Early Childhood Education Degree - Online and Campus Programs

Early childhood education is a rapidly growing segment of education. If you enjoy helping young children learn, a career in early childhood education may be right for you. Although it can include any of the years between birth and around age eight, most early childhood educators work with preschool children between three and five years old.

How to Prepare for an Early Childhood Education Career

Educational and licensing requirements for teachers vary between states. Most employers require a minimum of a certificate in early childhood education or an associate childhood education degree, and a bachelor's degree is necessary to work as an early childhood educator in the public school system. Additional career opportunities in school administration (and higher salaries) are available for those with a master's degree. Early childhood education programs are available at many colleges and universities, both on-campus and online. Enrollment in college programs requires a high school diploma or GED as a prerequisite. Program classes often include:
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Instructional Methods for Teaching Young Children
  • Classroom Issues
  • Language Development
Early childhood education teachers can obtain accreditation from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards or other associations that provide certification. Early childhood education employment is expected to grow by 19 percent by 2018, according to the latest estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is due to continued emphasis on early childhood learning and high replacement needs for teachers leaving the field to further their education or take care of family needs. In May 2008, the median annual income for early education teachers in preschools was $23,870.