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Best Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education
Top 25 Online Education Degrees 2020

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Best Online Bachelors Early Childhood Education

Are you looking into a career in education? In a world that is changing so fast, one thing that is not going anywhere is learning. Education is the scaffolding of the future, and working with young children is a great opportunity to set an early precedent for learning. Like everything else, early childhood education is also shifting as the world becomes more reliant on technology for all aspects of life, including classroom environments. What better time than now to embark on a journey to teach the youth of today? 

There are many ways to become an early childhood educator. Some take the path of achieving an associates degree and either entering the workforce from there, or transitioning to a four year bachelor’s degree program. Some begin at a four year college or university and work towards their bachelors degree in early childhood education throughout their entire academic career. A bachelor’s degree opens many doors, including an avenue to easily go on to get a teaching certificate. More and more there are high quality program offerings that are delivered online. This makes achieving a bachelor’s degree more accessible to non traditional students who have a myriad of other life commitments that make it hard to study on campus. Many students prefer the flexibility of achieving a degree from the comfort of their home. It’s also nice to  save the money for a subway ticket or gas to get to the classroom. We came up with the best 25 online bachelors in elementary education programs based on the following metrics:

  • Cost
  • Reputation
  • Rate of Success

You will notice that many of the degrees have their own flair or feature something a little different. Take a look and find a program that piques your interest.

1

University of Washington-Seattle Campus
Seattle, WA

The University of Washington offers an online elementary teaching degree that is called a bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood and Family Studies. They have made some changes, as the degree was previously named BA in Early Care and Education. This course of study builds on the research based best practices in the field of early childhood education. It is known for its affordability with a lower cost per credit hour than most of its counterparts, and also offers a great deal of flexibility. The online format enables students to study wherever is convenient for them, and in many cases when the time is right. Students have access to comprehensive advising and technological support to help them stay on track and effectively navigate the online platform.  

Degree Title: BA in Early Childhood and Family Studies

Length of Program: full time-2 years/ part time- 3 years

2

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE

The University of Nebraska Lincoln has an online bachelors in early childhood education with an Emphasis in Early Childhood in a Mobile Society. This Bachelors of Science degree program is delivered through the Child, Youth, and Family Studies Department. The focus of this program is unique, as it specifically addresses the experiences of families that have to deal with immigration, movement from the military, families facing housing insecurity, or those who are forced to move as a result of their career path. This program teaches educators the skills to work with young people who are in a variety of life circumstances that might require a special skillset. Students must apply for the specific major after they have already completed 30 credit hours from a two year associates program or four year degree program with a 2.5 GPA or above. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society

Length of Program: 120 credit hours total

3

Florida International University
Miami, FL

Florida International University (FIU) offers an online Bachelors of Science program in Early Childhood Education. This course of study emphasizes the development of the entire child physically and emotionally. Students will participate in coursework related to the emotional and social development of children as well as cognitive maturation. Early education theories and practical approaches to the classroom for children ages birth to eight years old will also be a focal point. Other topics covered include: working in diverse settings, learning differences among children, family engagement, literacy development, classroom management, among many others. There are no in person requirements, and the coursework can be completed from anywhere. Students have 24/7 access to the coursework, making it especially convenient and flexible. Each participant will be matched with a success coach that will remain connected to them throughout the course of the program. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 120 credit hours

4

West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV

West Virginia University offers a bachelors in elementary education online. The degree is specifically a Bachelors of Science in Child Development and Family Studies with an option to obtain a certification in Pre-K education. The program is within the College of Education and Human Services. Much of the course work emphasizes that growth and development of young children as well as leadership and age appropriate classroom practices. All of the coursework is online and can be completed anywhere, and students will be allowed to participate in the fieldwork component from their home community. Prospective students must have a 2.5 minimum GPA to apply for the program. The curriculum follows the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s standards. This is a fully accredited offering through the Higher Learning Commission and the National Council for Accreditation of Teachers. 

Degree Title: BS in Child Development and Family Studies

Length of Program: 120 credit hours

5

The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL

The University of Alabama offers an online Bachelor’s of Science degree program in Human Environmental Sciences and Early Childhood Education. This program is fully accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Students will learn how to support young people, ages birth to eight years old, through critical developmental eras of their lives. The online classes focus on parent and child relationships, social, physical and emotional relationships, as well as all of the components that go into creating a comprehensive and age appropriate learning environment for young people. A one semester long internship is required to adequately complete the course of study. Applications can be submitted anytime throughout the year, and multiple start dates apply. Though this program is not intended to lead directly to a teaching certificate, it does open immediate career doors that can be applied to multiple early childhood educator roles. 

Degree Title: BS in Human Environmental Sciences – Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 120

6

Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS

Mississippi State University offers an online bachelors in elementary education program that has two concentrations, one is elementary education and one is focused on working with middle school aged children. The program can be started in either the fall or spring semester, and students who have core coursework that needs to be complete can undergo those classes in the summertime. This is the only elementary school bachelor’s degree program in the state, making it popular among local non-traditional students. The coursework is known for being flexible and convenient and can be completed from almost anywhere in the world. Fieldwork can be accomplished in the hometown or region that the student chooses, ensuring they have practice working in a classroom with students ages pre-K to 6th grade. The online degree program is the same as the one that  traditional on campus students undergo, with the same full-time faculty members. 

Degree Title: BS in Elementary Education – Early Childhood

Length of Program: 120 credit hours

7

Fresno Pacific University
Fresno, CA

Fresno Pacific University offers a Bachelor’s degree program in Early Childhood Development that can be completed entirely online. Even though the classes convene virtually, they make every effort to offer an intimate community based learning environment through the cohort model. Each cohort is comprised of 12-24 adult learners and they meet with one another one night per week on top of the regular coursework. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing set the tone for the required coursework, and Fresno Pacific follows their standards by offering seven categories that they have identified. They welcome students from a variety of life circumstances. Graduates of the program have found successful careers in early childhood education and work in  a myriad of settings. Fresno Pacific is a christian university, and therefore there is a requirement to take the course, Jesus and the Christian Community that is three units, in order to graduate. 

Degree Title: BA in Early Childhood Development

Length of Program: 68 units in bachelors program-120 units total

8

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global
Marion, IN

Indiana Wesleyan University offers a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education that is delivered online. This course of study is a component of the Early Childhood Education Licensure program. Not only do they provide students with the skills to understand young people, their growth and development, but also prepare the adults for their own journey of engaging today’s youth. Coursework includes observation and documentation theories and techniques, child learning and development, building community and familiar relationships, demonstrating a competency in the knowledge and skills required for the profession. The program is paired with a minor in reading which includes classes like: emergent reading, literacy in primary grades, instructional tools for the teaching of reading, and literature focused reading environments. Prior to beginning the core coursework, students must first undergo five pre professional prerequisite classes. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 120 credit hours- 24-36 months 

9

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
Cincinnati, OH

The University of Cincinnati offers an online elementary teaching degree program. The specific degree is a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education. The coursework is in response to their belief that early education interventions are critical to the development of young children. Students in the program will specifically focus on classroom skills and learning methods for children ages birth to five years old. Most students in the program are already employed in an early child education career path. Embedded in the curriculum are the necessary skills to work with young people who have special needs and learning differences, while also supporting them with transitions. Graduates of the program have shown success in achieving careers as head start teachers, infant/ toddler specialists, MRDD consultant trainers, program administrators in early childhood education settings, among other relevant careers. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 120 credit hours-4 years

10

University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS

The University of Southern Mississippi (Online at Southern Miss), offers a fully online bachelors of science program in child and family sciences. This course of study was designed to support students to work with families and young children in a variety of educational environments. This can include classrooms as well as institutional and human services settings. Graduates of the program are able to activate a license to work in pre K settings in the state of Mississippi. Many of their graduates choose to undergo the Master’s degree program that they offer in Family Sciences. There are several scholarship opportunities for students who are studying online. The program is known for being military friendly as well as affordable. The faculty members are trusted professionals in the field. Students also have access to an advisor who will support them throughout the program.

Degree Title: BS in Child and Family Sciences

Length of Program: 124 credit hours

11

Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ

Northern Arizona University offers a Bachelors of Applied Science degree program in Early Childhood. Students who have completed an associates degree in a related field are eligible for this particular bachelor’s degree program.  This course of study responds to the No Child Left Behind requirements. Some of the course topics include child growth and development, computer skills, organizational management, and classroom creative practices. Many graduates continue their education, following completion of the program, to pursue a career as a preschool teacher, librarian, or child care specialist. Upon graduation, however, students are eligible to work as preschool or early childhood educators. All students must complete requirements in the course topics of junior level writing, diversity, liberal studies, and complete the capstone requirement. All students will work with an advisor and can request to substitute classes accordingly, including the capstone. 

Degree Title: BAS in Early Childhood

Length of Program: 120 credit hours

12

Fort Hays State University
Hays, KS

Fort Hays State University offers a bachelor of science in education (early childhood unified). Students will be able to qualify for an education career in a variety of early childhood programs. This can include working as a teacher, coordinator, working with children with special needs, and administration. In fact, graduates with the “unified” designation can teach special education and traditional students ages birth to third grade. Though the coursework is delivered online, there are internship opportunities that students can use to build a portfolio, as well as student teaching prospects in a variety of diverse learning environments. Though one can participate in this program from any state in the country, it is important to understand your state’s license transfer requirements to ensure the credentials will be beneficial for your goals. There are some prerequisite requirements to be admitted into the teacher education program. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Unified

Length of Program: 126 credit hours

13

Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI

The Global Campus at Central Michigan University offers an online bachelors of Science major in early childhood development and learning. The curriculum is designed in accordance with the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The program has partnerships with local organizations. In fact, there are opportunities for tuition assistance through a Michigan based program called TEACH Early Childhood, specifically for students who are working in the field of early childhood education. Competency in a variety of subjects is critical for program completion. This includes: oral and written english, quantitative reasoning, math, and a writing intensive course. Some of the teaching specific courses include: constructivism as a tool for learning, guidance for young children, best practices in early childhood settings, early childhood special education, early childhood program administration and leadership. As part of the category of courses called Trends and International Application Courses, students are required to complete an Introduction to Human Sexuality Class. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Development and Learning

Length of Program: 120 credit hours minimum

14

National University
La Jolla, CA

National University offers a bachelors of arts in early childhood education (BAECE) that is delivered online. This program is designed to train students in the current theoretical frameworks for educating young children ages birth to eight years old. Students will study extensive methods to create functional, safe, creative and nurturing learning environments. Creating adaptive curriculum that is flexible and can be individualized is also a hot topic that will be covered in the required coursework. A variety of writing and discussion prompts are addressed each week on a variety of themes including brain development and the socio cultural and familial influences. Non California residents are advised to contact their board of education to ensure this credential will be beneficial to their particular state. National offers the benefit of enrollment year round and classes that are completed in four week segments. 

Degree Title: BA in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 180 quarter units

15

South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD

South Dakota State University offers a bachelor of science program in cooperative elementary education through their early education program. This program is expressly for students who are interested in achieving a teaching certificate to work with middle school and/ or elementary school students as well as their communities and families. Their distinct learning outcomes follow the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The curriculum tackles the underpinnings of inquiry and constructivist classroom theories. Students will gain effective skills in terms of using knowledge and information to build meaningful lesson plans. Upon graduation of this program students can qualify to take the PRAXIS exam and therefore apply for a license to teach in the state of South Dakota. Though one can choose to take all of their classes in the online format, there are face-to-face fieldwork requirements for every course. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 141 credit hours

16

California Baptist University
Riverside, CA

California Baptist University offers an online elementary teaching degree. Their program offering is a bachelor of arts in early childhood education. Students will learn the inner workings of child development, including cognitive, social, emotional, and perceptual/ motor skill development. Building appropriate learning environments for diverse young people is embedded in much of the coursework. As a baptist school, christianity is threaded throughout all of the classes as a foundation for all of the teachings. In the alumni testimonials, students have expressed the ways they underwent spiritual transformation from partaking in the program.  Self reflection and critical thinking are also skills that are addressed through all of the teaching methodology. Students who are interested in ultimately teaching children ages kindergarten to 12th grade can apply to the credential program following completion of the bachelors program. 

Degree Title: BA in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 48 required major units- average completion 16 months

17

Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY

Eastern Kentucky University offers an online child and family studies bachelor’s degree in child development. Students in this program will learn all of the critical skills necessary to confidently make a difference in a classroom of young people. The program accepts up to 90 hours in transfer credits from other institutions. Graduates of the program are qualified to work as head start teachers, preschool teachers, curriculum specialists, after-school teachers, assessment specialists, profit and non-profit agencies, departments for children and families, profit and nonprofit agencies, victim advocates, court designated specialists, and home visitors. There are many options to enhance this degree path with a certificate or minor in a specialization that would be complementary to the degree. This particular program offers graduation plans that are personalized and accelerated 8 week terms. 

Degree Title: BA Child and Family Studies

Length of Program: 120-125 credit hours- a minimum of 30 credit hours through EKU

18

Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Mount Vernon, OH

Mount Vernon Nazarene University offers an online Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education P-5. This program was expressly designed for working adults who require a level of flexibility to achieve a degree. All of the coursework is easy to access and can be logged into 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Each student will undergo 12 or more weeks of student teaching to achieve the practicum component of the program. Graduates of the program are able to pursue careers in teaching for grades pre-K through fifth in the state of Ohio. Each student will have the opportunity to work with a team of advisors to help them ensure that they are choosing the right classes in accordance with their specific goals. There are a number of financial aid opportunities that can be applied to this program. This degree path is fully accredited by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. 

Degree Title: BA in Elementary Education P-5

Length of Program: 125 credit hours-24-48 months

19

Wilmington University
New Castle, DE

Wilmington University offers a bachelors of science in early childhood education (preschool) that allows you to undergo your coursework in an online format. This program was expressly designed for students who want to work with youth in a variety of educational and institutional settings, but are not necessarily interested in completing a teaching certification. All of the faculty members are experts in their disciplines with a finger on the pulse of the needs of today’s young people. The program is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The program is known for being affordable with a variety of financial aid opportunities. There is a 41 general education requirement, with a variety of rich and engaging courses including fundamentals of economics, introduction to critical thinking, and american politics. There is a 12 credit requirement for fine arts including basic design, acting, and music appreciation. Of course there are a myriad of education related courses that are required, which include instructional technology, family, community and school partnerships, and learner development and early literacy. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 122 credits

20

Mayville State University
Mayville, ND

Mayville State University offers a Bachelors of Science ED in Early Childhood Education. This program is known for having expert and attentive faculty members, having a great overall reputation, and offering some very interesting classes. Following graduation from the program students will be eligible candidates to apply for the licensure to teach children ages birth to third grade. One of the aspects that stands out about this program is that it can be as flexible as you need it to be. They have used technology to create an effective curriculum for both traditional and nontraditional students. There are many synchronous classes, however, that are required, meaning they meet at a certain time, and there is also a fieldwork requirement. Mayville accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions. 

Degree Title: BS Ed in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 120 credit hours

21

Florida State College at Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL

Florida State College at Jacksonville offers a bachelors of science program in early childhood education. This program trains students to be effective and developmentally appropriate educators for students ages birth to third grade. Students will learn skills that include classroom management, assessment, literacy, and cognitive experiences. Though the coursework can be completed entirely online, there is a 150 hour fieldwork requirement that will take place in a third grade classroom. Each student will create a portfolio that highlights their work in the program and in the field, and they will also be expected to pass three certification exams to become teachers. A mentor will be assigned to every student, and they work with them to complete the majority of their fieldwork exercises. This includes an entire semester, full week, and full day at an accredited elementary school. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 120 credits 

22

Granite State College
Concord, NH

Granite State College offers a bachelors of science program in early childhood education that can be completed entirely online. This program is designed expressly for educators who want to have an impact on the lives of young children. It is clear that a bachelor’s degree is truly a ticket to become a successful educator, and this program is answering the call to create more talent in the pool. There is a partnership between the program at hand and the New Hampshire Department of Education certification in both special education and early childhood education, making it easy for students to jump right into the field following graduation. The certification options will offer coursework that supports students to be prepared to teach in public elementary schools with diverse groups of students, including those who might need special attention. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: minimum of 120 credit hours

23

Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA

Liberty University offers an entirely online bachelors of science in early childhood education program. They allow students to transfer up to 75% of the degree. This program particularly works with students to be well rounded and thorough educators for young people up to the age of eight. Liberty is answering the call for an increase in educators over the course of the next ten years. All of the coursework highlights leadership development and creating age appropriate environments for students to thrive. Liberty offers 8 week subterms and a summer semester. This is one of the most flexible programs as there are no login time requirements throughout the week, so students can complete coursework when it fits into their schedules. Liberty is a faith based school, so students will receive a christian foundation in all of their coursework. 

Degree Title: BS in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 120 credit hours-3.5 years 

24

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

Saint Mary of the Woods College offers an online elementary teaching degree. Their course of study is in service of a bachelors of science degree in education for grades preschool to third grade with mild intervention. The mild intervention component relates to field work opportunities that students will have access to in a variety of applicable settings.  This is a faith based program that will provide a christian framework for education theory and practice. They offer two distinct blended programs What this means is that they incorporate the special education classes with the developmental classes. Subsequently, graduates will be able to achieve a dual license in teaching preschool age students to third grade. They offer a minor in pedagogy that can be beneficial for students in this path of study. 

Degree Title: BS in Education – Preschool to Grade 3

Length of Program: 120 credit hours

25

Brandman University
Irvine, CA

Brandman University offers a bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood Education that can be completed entirely online or in a hybrid format. If students choose to take the blended option, they have 19 campus locations where one can complete coursework. The program works with students to learn the skills associated with delivering a high quality education to youth ages birth to eight years old. This program stresses the importance of hands-on learning. Each student will complete a fieldwork component on top of two practicums. There is a culminating capstone course that will give students the tools to demonstrate all they have accomplished in the course of study. They require transfer students to have completed 12 credit hours of coursework before entering the program. Many of their graduates have gone on to work for Teach for America and KinderCare Learning Centers. 

Degree Title: BA in Early Childhood Education

Length of Program: 120 credit hours

Can I Get Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Online? 

As noted from the above Top 25 list of Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs above, you will see that there are many four year fully online programs. Most of the programs on the list, however, are degree completion programs and anticipate students to come in with credits that they want to transfer. In fact, most of the options are designed for teachers who already have experience in the classroom and hold an associates degree in the field. A bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education opens many more doors than an associates degree would, and therefore, many mid-career professionals choose to continue on with their education for more opportunities. With this metric, you will see that it is not unique for students to achieve an in person associates degree and are then opting to matriculate into a bachelors online education degree. The online format provides the flexibility for students to continue working while engaging in their studies. You may wonder, what education do you need to become a teacher? Well, you can already be teaching with an associate’s, but a bachelor’s will enable you to achieve licensure and a master’s will take your career to the next level. 

What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education? 

A bachelors in early childhood education jobs can include a variety of options. Some graduates might choose to become preschool teachers, work in headstart environments, use their skills to tutor youth, or assist in kindergarten classrooms to then earn a teaching licensure. The options are actually boundless, but these are some of the more common offerings. Early childhood education generally implies you are working with students who are under kindergarten age. Most people who are trained to doso have completed some coursework that pertains to students with learning differences. In this case a degree can really take your career in a direction that supports working with students who have special needs or learning differences. On that note, there are a variety of endorsements and even minors that train students to work with specific groups. This can even include literacy specialists, for example. Basically, a specialization gives you more career options and makes you more marketable. 

How Much Can I Make with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education?

With a bachelors in early childhood education a salary can range from $22,000 per year to $45,000 depending on what path you want to focus your career on. For example, a teaching assistant will be the lowest salary rung, and though you might need to go further in your education to achieve a more advanced role, a director position can even make as much as $71,000. An early childhood education hourly salary is on average in the range of $13.94 per hour. A daycare teacher generally makes in the $12 range with the opportunity for salary advancement, but like many careers. An Assistant director of a childcare center might make something to the tune of $15 per hour.