Early childhood educators enjoy an extremely rewarding career, as they play a fundamental role in shaping the lives of the youngest members of our society – our children. While education is important at every stage of life, studies have shown that the education received by children when they are in the fledgling years of life, between the ages of 0-8, have probably the biggest impact on how that child’s life turns out. Early childhood educators are fortunate enough to be able to make a significant contribution to children at this stage of life.
Some of the tasks and duties involved in working as an early childhood educator include developing a curriculum for young students and teaching them language, arts, math, science, and social skills, engaging and managing a classroom, evaluating the development of the children in your class, and working with a diverse range of students, including both English and non-English speakers.
Aside from being an emotionally rewarding profession, the early childhood education career is also growing rapidly in terms of opportunity, meaning that it is a great choice for individuals looking for a career with lots of future potential. More specifically, estimated employment for early childhood educators is expected to increase by 17% by 2022. Clearly, for those who are looking to invest in their future and choose a career that is trending upward, now is the time to pursue a career in early childhood education.
There are plenty of options available for individuals to receive a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education online. Here are the top 10 online programs for getting your bachelors in early childhood education.
- 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 – Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University (FHSU) offers a BS in Education that effectively prepares students to work in early childhood education. Upon completion of the program, students will be qualified and licensed to teach regular and special education classes from birth to third-grade level within Kansas (and potentially other states, depending on specific licensure transfer requirements).
While the program is offered as an entirely online program, there is also the option to take some of the classes on campus. The program also offers internship and student teaching experiences in diverse environments.
Some of the courses featured in FHSU’s curriculum include: – Human Growth and Development – Emergent Literacy – Behavior Strategies and Support – Educational Psychology
#2 – Kaplan University
Named as one of the “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs” by U.S. News and World Report for three consecutive years, Kaplan University offers an Early Childhood Administration Bachelor program that opens up a wide range of opportunities for its graduates, including working in a pre-kindergarten setting, managing a childhood agency or organization, and operating and owning an early childhood program. Since it was founded in 1937, Kaplan has been one of the world’s leading providers of lifelong education with operations around the globe.
Some of the areas where students will develop a solid base of knowledge and skillset in throughout the course of the program include early child growth and development, business management, and early childhood leadership and advocacy. Students will acquire these skills under the guidance and counsel of instructors who have years of experience in early childhood leadership positions.
#3 – Grand Canyon University
The focus of the curriculum of Grand Canyon University’s Early Childhood Education Bachelor program is teaching students how to educate and shape young minds. By the end of the program, students will have the knowledge and skills they need to meet requirements for licensure in Arizona.
In order to empower its students to act as highly qualified teachers for young children, the program’s curriculum includes topics such as: – Different methods to use when working with exceptional learners and non-English speakers – How to recognize and evaluate developmental milestones – How to engage and manage a class of early childhood students
#4 – University of Cincinnati
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the University of Cincinnati has an Early Childhood Education program that creates professional educators who are able to provide high-quality educational experiences for their community’s youngest members. Those who graduate from this program go on to work as Head Start teachers, infant/toddler specialists, and preschool teachers.
Over the course of this four-year program, students learn about topics such as health, safety, and nutrition, language development in young children, and responsive environments for infants and toddlers. Successfully completing this program means that students will be eligible for recommendation for Ohio’s pre-K teaching license.
#5 – University of Massachusetts Amherst
The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s University Without Walls (UWW) program gives adults the opportunity to complete their Bachelor in Early Care and Education at a world-class public university in an entirely online setting. A big benefit of the UWW program is its flexible degree completion program, which gives students the chance to bring in up to 100 credits from previous coursework, learning, or work and life experience. The school also lets its students design their own program of study.
The program is specifically designed by early childhood educators for early childhood educators, which is why it offers relevant course topics such as multicultural education, early childhood curriculum, inclusion, and children’s behavior management.
#6 – Notre Dame College
Notre Dame is nationally recognized as a school that offers education to a diverse population of students. The Early Childhood Education bachelor licensure program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and prepares students for pre-K3 education, teaching a specific set of skills that allows teachers to meet the educational needs of young children.
The classes in this program are delivered entirely online by a full-time roster of expert faculty. Graduates are trained to work in careers such as childcare worker, secondary educator, special education instructor, and school administrator.
#7 – Kansas State University
The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education at Kansas State University is a completion program, which means that it is designed for students who have completed a portion of their coursework at a local community college. Kansas State University itself offers 72 hours of general education and professional teacher education courses.
Students who graduate from the Kansas State University program will be able to apply for job opportunities where they will be coordinating parent programs, working with young children aged birth through kindergarten, or working in administrative or teaching positions.
#8 – University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix’s Early Childhood Education bachelor program is meant for students who want to work with children from birth-age to age 8, but who have no prior teaching experience. However, for students who do have previous experience in early childhood education and hold the Child Development Associate credential, the school is able to potentially waive as much as 21 credits towards the completion of your degree.
Students who choose to enroll in the ECE program at the University of Phoenix will learn from a curriculum that includes topics like child development and learning, building family and community relations, cultural diversity, and assessment to support young children and families.
#9 – Eastern Oregon University
The Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education at Eastern Oregon University is a non-licensure program that can be completed in just 2 years. For individuals who want to expedite the process of receiving their education so that they can work in an educational setting with children from birth to age 8, but who don’t need to receive any state licensing in order to obtain work, this program is a great choice
According to the school’s website: “students will receive in-depth knowledge of early childhood foundations, development, learning and apply this knowledge in learning to creating high-quality care and educational programs that focus on developing appropriate learning experiences for young children.”
#10 – Baker College
Baker College offers an online bachelor in Early Childhood Education that combines virtual classroom studies with internships in child care settings. This blending of learning environments prepares students for employment in the modern world of early childhood education.
In the course curriculum at Baker College, students will gain experience in developing a curriculum that teaches children basic skills in language, math, science, and social skills, as well as planning age-appropriate learning and play environments. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be qualified to work as teachers in pre-K settings, supervisors and administrators, and curriculum developers.