Bachelor’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education provide individuals with advanced skills in child growth and development. Early childhood education students learn strategies that are essential to their success as early childhood educators working as:
- daycare program coordinators
- preschool directors
- preschool teachers
- youth counselors
- elementary school teachers
Online early childhood education programs are offered through many colleges and universities. They are pursued by men and women of all ages who wish to work with young children. These early childhood education teachers inspire a lifetime love of learning in young, developing minds.
Today, there are many online schools that offer accredited, comprehensive, flexible, and often affordable bachelor’s degree programs in early childhood education. Ten of the best online institutions and their early childhood education degrees are described in detail below.
Interested in a Master’s in Early Childhood Education instead? Check out our ranking of the 30 best online master’s in early childhood education.
- Number of unique features of program (1/2): the number of unique features, including but not limited to top financial aid, time-until-degree accelerated, specializations, and practicums.
- Affordability (1/2): the total program cost as calculated from the estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour rate.
Ranking the Top 10 Online Colleges with Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Each of the schools that is described below is ranked according to the quality, distinction, and comprehensiveness of its Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Degree program.
1. Ball State University
Bachelor’s in Family and Child: Early Childhood Education
Ball State University is a four-year university located in Muncie, Indiana. The student population is 20,319 and the student to faculty ratio is 14:1. Ball State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and their ECE program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Their accredited online early childhood education degree program aligns with the standards outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Ball State’s online Bachelor’s in Family and Child: Early Childhood Education was designed for early childhood educators with an associate degree in ECE. The 90-credit hour degree completion program is offered 100% online. Students can choose a variety of minors to complete their degree including:
- early intervention
- applied behavior analysis
- autism spectrum disorder
- exceptional needs: early childhood special education
- psychology of human development
Students complete coursework on their own time. The flexible, asynchronous format is a great benefit for students working full-time. Course offerings include:
- Family Relations
- Child Development
- Early Childhood Language
Weekly deadlines allow students to prioritize their studies around other obligations. Financial aid opportunities, including the TEACH Scholarship, are available to eligible students.
2. Grand Canyon University
Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education Degree
Grand Canyon University is a private, for-profit university with 103,072 students. Their student to faculty ratio is 20:1. GCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Grand Canyon University is one of the best online schools for early childhood education. They offer an online Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood Education program that entails 120 credit hours of study. Course components of this online degree program include:
- Child Psychology
- Early Literacy Development
- Educating the Exceptional Learner
Grand Canyon University possesses some of the best options for financial aid, which include the:
- Servant Scholars Program
- President’s Scholarship
- Provost’s Scholarship
- Dean’s Scholarship
- Faculty Scholarship
- Transfer College Major Scholarships
Graduates are prepared to work as elementary and early childhood education teachers.
3. Post University
Bachelor of Science in Child Studies
Post University is a four-year, private for-profit university. There are 14,055 students and the student to faculty ratio is 21:1. The university is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Post University offers an online Bachelor’s of Science in Child Studies Degree. The program consists of 120 credit hours of study with courses such as:
- Educational Psychology
- Emergent Literacy
- Creative Activities
Students who pursue this online degree program may transfer up to 90 credit hours from an accredited college or university.
4. Indiana Wesleyan University
Online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
Indiana Wesleyan University is a private non-profit university located in Marion, Indiana. They currently serve 10,008 students and have a student to faculty ratio of 17 to 1. Indiana Wesleyan is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The early childhood education bachelor’s degree program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Indiana Wesleyan University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. They offer three start dates throughout the year, so students can begin the program when it’s most convenient. Students can complete coursework around their own schedule since there are no set login times. Multiple field experiences throughout the year give students the opportunity to practice their skills.
Diverse course offerings keep students engaged with relevant contact. Course offerings include:
- Child Growth and Development
- Instructional Tools for the Teaching of Reading
- Educational Psychology for Early Learners
5. Liberty University
Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Online
Liberty University is a private, not-for-profit university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty has over 94,000 students and a student to faculty ratio of 17:1. They are accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Their ECE program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Liberty University offers an online Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood Education-Interdisciplinary Studies Degree program that includes 120 credit hours of study. Students can complete their degree in three and a half years. There are eight start dates each year, giving students the opportunity to complete their degree on their own schedule.
All students complete a 90-hour practicum. Experience in the field of teaching may be substituted for this online degree program’s credit hours. Featured courses include:
- Early Childhood Education Fundamentals
- Wellness in the Early Childhood Setting
- Developmental Psychology
- Psychology of Childhood
6. Vanguard University of Southern California
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education
Vanguard University of Southern California is a private, non-profit university located in Costa Mesa, California. This small university is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and is affiliated with the Assemblies of God. VU has 2,268 students and a faculty to student ratio of 17:1. This university is also accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Vanguard University of Southern California is one of the best online schools for early childhood education. VU offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education in a fully online format. Students can choose between five- or seven-week courses that integrate faith and learning. Concentrations are available in special education and STEAM. Major course requirements include:
- Guiding the Young Child’s Behavior
- Advanced Curriculum Design and Development in Early Childhood Education
- The Exceptional Child and the Inclusive Classroom
Students in the early childhood education program can complete their degree within 12-24 months.
7. Purdue Global University
Online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration
Purdue University Global is a public four-year institution with over 43,000 students. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Purdue University Global is part of the Purdue University System.
Purdue University Global offers an online Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood Development Degree. Their early childhood education program includes courses like:
- Early Childhood Curriculum Planning
- Child Safety, Nutrition, and Health
- Early Childhood Family, Community, and Advocacy
Students develop a strong foundation in early childhood education along with the business skills needed to be successful in administration. Courses are offered in 10-week terms and most students can complete their degree in four years. Multiple start dates allow students to begin working on their degree when it is most convenient. Planning to pursue a master’s degree? Purdue University Global students can work toward a graduate degree in areas like public administration or educational psychology while earning their bachelor’s degree!
8. University of Massachusetts Amherst
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Early Childhood Education
The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. This university serves 32,045 students with a student to faculty ratio of 18;1.
The UMass Amherst University Without Walls Interdisciplinary Studies degree completion program offers allows students to complete their degree with an emphasis on early childhood education. The program is available to new and seasoned professionals. Students can design their own program and receive credit for prior coursework and life/work experience. The program is availably entirely online, making this a great choice for working professionals.
As one of the best online colleges for early childhood education, UMass Amherst understands the importance of an affordable education. Credits awarded for life and work experience cost just a fraction of the full fee per credit cost. Financial aid opportunities are also available to help offset the cost.
9. Park University
Bachelor of Science Education Studies: Early Childhood Education, Teaching Young Children
Park University is small private college located in Parkville, Missouri. They serve over 8,700 students and have a student to faculty ratio of 14:1. Park is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This university’s online ECE program aligns with the standards that are set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Park University is one of the top online schools in early childhood education. Their BSE program was designed for students planning careers as:
- program directors
- ECE leaders and administrators
- curriculum coordinators
Students complete coursework online but most classes require interaction or observation within an ECE setting. This provides students with the benefits of hands on training and professional experience before graduation.
Students must select a minor or a leadership area of concentration. Minor options include:
- social work
The leadership area of concentration includes courses in areas like:
- public management and leadership
- program planning and evaluation
- financial aspects of ECE programs
In addition, this university’s online degree programs are taught by instructors who possess advanced degrees and experiences as teachers and administrators in the field of education.
10. Northwestern College
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood (non-licensure)
Northwestern College is a private, non-for-profit college located in Orange City, Iowa. Northwestern serves 1,513 students with a student to faculty ratio of 12:1. Northwestern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Students in the ECE program benefit from a quality, online education. Relevant courses prepare students to work in various roles including preschool teacher and day care program coordinator. Courses are offered in short, eight-week terms designed to meet the needs of working adults. Students can take one course at a time, managing school with their other obligations.
As one of the top early childhood education online schools, Northwestern College, they provide a seamless transfer for students coming in with their AA or AS degree. Financial aid opportunities are available for students pursuing a degree in early childhood including the TEACH Early Childhood Scholarship and the Child Care WAGE$ Program.