Brighten a Child's Future As an Educator

Earn Your Early Childhood Education Associate's Degree—Child Development Specialization

Our Early Childhood Education Associate's degree with a specialization in Child Development—available fully online or in a blended format—can help you start your career as an early childhood educator. You'll develop an understanding of developmentally appropriate practice, positive guidance and assessment of young children, and the importance of partnering with parents. Our Child Development specialization will teach you to plan activities, materials and interactions that promote healthy development while supporting a safe environment.

We want it to be as easy as possible for you to earn your degree and keep advancing your education. With our Flex Choice® option, you can combine traditional courses and self-directed assessments to save time and money while pursuing a degree on a schedule that fits your lifestyle. And when you graduate with your Associate’s degree, you can seamlessly move your credits into our Early Childhood Education Bachelor's, where you can further develop your skills with a Child Development specialization.

To see how this program can help you achieve your goals:

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Credentials Offered Graduate In As Few As*
Certificate 9-12 Months
Associate's Degree 18 Months

Learning Options

Affordable Tuition: Now you can save even more on this program. SEE HOW>>

Gain In-Field ECE Skills Employers Seek

Through career-focused curriculum and practical, hands-on opportunities in your courses, you can prepare for a successful career as an early childhood educator. The Child Development specialization is designed to help you gain relevant ECE skills employers seek, including:

  • Child Development Foundations

    Learn the basics of developmentally appropriate practice as it relates to child development, individual needs, and using interpersonal skills and communication within the classroom or center.

  • Infant and Toddler Development

    Understand the importance of creating environments for infant/toddler group care which fosters optimum social/emotional, physical and cognitive development.

  • Family Dynamics and Child Development

    Gain skills to work with families of young children and understand the influence each family has on the growth and development of children.

  • Working With Exceptional Children

    Learn to create an inclusive environment for exceptional learners and gain the skills to bring together fellow caregivers, educators and family members critical to supporting the child.

Child Development Course Work

We base our specialized curriculum on National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards and focus on the complete lifecycle of Child Development Associate (CDA) credential preparedness.* To ensure you have substantial hands-on experience working with children, you also complete 540 hours of applied learning in an environment that supports your career goals.

Partnership with CDA and Council for Professional Recognition

Rasmussen is a proud partner of the CDA and Council for Professional Recognition. Our curriculum includes a focus on preparing students to apply for their CDA credential from the Council for Professional Recognition.

*The Early Childhood Education programs at Rasmussen College are not accredited the NAEYC Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation. Rasmussen College is not a partner of NAEYC and our programs are not sponsored or endorsed by NAEYC.

*This program has not been approved by any state professional licensing body, and this program is not intended to lead to any state issued professional license. For further information on professional licensing requirements, please contact the appropriate board or agency in your state of residence.

Our Grads Achieve Career Success

Graduates from our School of Education programs are working for leading employers, including:*

  • YMCA
  • Head Start
  • KinderCare Learning Center
  • Crème de la Crème
  • Montessori Schools
  • Minnesota Reading Corps
  • New Horizon Academy
  • Lee County School District
  • Bright Horizons

116 Years of Successful Graduates

At Rasmussen College, we’ve been dedicated to our mission of preparing students for career success since 1900.

*Employer information reported by Rasmussen College graduates. This list does not constitute an endorsement of Rasmussen College by the organizations shown above. Listing does not guarantee or imply that future employment opportunities at these organizations will be available.

Average Salary

for our Child Development Graduates:

  • Associate's Degree$25,784

Program Entry Requirements

A criminal background check is required prior to enrolling in any ECE program. To learn more about entrance requirements and begin planning your ECE career, call 888-549-6755 or contact us to speak with a program manager.*

*Enrolling students also need to pass the Rasmussen College entrance placement exam(s) along with other program-specific requirements.

Ready to Start Your Path in Child Development?

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You'll receive support and financial aid planning, a customized course plan and career path guidance—with no obligation.

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How Much Could You Earn as an ECE Professional?

In-Demand Career Options for Your Future

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earning a degree, regardless of the field of study, can improve income potential.* Here is the average salary by percentile and projected job growth for education professionals:

Job Title(s) 10th Percentile 25th Percentile 50th Percentile Job Growth (By Year 2024)
Childcare Workers$16,900$18,290$20,3205%
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education$19,130$22,440$28,5707%

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, [salary data accessed August 9, 2016] www.bls.gov/oes/. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed February 25, 2016] www.bls.gov/ooh/. BLS salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

How Much Will it Cost?

See how affordable your degree of choice is:

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We Make College Affordable

At Rasmussen College, we believe higher education should be a successful investment. That’s why we’ve lowered tuition and offer the options you need to make earning your degree even more attainable. See how you can save:


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*For important methodology statements and disclosures regarding the information shown above, click here.

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