Online Degrees in Early Childhood Education
Early childhood educators work with children under 5 to help them develop language, emotional and social skills, along with fine and gross motor skills, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Early childhood educators like preschool teachers introduce children to reading and writing, and also help them expand their vocabularies. Other subject areas these teachers introduce include arts, science and social studies - all of which are taught through use of books, computers, games and music. Duties also include working with other teachers, staff, the community and student's parents.
Communication skills, creativity, dependability, patience, organization and capacity to understand cultural differences are necessary skills for prospective early childhood educators. These professionals must also be able to inspire confidence, motivate children and comprehend the educational and emotional needs of their students.
Certification and continuing education requirements for early childhood educators vary by state and school. Some mandate at minimum an associate or bachelor's degree, while others call for a high school diploma, according to the BLS.
At the bachelor's or master's degree level, online degrees in early childhood education can prepare students to become administrators, curriculum developers or program consultants. Coursework might include observation, assessment, and screening; early childhood program management; and educational psychology.
While online degrees in early childhood education offer many courses via the Internet, it's necessary to complete some tasks in-person, such as student teaching and observation hours, according to some colleges that offer online degrees in early childhood education.
A Child Development Associate certification from the Council for Professional Recognition is a widely known credential that's based on a set of principles that guide preschool educators as they study to become qualified. The principles include how to keep a safe and healthy learning environment, advancing physical and intellectual competencies, providing positive guidance, and ensuring a program is responsive to participant needs. The certification can be obtained online.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education both list accredited preschool education programs on their respective websites.
Early childhood educators work in public or private school daycares and can help establish or implement curriculum standards. They may work a 10-month schedule or teach year round with occasional breaks.
The mean annual pay for early childhood educators nationally was $29,200 in 2010, but salaries ranged from $17,200 to $46,830 for the middle 80 percent of educators, depending on experience, education level, region and type of preschool.
BLS data shows that preschool teachers earned the highest mean pay in New York ($38,200), New Jersey ($35,680) and Massachusetts ($33,450). The lowest paid were North Carolina ($22,800), Mississippi ($22,750) and Idaho ($21,750).
The BLS projects demands for preschool teachers should increase 19 percent from 2008 to 2018 because existing workers often leave their jobs to pursue other careers, carry out family obligations or to return to school.
- Careers: Degree holders commonly work in day cares, elementary and secondary schools, child and family services, community organizations, and religious organizations, the BLS reports.
- Salaries: Annual wages range from $20,080 to $34,420 for the middle 50 percent of early childhood educators, the BLS reports.
- Education: As associate degree is the preferred minimum credential for early childhood educators, but each state has its own licensing requirement.
Online Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education
Capella courses focus on real-world application, so you’ll gain skills and knowledge you can apply right away.
Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.
- M.Ed. in Early Childhood (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
- M.Ed. in Early Childhood (Does not lead to initial teacher licensure)
- M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction: Reading - Elementary Education (Does not lead to initial teacher licensure)
Why ASU? At ASU, learning online is effective, flexible and smart. Every program delivered online is developed by the same excellent faculty who teach on our campuses, and is designed to engage students and professors in meaningful ways. The result? Our students are an integral part of a New American University.
Earn a respected bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. online at Walden University.
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.
With more than 160 fully accredited programs of study, Liberty University Online offers degrees from the certificate to the postgraduate level.