Best Online Early Childhood Education Degrees

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Are you ready to find your fit?

Life is unpredictable. Maybe you went right into pursuing a college degree right out of high school, but circumstances didn’t allow you to finish.

Best Online Early Childhood Education Degrees Badge

Or maybe you didn’t know what you wanted to study and took some time off of school and started to work. As the years go on, life gets a bit more complicated and busy and the idea of going back to school to either begin or finish a Bachelor degree seems almost impossible.

It’s not. With online education – doors to opportunity fly open. With online education, you can complete your degree, and on your own terms.

Colleges and universities realize that there are scores of ‘non-traditional’ students out there. Those who have jobs, family obligations, and just need flexibility. This is even more important and relevant to those in the field of Early Childhood Education.

Early Childhood Education (or ECE) has an incredible need for degree holding administrators, teachers, and advocacy professionals.

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Featured Early Childhood Education Programs

People place a high value on quality early childhood education with certified staff. The number of new preschool students alone has risen by 43% according to the The Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2019, early childhood education is expected to have the highest job availability of any area of education, rising by 18%.

A Quick Look: Best Online Early Childhood Education Degrees

Rank School Average Net Price
1 Ball State University $13,369
2 Kansas State University $16,431
3 Florida International University $12,966
4 Fort Hays State University $11,993
5 University of Cincinati $19,978
6 Indiana Wesleyan University $19,519
7 University of Nebraska-Lincoln $16,462
8 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College $19,401
9 Concordia University-Portland $22,518
10 California Baptist University $25,875

What are the financial benefits of an early childhood education degree?

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics holds the median salary for preschool teachers at $28,790, and the median salary of $45,230 for those working in elementary and primary schools, this is a career that often allows frequent promotion and advancement.

What do I need to complete my degree in early childhood education?

Each state has different requirements for working in early childhood education. Some careers require teaching licensure or special certifications, while others don’t. Our list will give you an understanding of which online programs provide endorsements (for specific age groups, special education students etc.) which only amp up your early childhood education credentials and job options.

Do I miss out on anything by taking classes online?

Online education may sound a bit unique, but so are you and your educational needs. With incredible technology support (in some cases and iPad or other device included in your tuition), highly accessible faculty who have often been in your shoes, and practical, relevant courses, you are never too late for early education.

Now is the time to enter the field or enhance your degree. What better way than through an online early education bachelor degree?

What are the Best Online Early Childhood Education Degrees?

Ranking methodology is based on three primary factors: institutional excellence, student satisfaction, and student success (or, return on investment).

Institutional excellence is decided using a variety of data: graduation rate, institutional reputation, students’ entering test scores, student-to-faculty ratio, and endowment size.

Student satisfaction is an aggregate and weighting of student reviews found in various publications and websites.

Return on investment is based on tuition costs, financial aid, average student indebtedness after graduating, and expected early career salary for grads. Data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS database, from Payscale, from individual college websites, and from US News & World Report.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Ball State University
    Location

    Muncie, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Ball State University tops the list with their Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. This degree also includes a minor in early childhood special education, boosting job opportunities tremendously. Flexibility is key with Ball State’s program and courses are designed to work for someone working in the childcare field already.

    Program Features

    Curriculum in the Ball State program is focused on birth to age 5. Classes are taught online by top-tier education faculty, many who are active in early childhood settings and organizations like the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Courses offered in the degree include:

    • Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction
    • Literature for Young Children
    • Early Emergent Literacy
    • Social, Historical, and Philosophical Foundations of Education

    Details

    The Early Childhood Education online degree offers students easy access to class discussion boards, wikis, blogs, and file sharing keep communication and class rigor high. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Indiana Bachelor’s Degree Scholarship Program is available, offering qualified students up to 80 percent coverage of Ball State tuition, as well as book costs. This is a non-licensure program.

  2. Kansas State University
    Location

    Manhattan, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Kansas State University has an award-winning online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Named in the 2017 Top 25 Best Online Bachelor Degree Programs by thebestschoools.org, this program is tailored for those who want to work with young children, from birth to Kindergarten age.

    Program Features

    Successful completion of the early childhood education program makes students eligible for licensure by the state of Kansas in early childhood unified. The license offers dual coursework in early childhood education and early childhood special education, adding to its value and bandwidth for job options. Course offered include:

    • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
    • Environments in Early Childhood
    • Interaction Technology with Young Children
    • Exceptional Development in Early Childhood

    Details

    Utilizing a tablet (ipad or similar device) and Swivl technology platform, online students will have access to live classes, chances for video observation, and also participation in evaluations. Full admission into Kansas State Teacher Education is necessary for completion of the Early Childhood Education program.

  3. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Florida International University’s online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education offers students a rigorous education, that can be completed with incredible flexibility. Focusing on the whole child, from birth to age 5, the program trains professionals for positions in the growing early childhood field. This degree does not include certification.

    Program Features

    Coursework teaches language, development, and cognitive aspects of children, as well as educational foundations courses. Highly attentive faculty help students gain the skills and know-how to be leaders in their early childhood jobs. Specific courses offered include:

    • Special Needs of Children and their Families
    • Communities, Families and Young Children
    • Family Literacy and the Young Child
    • Play and Development of Social Competence

    Details

    Florida International University’s online education wants to make sure you feel connected and receive the best instruction. Offering 24 hour, 7 days a week accessibility to your coursework, connecting with advisors, instructors, and peers is simple. FIU also provides each student with a personal success coach to ensure student achievement and excellence. FIU online students are also eligible to graduate through the Honors College, a prestigious accomplishment for any resume.

  4. Fort Hays State University
    Location

    Hays, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Fort Hays State University offers an incredible Bachelor of Science degree in their Early Childhood Unified program. Geared toward working with young children from birth to Grade 3, whether you are interested in teaching or administration, Fort Hays State will help you succeed.

    Program Features

    The Early Childhood United program offers coursework in early childhood and early childhood special education, giving you extensive knowledge of working with multiple classrooms. Importantly, it allows graduates to seek state licensure. Specific courses offered include:

    • Emergent Literacy
    • Early Childhood United Mathematics Methods
    • The Young Child
    • Creative Expressions Methods

    Details

    The Fort Hays State University online program also offers some of its coursework on campus, giving students an array of learning environments. Student teaching and internship experiences in art, language development, science, math, and more are available, giving students real-life experience and teaching scenarios. Admission the Teacher Education Program is required for completion of the Early Childhood United program.

  5. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Early Childhood Education program from the University of Cincinnati offers an accredited online degree for those looking to work with young children. Coursework is designed to fit into the busy schedule of those already working in early childhood settings age birth to Kindergarten. New to early childhood studies? Don’t worry, as it is easy to succeed if you are just beginning as well.

    Program Features

    Included in the ECE program are courses for professional development, licensure renewal, and Child Development Associate credentials. Studies offer a full understanding of the whole child. Courses that specifically focus on early childhood literacy, social issues, and student assessment are able to be accessed with incredible flexibility due to the online platform. Courses include:

    • Play and Development
    • Children’s Literature in Early Care and Education
    • Creative Arts in Early Care and Education
    • Classroom Organization and Guidance

    Details

    Students are able to choose a Pre-K, Infant and Toddler, or Administration focus to their coursework, further benefiting their future careers. Student teaching and practicums are also included, giving plenty of understanding for how to achieve student learning outcomes. While licensure is not included in this program, graduates are primed for a wide array of job opportunities in early childhood education.

  6. Indiana Wesleyan University
    Location

    Marion, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Bachelor of Science program at Indiana Wesleyan University offers an Early Childhood Education major that is online, accessible, and offers students a path to success in early education. Offering state licensure, this program is tuned toward working with young children from birth to age 8.

    Program Features

    Coursework in the Early Childhood Education program focuses on the emotional, cognitive, physical, and social aspects of the young child. Students are able to learn observation strategies, family dynamics, and build community relationships through a combination of online and hands-on experiences. Courses given include:

    • Current Issues and Trends in Early Childhood
    • Emergent Literacy
    • Early Childhood Special Education
    • Child Growth and Development

    Details

    With a supportive cohort environment that is fostered online and the ability to complete the program in 24 months, students receive a high quality education that complements their busy life. Faculty that are seasoned practitioners in early childhood education are committed to student success offer the tools necessary for graduates to be confident early childhood educators.

  7. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Early Care and Education for a Mobile Society is an innovative and unique online bachelor of science degree program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. It is a collaborative effort of seven universities working as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA). 

    Program Features

    Upon completion of this forward-thinking program graduates can work in an array of early care programs, military based learning environments and HeadStart programs for children from birth to Age 8. Coursework to help students engage and create successful learning outcomes includes:

    • Development of Curriculum Ages birth to 3
    • Diversity in the Lives of Young Children and Families
    • Working with Families
    • Health, Safety, and Nutrition

    Details

    Opportunities for observation, practicums, and clinical situations give depth to coursework. This four year program gives students the skills to design curriculum to match the unique demands of a mobile early childhood education lifestyle. It also trains the proper understanding of the family support system. Its online format makes is an accessible choice for those looking to enhance their resume with an uncommon set of tools in early education training.

  8. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
    Location

    Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has over 40 years of experience in online education and offers a comprehensive Bachelor degree in Preschool-Grade 3/Mild Intervention education. Fully accredited and recognized as one of the top online undergraduate programs in the U.S. this degree is geared toward children from birth to age 8 and offers licensure.

    Program Features

    The Preschool-Grade 3/Mild Intervention program gives graduates a dual license for public school settings in early childhood special education and preschool to Grade 3. Coursework is offered online, but face-to-face options are also available. The classes meet for 16 weeks or can be completed in an accelerated 8 week pace. Course include:

    • Literacy Instruction for Diverse Learners
    • Guiding Young Children’s Social and Behavioral Development
    • Early Childhood Program Administration
    • Music, Movement, and the Arts

    Details

    Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College follows all REPA (Rules for Educator Preparation and Accreditation) regulations. Student teaching, clinical, and field experiences are included, Small classes in their fine-tuned online format, committed faculty practitioners, and financial aid make the program a winning choice for those looking for an online dual-licensure program. The program also adheres to InTASC standards and highlights: content knowledge, instructional practice, learner and learning, and professional responsibility.

  9. Concordia University-Portland
    Location

    Portland, OR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Concordia University-Portland offers fantastic opportunity for an online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Focused on children from birth to age 5, this program is meant to build on any previous coursework in early childhood education. Admission transfer coordinators work closely with students to ensure all previous work is applied to the online coursework.

    Program Features

    Concordia University-Portland’s early childhood education degree is a non-licensure program. Consisting of 12 courses that are offered over a span of 4 semesters. General education coursework must be completed, then early childhood education courses are available. Some included in the degree program are:

    • Child Safety and Protection
    • Integrated Strategies for Teaching
    • Working with Infants & Toddlers
    • Partnering with Families

    Details

    The early childhood education program prides itself on being relevant and practitioner-based. With an internship as the capstone of the program and cohort styled classes, real-life applications in a supportive environment are easily gained. Whether you are already working in an early education setting and want to expand your employment opportunities or just beginning your career, the Concordia University-Portland online program gives the flexibility and high-caliber coursework to advance in the field.

  10. California Baptist University
    Location

    Riverside, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    California Baptist University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies gives students the tools and skill-set to engage young children from birth to age 8. Graduates will be propelled into careers in teaching, early intervention, research, advocacy, and government agencies. An Early Childhood Education specialist credential can be obtained for graduates to work in Pre-Kindergarten Special Day Class settings or to work with students with developmental disabilities.

    Program Features

    Coursework at California Baptist University maintains a Christian perspective and trains teachers to navigate classroom issues from a global context and to integrate theory with practice. Specific courses offered in the early childhood studies program include:

    • Spiritual Development of Young Children
    • STEM Integrated with the Arts
    • Early Childhood Curriculum
    • Cross Cultural Perspectives of Young Children Including Children with Disabilities

    Details

    California Baptist offers flexible and accelerated 100% online, in-person evening courses, or hybrid meetings that run on an 8 week cycle. Students are able to complete the program quickly due to the courses being offered three semesters year-round. Skills in assessment, implementation of curriculum, learning environment adaptations, and trends in early child education will all be taught, giving graduates major bandwidth in job options and proficiency in their field.

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