Online Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s Degree


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Early childhood educators don’t just read stories, make pasta noodle necklaces and play games with children for fun – those activities are crucial to the development of a young child’s language, motor and social skills.

Numerous studies have shown the importance of early childhood education for a child’s development. One of the most cited, The Carolina Abecedarian Project, studied a group of individuals from birth to age 21 and found that children who participated in early intervention programs had higher cognitive test scores and higher academic achievement in reading and math through adulthood than those in the control group.

An online early childhood education bachelor’s degree teaches professionals how to prepare young children for kindergarten. Early childhood educators use play and other activities to explain basic reading, writing and math concepts and to assess a child’s emotional development. Professionals may work in child care centers, preschools and public schools, among other locations.

Course Work

Example courses
Classroom management
Language development in the young child
Early childhood curriculum
Children’s literacy
Learning through play
Observation and assessment
Educational psychology
Cultural and social foundations of education
Creative activities for young children

Many online early childhood education programs function as a bachelor’s degree completion program, meaning that students are expected to have an associate degree or equivalent experience in early childhood education prior to enrolling.

Through courses based in theory and practical knowledge, students learn how to promote child development and introduce children to reading, writing, science and other subjects. Core course work includes language development, interpersonal communications, learning through play, literacy development and atypical child development.

An online early childhood education bachelor’s degree cannot be completed entirely online as students are required to have field experiences with children.

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Job Outlook

Median salaries*
Child care worker $19,000
Teacher assistant $23,000
Preschool teacher $26, 000
Preschool and child care center director $43,000

*per the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook

Students don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education to become a preschool teacher, though the degree does make prospective teachers more marketable.

Public schools generally require preschool teachers to have the degree. And the federal government values the credential as well. At least 50 percent of preschool teachers in publicly funded Head Start programs were required to have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or its equivalent by 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Median salaries range from about $19,000 for child care workers to about $26,000 for preschool teachers. Preschool and child care center directors can make more than $43,000 annually, according to the BLS.

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