If you’re looking for a career that offers the potential to shape the lives of large groups of young children in an educational setting, you might want to consider becoming an early childhood education administrator.

Early childhood education administrators are responsible for creating the curriculum for early childhood educational institutions.  They use their leadership skills to manage and coordinate a facility of staff and teachers. The industry is expected to have above-average job growth over the next decade.  With an average salary ranging between $40,000-$50,000, early childhood administration and management is an attractive career path to consider.

When it comes to enrolling in an online early childhood administration program, there are several options to consider. Within this article, we’ll look at schools that offer early childhood education programs including:

  • bachelor’s degrees
  • master’s degrees
  • graduate certificates

Bachelor’s degrees are suitable for individuals looking to start a new career.  A master’s degree or graduate certificate is well-suited for those who already have work experience in the early childhood education field, as well as a previous undergraduate degree.

Now we’ll consider 6 amazing online early childhood administration degree and certificate programs.


  • Time Until Degree (50%): the estimated time until degree accounting for accelerating program characteristics.
  • Program Cost (50%): the cost of the program based on estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour rates.

#1 – Purdue University Global – West Lafayette, Indiana

purdue university global e1674411190828Online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration

Cost: Undergraduate net price is $3,802/year

Program Length: 180 credits or about four years of full-time study


Purdue University Global offers an online Early Childhood Administration bachelor’s degree program for aspiring childcare leaders.   Students will gain the skills and knowledge needed to take on administrative roles.

Throughout the program, students are taught by teachers who are professionals in the fields of business and early childhood education. These teachers have worked in a variety of settings ranging from special needs programs in public and private organizations to agencies such as Head Start.  Because these teachers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their instruction at Purdue University Global, students benefit by gaining a broader perspective and real-world knowledge.

Courses are delivered in a flexible online format.  Each course lasts 10 weeks.  Students can expect to spend 15-18 hours per week on their coursework.  Courses cover a variety of areas including:

  • Child safety, nutrition, and health
  • Early childhood curriculum planning
  • Early childhood family, community, and advocacy
  • Funding development and financial planning

Students also have the opportunity to work toward a master’s while earning their bachelor’s in early childhood administration.  The accelerated master’s degree program allows students to complete their bachelor’s and master’s together, saving time and money.

Purdue University Global offers its students multiple ways to save on the cost of tuition.  They accept transfer credits from other eligible institutions.  They also offer credit for prior work experience.  Financial aid opportunities are available through loans and grants.

#2 – University of Arizona Global Campus – Tuscon, Arizona

University of Arizona Global Campus e1679070857372Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education Administration Degree

Cost: Undergraduate net price is $17,242/year

Program Length: 120 credits or about four years


The Early Childhood Education Administration program at The University of Arizona Global Campus gives students the skills and knowledge they need to manage an early childhood education program.  Graduates have what it takes to obtain a job in several different occupations including:

  • preschool owner
  • pre-kindergarten coordinator
  • early childhood consultant
  • childcare facility director

Although an online degree from UAGC doesn’t immediately lead to teacher licensure in any state, the program does empower its graduates to be able to:

  • Apply leadership principles in directing and managing a childcare setting
  • Design and assess strategies that are appropriate for the unique developmental stages of children
  • Promote positive development and learning for children
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fiscal, legal, and ethical requirements in administrating quality childcare settings

Students can grow their knowledge by taking just one course at a time.  This allows students to focus on specific content areas.  Courses are offered in an accelerated format, and most are just five to six weeks in length.  Have you already earned college credits?  Students can transfer in up to 90 approved credits.  There’s no application fee, so what are you waiting for?

#3 – National Louis University – Chicago, Illinois

National Louis University LogoOnline Master of Education in Early Childhood Administration

Cost: Average graduate student tuition is $11,646/year

Program Length: 34 credit hours or about 21 months


National Louis University is the only school on this list that offers a Master’s degree program in Early Childhood Administration. This program is specifically designed for early childhood program leaders and other early childhood administration professionals. Throughout the online program, students work together as a cohort to build lasting relationships and contacts.

Students are encouraged to work in a childcare setting while earning their degree.  Working in the field while earning your degree allows you to immediately apply your knowledge and training, adding additional value.  Throughout the 21-month program, students will learn relevant skills including how to conduct educational inquiry and assessment.  Students will also learn how to develop supervision and staff development strategies.

Courses are taught by Ph.D.-level faculty and practitioners who have extensive experience in the early childhood field.  Required courses include:

  • Grant Writing and Fundraising for Early Childhood Programs
  • Public Relations and Marketing of Early Childhood Programs
  • Early Childhood Curriculum
  • Child, Family, and Community

Students who reside or work in Illinois have the opportunity to work toward their Illinois Director Credential (Level III) while working toward their degree.

#4 – Champlain College – Burlington, Vermont

Champlain College LogoEarly Childhood Program Administration Certificate

Cost: Average graduate student tuition is $14,310/year

Program Length: 18 credit hours or about five terms


The Champlain College early childhood leadership program is one of two certificate programs on this list of schools. Professional development is critical for ECE administrators and a certificate is a great way to develop skills.  The program is designed for students who already have a Bachelor’s Degree in teaching or business or an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education. After completing this early childhood administration certificate program, students will have additional knowledge and an expanded skill set specifically related to program administration.

Some of the specific courses that students in this program will complete include:

  • HR in the Early Childhood Setting
  • Program Administration in the Early Childhood Setting
  • Financial Management in the Early Childhood Setting

An added benefit of the program at Champlain College is that students with a GPA of 3.0 or better in the program can apply the credits they earn toward a Master of Education degree.

#5 – Iowa Western Community College – Council Bluffs, Iowa

Iowa Western LogoEarly Childhood Administration Certificate

Cost: $211 per credit hour

Program length: 19 credits


The early childhood administration certificate program at Iowa Western is designed for working professionals who are looking to gain a foundation in running a childcare business. This early childhood management program helps individuals who want to pursue a management position or administrative career but need additional education to do so. Students must have a minimum of an AAS degree to qualify for this program.

Some of the specific courses required for this program include:

  • Early Childhood Program Administration
  • Principles of Supervision
  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Introduction to Law for Managers and Supervisors

Graduates have the skills needed for a variety of careers roles including:

  • childcare teacher
  • toddler teacher
  • childcare assistant
  • teacher assistant

#6 – Martin Luther College – New Ulm, Minnesota

Martin Luther College Logo e1679081361749Master of Science in Educational Administration – Early Childhood Director

Cost: Average graduate student tuition is $5,400/year

Program Length: Two to seven years depending on schedule


Martin Luther College offers an online master’s in educational administration with an early childhood director emphasis.  This 36-credit hour program allows students to choose from an internship or thesis as their capstone experience.  Required courses cover a variety of areas including:

  • Supervision of Instruction
  • School Business Administration
  • School Leadership
  • Leading the School Community

The program was designed to meet the WELS early childhood director standards. The courses are designed with practical application in mind, allowing students to apply their knowledge and skills while completing their degree.