Best online colleges for early childhood Education

Table of Contents

The most affordable online bachelor’s in early childhood education programs have been ranked. Compare schools based on their cost, accessibility, and academic quality.

An online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education opens up various job options for those who desire to help young children thrive. These programs provide students with a comprehensive skill set that they can use in a variety of roles, including teaching and administration, such as education administrator and childcare center director.

This page delves deeper into online bachelor’s in early childhood education programs, including course prerequisites, job prospects, and the most cost-effective study options.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Cost?

The price of an early childhood education bachelor’s degree varies depending on the school and program. The most economical online bachelor’s degree programs in early childhood education cost around $100 per credit. However, at the higher end of the scale, these programs can cost more than $2,000 per credit.

To establish the whole cost of their education, prospective students should look at the true program cost. This takes into account additional fees, travel expenditures, accommodation and board, as well as any missed income during their studies. For others, an online bachelor’s degree in early childhood teaching might result in lower travel costs and easier scheduling.

 

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Program?

Bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education provide students with a variety of job opportunities. The best path relies on the interests and goals of each individual.

These programs typically require 120 credits and four years to finish. Many of the finest programs include an internship component that assists with licensure requirements.

School curricula and employment options differ significantly, and specialities might open new avenues. Those interested in dealing with children and who are compassionate and patient might explore concentrations in language development or specific age groups. Curriculum development or leadership concentrations may appeal to detail-oriented aspiring administrators and directors.

Some colleges also give students the option of choosing between a BA and a BS. A BA provides more comprehensive training and can lead to jobs other than teaching, whereas a BS gives more specific teacher training and qualifies graduates for a teaching license.

Learners frequently pick between certifications and licenses after graduation, which has a significant impact on career paths. Most teaching careers, for example, necessitate licensure, so students must be aware of their state’s requirements. Certification, such as the child development associate credential, may be required for childcare directors.

Popular Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Programs

Contact the universities listed below for information on start dates, transferring credits, financial aid, and other topics.

 

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Program?

Certain of the most typical online early childhood education classes that degree-seekers may face, as well as some courses that may feature in all education programs, are included below.

Child Development

Students will study about how children develop cognitively, physically, and socially in this class. Various environmental aspects that influence the development, assessment, and identification processes are covered in this lesson. Learners also talk about ways to assist youngsters with various developmental challenges. Degree candidates evaluate how to help children based on their specific circumstances and requirements.

Play-Based Learning

This course teaches students how to construct and facilitate play-based lesson plans. Learners also investigate how and why play has such a significant impact on cognitive, physical, and emotional development.

Curriculum Planning

Students will learn how to construct lesson plans that stimulate discovery and involvement with classmates, teachers, and varied locations in this course. Play-based learning, imagination, and physical interactions are all popular topics. Students also learn how to assess the understanding of children.

Assessment and Evaluation for Young Children

This course examines techniques and approaches for evaluating students in a variety of educational contexts. They investigate motivational tactics and challenges as strategies to improve student achievements. Degree candidates also study how to spot specific needs and overcome linguistic and learning obstacles.

Center Leadership

Learners will learn how to run a daycare center, covering finance and budgeting, employee training and development, and human resources. Students investigate how to create compelling program design and community participation.

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Program?

While each online bachelor’s in early childhood education program has its own set of prerequisites, most applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some schools have a minimum GPA requirement for admission. Some technology needs may be necessary for online students.

Application

According to our undergraduate application advice, a regular college application often includes the items listed below. Prospective students can submit their applications individually to their schools of interest or through a service like the Common Application. to numerous institutions at once.

Test Scores

Some applications request that applicants provide the results of their college entrance exams. When applying to undergraduate institutions, students usually submit their SAT or ACT results. Despite the fact that many colleges have provided test waivers to all new students, candidates may still require competitive scores in order to be accepted to their desired schools and programs.

Letters of Recommendation

As part of their application, most schools need prospective students to submit three letters of recommendation. These letters discuss the candidate’s talents and potential and are written by current or past teachers or employers. Early requests for letters of recommendation should be made, and references should be given explicit timelines.

Essays

College application essays allow potential students to express themselves and personalize their applications. Typically, undergraduate applicants write about their personal and academic experiences. Candidates may be required to answer particular questions in their essays by some institutions and programs.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts must be submitted with applications by prospective students. Transcripts provide information about an applicant’s grades and needed training to schools. Transcripts can assist applicants transferring from community college to university in obtaining transfer credits.

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

Career Outlook

As the country recovers from the COVID-19 recession, demand for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education should increase. Between 2020 and 2030, the Bureau of Labor Statistics  (BLS) predicts over 80,000 new childcare workers, with over 150,000 annual opportunities.

In addition to these entry-level professions, bachelor’s degree holders can work in schools and childcare centers as teachers and managers. This education program’s flexibility contributes to it being one of the most popular college majors. Wages after graduation can vary significantly depending on the path chosen by graduates. In May 2020, childcare employees made a median annual income of $25,460, while childcare center directors made $49,160.

Learn more about professions in child development and what a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education can lead to.

Career Paths

Childcare Director

Childcare directors oversee childcare centers and programs, ensuring that staff and educators adhere to the organization’s policies and procedures. They also handle budgeting, policy development, and program design. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 64% of these professionals work in childcare centers, 11% in religious organizations, and 7% in schools.

Median Annual Salary: $49,160

Childcare Administrator

Education administrators manage activities such as financing, program acceptance, and staff assistance in a variety of schools and institutes. They may also assist in the development of programs and communicate with families and the community. Most childcare administrators work in childcare services, according to the BLS, although some also work in primary schools or in family services.

Median Annual Salary: $49,160

Kindergarten Teacher

Kindergarten teachers create and implement lesson plans that teach young pupils fundamental skills. They evaluate students in a variety of methods and assess and address their needs. The majority of kindergarten teachers work in public schools.

Median Annual Salary: $60,660

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers assist pupils in the development of social skills and self-confidence before they join kindergarten. They study students in a variety of contexts, looking for developmental issues and devising programs to help children learn about the world and themselves. Preschool instructors work in childcare centers, religious groups, and public and private schools, according to the BLS.

Median Annual Salary: $31,930

Childcare Worker

Childcare employees are responsible for feeding, cleaning, supervising, and recording the activities of children in various educational settings. They can also make lesson plans and activities based on observations and the interests of the children. According to the BLS, the majority of childcare employees work in daycare centers, however many are self-employed or work in private homes.

Median Annual Salary: $25,460

Continuing Education

Graduates who desire to continue their education can use a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education as a stepping stone to a variety of graduate degrees. Most direct graduate programs, such as a master’s in early childhood development and a master’s in child development, need a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a similar discipline.

Graduates can pursue a master’s degree in education, a master’s degree in educational leadership, a master’s degree in education administration, or a master’s degree in special education. These master’s degrees can lead to careers in management, program creation, and policy development.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Program?

Cost

When picking a school and program, most prospective students consider the expense. They should compare the costs of online and on-campus programs, public and private colleges, and in-state and out-of-state programs during this process. Online students have a larger selection of institutions to pick from and can be more price-conscious.

Program Format

How and when students study is influenced by the program format. Students should consider their work schedules and preferred training periods. To discover the ideal learning format for them, they may wish to evaluate synchronous vs. asynchronous programs, full-time vs. part-time schedules, and the top accelerated programs.

Location

Prospective students should consider location whether they choose online or on-campus studies. On-campus students’ travel and housing arrangements are influenced by their location. Some online programs also need on-campus attendance. For out-of-state students, some online schools and universities offer in-state tuition rates.

Accreditation

Regional accreditation is one of the most significant concerns for prospective students, according to our online accreditation guide. This can impair a student’s ability to receive financial aid, find work, and continue their education. Several organizations, notably the National Association for the Education of Young Children, offer voluntary programmatic accreditation to early childhood education programs.

Student Support

Traditional and online student services can improve a student’s experience by providing more assistance and opportunities. Work experience programs, according to our internship guide, can lead to more job opportunities following graduation. Academic assistance programs, career services, and college mentors can also help students succeed.

How Do I Pay for an Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

When seeking for financial help, most students should start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application can lead to loans, grants, work-study programs, and scholarships, as we mentioned in our financial aid and FAFSA tutorial.

Loans

Students have access to many loan kinds, including government and private loans, according to our college loans guide. Students may be eligible for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Teacher loan forgiveness may be available to early childhood educators.

Grants

Degree-seekers with financial need can apply for federal funds such as Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, according to our scholarships and grants guide. The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant may be available to aspiring teachers.

Work-Study Programs

Students who demonstrate financial need can participate in federal work-study programs to gain paid work experience. These positions provide money, important and targeted experience, and flexible scheduling, according to our federal work-study guide. Work-study employment are offered depending on the school, and opportunities may be on campus or in the community.

Scholarships

Learners can seek for scholarships in a variety of methods, according to our scholarship guide for college students. The federal, state, and local governments, as well as specialized colleges, universities, and organizations, offer financial help. Various national education groups, such as the National Education Association, offer scholarships to early childhood education students.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Programs

#1 Online College in Washington

University of Washington

School Information
Location Seattle, Washington
Admission Rate 52%
Graduation Rate 84%
Accreditation Yes
Percent Online Enrollment 8%

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100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $231
Out of State | $231

Credits to Graduate
180

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes

A fully online bachelor’s in early childhood education degree completion program is available at the University of Washington-Seattle Campus. Part-time students can graduate in three years, while full-time students can graduate in two. At least 45 prior college credits are required for admission.

Classes including equality in early care and education, family and community engagement, child observation and evaluation, and exceptional children are required for the 180-credit bachelor’s in early childhood education at UW. Students majoring in early childhood education must complete a senior project that combines hands-on experience, research, and theory.

#2 Online College in Florida

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes
Percent Online Enrollment 68%

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100% Online

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $229
Out of State | $346

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes

Florida International University offers a fully online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education for distance learners. The 120-credit program looks at teaching strategies, classroom management, child development, and language and literacy development.

At least 60 credits of lower division courses, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and a university core or general education associate degree from a public, approved Florida college are required for admission to FIU’s bachelor’s in early childhood education program.

#3 Online College in California

National University

School Information
Location La Jolla, California
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 29%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes
Percent Online Enrollment 53%

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100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $370
Out of State | $370

Credits to Graduate
180

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes

The bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at National University focuses on play, policy, and practice. Early cognition, play as pedagogy, children with special needs, and newborn and toddler care are among the 180-credit courses required for the degree. Students learn how to build curricula, construct appropriate learning environments, and implement effective teaching practices.

This program offers year-round enrollment and four-week sessions. National University requires students to complete at least 45 credits.

#4 Online College in Iowa

Iowa State University

School Information
Location Ames, Iowa
Admission Rate 92%
Graduation Rate 74%
Accreditation Yes
Percent Online Enrollment 23%

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100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $430
Out of State | $430

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No

The fully online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education offered by Iowa State University covers topics such as technology and young children, working with families, and recognizing diversity. The degree takes about 33 months to complete on average.

Child development, curriculum creation, recognizing and adapting for developmental variations, and supervision in early childhood settings are among the courses taken by early care and education majors. Three practicums, including a 15-week, 300-hour teaching experience, are required as part of the bachelor’s in early childhood education degree.

#5 Online College in Florida

Florida State College at Jacksonville

School Information
Location Jacksonville, Florida
Graduation Rate 37%
Accreditation Yes
Percent Online Enrollment 74%

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Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $105
Out of State | $219

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes

Graduates of Florida State College at Jacksonville’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education degree completion program are prepared for positions as teacher assistants, daycare workers, and education administrators.

Child growth and development, introduction to diversity for teachers, childcare and education programming, and introduction to educational technology are all required courses for the 120-credit bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. A supervised field experience at an early childhood education program or facility is required of students.

#6 Online College in Connecticut

Charter Oak State College

School Information
Location New Britain, Connecticut
Accreditation Yes

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100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $319
Out of State | $419

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes

Early childhood teaching credential, baby and toddler, preschool, and Montessori concentrations are available through Charter Oak State College’s online bachelor’s in early childhood education program. A certificate in speech and language pathology studies or a Connecticut director’s credential are options for students.

Diversity and ethics in early childhood, psychology of play, the exceptional learner, and observation and assessment in early childhood programs are among the topics covered in these classes. In their last trimester, early childhood education majors perform a capstone project.

#7 Online College in North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

School Information
Location Greensboro, North Carolina
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 59%
Accreditation Yes
Percent Online Enrollment 51%

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100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $184
Out of State | $369

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes

Transfer applicants with an associate of applied science from a participating North Carolina community college are welcome to apply to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s bachelor’s in early childhood education degree competition program. There are synchronous and asynchronous courses available in the online program.

The 120-credit multidisciplinary program covers topics such as general early childhood education, early childhood special education, and social and behavioral sciences. Children with special needs, health, safety, and nutrition, infant and toddler curriculum, and a capstone practicum are among the classes offered to students.

#8 Online College in California

University of Massachusetts Global

School Information
Location Irvine, California
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes
Percent Online Enrollment 96%

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100% Online or Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $500
Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes

The University of Massachusetts Global provides an online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education that equips graduates to work with children ranging in age from birth to eight years old. At least 12 transferred college credits and a 2.0 GPA are required for admission. Official transcripts from all previous coursework are submitted by applicants.

Classes like teaching in a diverse culture, dual language learners and their families, and social and emotional competence in early childhood education are all part of the 120-credit program. Fieldwork and two practicums must be completed under the supervision of an instructor.

#9 Online College in Ohio

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

School Information
Location Mount Vernon, Ohio
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes
Percent Online Enrollment 41%

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100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Year
In State | $33,918
Out of State | $33,918

Credits to Graduate
83

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes

Mount Vernon Nazarene University offers an online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education that covers educational technologies, learning processes, early childhood education curriculum, and family and community relations. Transfer students and advanced undergraduates are accepted, while first-year freshmen are not.

Foundations of inclusive education, education and cultural diversity, language and literacy principles, and early childhood classroom management are all required classes. Students pursuing a degree in early childhood education must complete 6-12 credits of student teaching.

#10 Online College in Iowa

Northwestern College

School Information
Location Orange City, Iowa
Admission Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes
Percent Online Enrollment 37%

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100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $340
Out of State | $340

Credits to Graduate
124

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes

Northwestern College provides a fully online bachelor’s degree completion program in early childhood education that can be completed in as little as two years. The course covers child development, behavior, and evaluation. Northwestern requires students to finish at least 30 credits.

Positive behavioral support for young children, learning with digital media, helping dual language learners, and resiliency and health for educators are all part of the 124-credit bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. In addition, students construct a professional portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions About Early Childhood Education

Is a bachelor’s in early childhood education worth it?

Yes. For aspiring childcare providers, a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education can be quite beneficial. According to the BLS, the training leads to various in-demand teaching and childcare occupations. These degrees can also assist graduates get into education master’s programs.

For students, the value of an online degree can take many forms. Many online students prefer the scheduling flexibility since it allows them to have more reasonable work schedules and study for less time. Others prefer the school choices and more self-directed learning options.

What can I do with a bachelor’s in early childhood education?

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education have a strong foundation for entering the workforce or continuing their education. Graduates can work in a variety of positions in childcare centers, including management. They can also work as teachers or teaching assistants in typical classroom settings.

A bachelor’s degree in early childhood education can help prepare students for further education. A master’s degree in early childhood education can help students advance their careers. They could specialize in child development, special education, or curriculum and instruction, for example.

Are early childhood education majors in demand?

Yes. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education will be in high demand in schools and childcare centers as the country recovers from the effects of COVID-19. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, childcare worker positions will expand by 8% between 2020 and 2030, while childcare center director jobs will grow by 11%.

Other jobs for graduates of early childhood education programs are expected to expand steadily over the coming decade. Teacher assistant jobs, for example, are expected to expand by 9%, special education teacher jobs by 8%, and preschool teacher jobs by 18%, according to the BLS. In comparison, jobs in all occupations are expected to expand by 8% between 2020 and 2030.

How much money can I make with a bachelor’s in early childhood education?

Several factors influence the amount of money accessible to graduates with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Wages are affected by factors such as location, employer, position, and experience. According to the BLS, childcare workers earned a median hourly income of $12.24 in May 2020, with the top 10% of earners earning $18.13.

In May 2020, preschool instructors made a median annual salary of $31,930, and childcare center directors made a median annual salary of $49,160. In both industries, the top 10% of professionals made $58,230 and $86,040, respectively.

Where are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor’s in early childhood education?

Special education instructors are the highest-paying employment for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. In May 2020, these professions earned a median annual wage of $61,500, according to the BLS. More than $100,570 was earned by the top 10% of earners in the field.

The typical yearly income for special education instructors varies depending on the age of the classroom and the type of school. In May 2020, special education instructors in preschool classrooms received a median yearly salary of $61,400. These teachers made $60,620 in kindergarten and elementary school classrooms. To teach in public schools, special education teachers may need a teaching license.

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