students. To measure their progress and that of their students, they must also practice assessment and evaluation. Public schools usually require a degree from a four-year, accredited teacher training program, as well as licensure. Private schools generally require an undergraduate degree in a related subject.

Special Education Teachers
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2017 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$58,390
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
2,500
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
11.2
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
Bachelor's degree

Special education teachers are lifelines for exceptional students. They are responsible for providing a safe and supportive environment, helping children to achieve in school, build meaningful relationships, and follow a path for success in later life. For many students with special needs, preschool is a critical part of early intervention strategies. Early intervention may begin even before school age with teachers working one-on-one with toddlers. In this setting, special education teachers provide the bridge into the "regular" classroom — supporting the student and the traditional classroom teacher. State licensure is typically required for special educators.

Childcare Workers
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2017 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$23,760
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
188,800
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
6.7
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
High school diploma or equivalent

Childcare workers care for children while their parents are away. This may be at a formal daycare facility or in a private home. Childcare workers spend their days playing and crafting and exploring with young kids. However, they are also often responsible for young children's care and feeding — changing diapers, bathing, and preparing meals. Many states require even at-home daycare facilities to be licensed. Some require a childcare credential such as the CDA or CCP. And formal daycare facilities may require this even in states that do not. Coursework in early childhood education is often required to earn the necessary licensure and credentials.

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In case early childhood education wasn't quite what you were expecting, perhaps one of our other pages might be of more help:

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