Beyond teaching young children, early childhood educators oversee and assist in children's social development, encourage effective learning environments, and watch for signs of developmental or emotional challenges. Early childhood educators perform these tasks in preschools, elementary schools, and childcare facilities, and can focus on special needs learners. These options make the field intriguing since learners can pursue degrees suited to individual interests.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the job outlook for preschool teachers will increase by 10% by 2026, with the average salary at $28,990 across all schools $30,320 in religious institutions specifically. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Students can use early childhood education degrees in Christian settings by teaching children at religious elementary schools or preschools. Candidates may also teach classes at churches and interact with children through nonprofits.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the job outlook for preschool teachers will increase by 10% by 2026, with the average salary at $28,990 across all schools $30,320 in religious institutions specifically.
Teacher requirements vary by state, but often include completion of specific education, fieldwork, and assessments. The type of classroom may also influence licensure elements. For instance, a preschool teacher may need an associate degree, while a kindergarten educator may require a bachelor's. Certain states may insist that K-12 educators hold a master's degree as well. To ensure that students earn applicable credentials, candidates should research their state's licensure details before graduating.
How to Get an Early Childhood Education Degree Online
Online schools for early childhood education allow candidates to earn degrees from home. This flexibility eliminates commuting costs and on-campus expenses, such as room and board.
Online programs may also deliver course information asynchronously, meaning classes include no specific attendance time. Instead, learners log onto class websites to complete coursework within a designated time period. Students enjoy flexibility but still operate within deadlines, especially useful for working professionals and students with family and church responsibilities.
Online students gain the same field expertise as on-campus candidates and explore their faith through identical coursework.
Students in an early childhood education bachelor's degree online complete a curriculum similar to an on-campus degree. Online students gain the same field expertise as on-campus candidates and explore their faith through identical coursework. Pursuing an early childhood education degree online at Christian colleges also provides online networking opportunities grounded in the school's faith. Institutions may supply online counseling, live worship services, and interactive forums.
Early childhood education online degrees often require student teaching experiences, practicums, and fieldwork. By earning the degree from home, candidates can fulfill these program elements at local organizations to build professional connections for employment after graduation.
How Long Does It Take to Earn Your Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education Online?
Earning a bachelor's in early childhood education online may require 120 credits and four years to complete. However, many program factors alter this time commitment, such as programs with accelerated-pace learning options. Students taking maximum credit loads or enrolling part time will find their completion time will vary: A learner who completes 21 credits per semester may finish a 120-credit program in less than three years, while a part-time student may take five or more years.
Courses in an Online Bachelor's Program in Early Childhood Education
Pursuing an early childhood education degree online often includes coursework in childhood psychology, curriculum development, and classroom management. Program specializations also influence curriculum, such as courses on disabilities for a special education focus. In addition to these field courses, candidates must also complete general education requirements that include English and math classes. Schools with Christian connections may also require candidates to complete theological courses. These classes examine the Bible and general theology concepts.
Curriculum for Young Children
Child and Adolescent Psychology
Early Childhood Education Specializations
Schools offering an early childhood education degree online may provide specializations that link to particular careers. These concentrations often determine program curricula. For instance, a student taking early childhood education classes online can choose a special education concentration to prepare for teaching children with disabilities, and should expect classes that reflect this focus. Not all schools offer specializations, but students can explore institutions with these opportunities when studying early childhood education online.
Students who choose a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) specialization study to teach related concepts to children and prepare young learners for achievement in a technological world.
These concentrations provide information for helping children who are enduring or have endured significant hardship, such as a family death or child abuse.
Students explore strategies for delivering technological ideas to children and gain tips for using current technology within early childhood classrooms.
Earning a Master's in Early Childhood Education
Pursuing an early childhood education degree online heightens career opportunities in steps. For instance, candidates with only a high school diploma can work in childcare settings, but earning an early childhood education associate degree online prepares graduates for positions as teacher assistants and preschool teachers. Each of these associate careers includes a median salary above what the BLS reports for childcare workers.
Graduates can become instructional coordinators, who earn a median salary of $63,750.
A bachelor's in the field allows candidates to become kindergarten and elementary school teachers. These professions offer a median salary of $56,900. Going forward to obtain a master's in early childhood education online opens additional doors. For example, graduates can become instructional coordinators, who earn a median salary of $63,750. Some colleges require a master's degree when hiring teachers. Candidates who earn a master's in education could earn positions as postsecondary educators. The BLS reports the median salary for this profession as $76,000.
These master's-level positions command higher wages, but may also require further credentials. For instance, instructional coordinators in public schools may need a related license.
Job and Salary Outlook for Online Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education Graduates
After earning an early childhood education bachelor's degree online, candidates can explore employment inside and outside the classroom. Professionals can work as kindergarten teachers or in childcare settings. Some of these positions do not require a bachelor's degree, though a higher degree often leads to higher salaries and advanced career opportunities. For any early childhood career, applicants should possess a strong attention to detail, enjoy working with children, boast strong communication skills, and practice patience to manage multiple young learners at one time.
Preschool and Childcare Center Directors
|Occupation||Minimum Degree Required||Employment||Hourly Median Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
|Childcare Worker||High School Diploma||1,216,600||$10.72||$22,290|
|Preschool and Childcare Center Director||Bachelor's||61,800||$22.54||$46,890|
|Teacher Assistant||Some College||1,308,100||$12.63||$26,260|
Licensing and Certification Requirements for Early Childhood Educators
Most teachers in public schools must earn a teaching license, though licensure details vary by state. The first step in earning this license involves checking state requirements for a guide on how to become a teacher.
For most candidates, the licensure process involves a licensing exam, such as the Praxis. Praxis exams require fees, but these costs vary based on subject. For instance, the exam for applied content knowledge for teaching in elementary education costs $210, while the social studies exam for elementary education costs $60. Certain exams can take two hours to complete, and candidates should receive score results on scheduled days within 2-3 weeks of completing the assessment. Candidates may need to explore other credentials, such as a special education certification, for related positions.
The Council for Professional Recognition offers CDA application options for center-based preschools focusing on specific age groups, family childcare, and home visitors.
Additional certifications exist for career advancement, including the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential. The Council for Professional Recognition offers CDA application options for center-based preschools focusing on specific age groups, family childcare, and home visitors. These opportunities verify in-depth expertise in tending to children. Earning CDA credentials may require fees, training, and evidence of related work experience.
Graduates who want to open childcare facilities may need to obtain a childcare license. This process varies by state, but common licensing details include providing evidence of sufficient space, maintaining safety guidelines, undergoing a background check, and earning educational prerequisites.
Accreditation for Online Degrees in Early Childhood Education
Accrediting agencies hold the authority to review schools and programs to determine their academic merit. Approved institutions receive accredited status. Students should only consider accredited online colleges for early childhood education for two reasons: First, accreditation guarantees that the institution meets standards of academic excellence. Second, only students enrolled in accredited schools are eligible for federal financial aid.
Schools can receive national or regional accreditation. National accreditation typically applies to vocational and trade programs, while regional accreditation is for more academic schools. Additionally, programmatic accreditation, also known as specialized accreditation, verifies a particular program's worth.
When earning an early childhood education degree, students can look to schools and programs accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education. Additionally, Christian schools can earn accreditation from the Association of Christian Schools International.
Professional Organizations for Early Childhood Educators
Professional organizations provide candidates with events and conferences that promote networking, which can lead to information on open job positions and recommendation letters. These events also introduce attendees to new field concepts. Group members may browse site resources to explore early childhood education tips or seek job search assistance. To experience these benefits, early childhood education majors and graduates can look to the following groups.
This association focuses on educational improvement and provides two publications: "Journal of Research in Childhood Education" and "Childhood Education: Innovations." The group started in 1892 to endorse the kindergarten grade level, a new innovation at the time.
This council considers policies that concern the educational needs of exceptional children. The group's definition of exceptional children includes learners with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities, as well as gifted and talented learners.
The focus for this organization is children under eight with developmental challenges. The group delivers a yearly conference to educate attendees on related information.
MCEC provides professionals and parents with programs, training, and webinars regarding the educational needs of children with military parents.
NAEYC boasts almost 60,000 members and focuses on children eight and under. The group hosts a yearly conference and a public policy forum to connect members to new ideas and policy concerns.
This group specializes in providing guidance and insight on educational issues that relate to black children. Addressed ideas include literacy and family involvement.
Zero to Three focuses on Issues that impact the development of toddlers and infants. The site delivers information on topics such as brain development, sleep, and literacy, as well as policy concerns.
This association advocates for children in unpleasant situations by striving for policy improvement. The group encourages early learning opportunities so that children can build a foundation for lifelong learning.
Online Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education Scholarships
Candidates who do not have the funds to pay for college should explore financial aid options. Scholarships and grants supply assistance without the need for repayment. Early childhood education majors may consider the following opportunities.