early childhood education teacher

Online Early Childhood Education Programs

Start or continue inspiring young children’s lives with affordable online Early Childhood Education degrees. Right now, you can earn your Associate’s degree for around $19K! 1

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Online Degrees in Early Childhood Education—RU Ready to Make a Lasting Impression?

Be seen for your full potential as an educator with one of our affordable Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs. You’ll gain the industry and transferable skills, or soft skills, you need to utilize your natural abilities and provide a positive environment for young children and their families.

With over 20 years of designing and teaching online courses, we’re not new to online education. You can better balance work, life and school with the online mentoring and support to help you thrive in this rewarding field

You can earn your ECE Associate’s degree for around $19,000, plus the opportunity to save almost $5,400 more with self-directed assessments.1 You can also earn your ECE Diploma or Certificate at a reduced price.23 Wherever you are in your career—with or without your CDA®4 credential—we have an Early Childhood Education degree online program for you.

Not Sure Which of Our Early Childhood Education Programs is Right for You?

Another good place to start is to ask yourself how you want your Early Childhood Education degree to make a positive impact on children’s lives. All our online Education degree program options prepare students to work with children from birth to preschool.

Our Early Childhood Education programs do not prepare students for licensed teaching positions in any public-school setting, but students will have the opportunity to help shape the futures of young children from birth to age six in a non-public school setting or leadership role.

Bachelor’s Degree

If you’re interested in a leadership role, our ECE Bachelor’s degree program will help you learn advanced practices and gain essential experience. You’ll have the choice to specialize in either ECE Leadership or Child Development to help grow young minds and lead the families and organizations that support them.

Diploma and Associate’s Degree Specializations

At the ECE Diploma and Associate’s degree levels, you have the choice of two specializations. Choose the Child Development specialization to pursue your interest in the foundations of child growth and developmentally appropriate practices. Alternatively, choose the Special Needs specialization to follow your calling and learn how to support children with exceptional needs in a group child care setting.


An ECE Certificate is an ideal choice for students interested in taking an initial step into this fulfilling field and lay the foundation for creating a positive learning environment.

Prospective students who hold a current CDA Credential may be eligible to waive or transfer up to 12 credits into the Early Childhood Education Associate’s degree, Diploma or Certificate programs.

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9 Signs You Would Excel as an Early Childhood Teacher

Maybe you grew up playing “school” with your siblings or friends. Maybe you’ve been told you’re good with kids and you would enjoy teaching.

You’ve wondered whether your career goals in education might be a good fit for you, but you’re not sure.

Teacher standing at table with a row of children working on an art project.
Four ECE teachers sit with toddlers in their laps in a daycare classroom environment

10 Reasons to Pursue Your ECE Degree at Rasmussen

Learning online might be a new experience for you, so we want to give you a good picture of what it could be like. The more you understand about the nuances of online Education degrees, the better!

Read More

Empowered Learning® and Knowledge Credit®

Online Empowered Learning® allows you to learn by doing and manage your pace in your online degree while staying connected with faculty and peers. Learn more about how Empowered Learning® helps you take control of your education.

Save time and money with Knowledge Credit® through transfer credits, credit for prior learning and self-directed assessments. These $149 assessments allow you to prove that you already have the knowledge for a particular course and don't need to take it. Students have saved more than $5.2 million through self-directed assessments.5 Find out more about your Knowledge Credit® options.

Our History of School of Education Degrees

An Early Childhood Education degree from Rasmussen University helps prepare you to make a positive and profound difference in the lives of young children and their families. Our School of Education curriculum development is based on the national best practice standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).6 Since 1992, our curriculum has prepared students to impact the lives of children, gaining the knowledge and skills needed for success as an educator. In each credential, you’ll learn to promote the healthy development of a child’s physical, social, emotional, intellectual and language development.

"The fully online courses allowed me the flexibility to continue to work while still attending school."

Graduate, School of Education

You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Rasmussen University an accredited institution?

    Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Is student teaching required in this program?

    No, student teaching is not required in any of our ECE programs. Since these are online degree programs, you’ll develop the knowledge and skills to immediately apply to situations you will experience with children in an early childhood setting. If you are new to the early childhood education field, you are encouraged to explore volunteer or employment opportunities in early childhood education or childcare settings in your community.

  • How does my Early Childhood Education degree work in an online degree?

    Online learning can be a fulfilling way to prepare for your future in education. Our online programs have the freedom of being online while still engaging with classmates, instructors, and support resources and learning to apply your new skills in a thriving environment.

  • Do my online programs require me to be online at a certain time of day?

    No. In most courses, weekly assignment and discussion due dates keep you on track, and live classroom sessions are available with your instructor and other students. The beauty of online education is that you are not required to log on at specific times each day.

  • What support is available in my online Education degrees?

    Online students have the same kind of student services that are available on campus:

    • 24/7 tech support
    • Dedicated admissions advisor
    • Trained peer tutor or mentor
    • Subject-expert librarians and thousands of electronic resources
    • Career services (even after graduation)

  • What education career goals can I pursue with my online Early Childhood Education degree?

    With your degree in Education from Rasmussen University, you can pursue a variety of career opportunities depending on your earned credential. For example, with your ECE Bachelor's degree, you could pursue a career as an early childhood teacher (in private childcare settings), teacher's assistant, early childhood special education assistant or head start teacher.

    With an Associate's degree, you could also consider a career as a preschool teacher (except special education) with a projected growth of 3% between 2022 and 2032, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.78

    The Early Childhood Education programs at Rasmussen University are not designed to meet, and do not meet, the educational requirements for licensure to teach in public preschools, or kindergarten, elementary or secondary schools in any state. A bachelor’s degree from a state-approved university or university and a state teaching license are typically required to work as a teacher in a public school, and in private school settings. The Rasmussen University Early Childhood Education programs are not approved by any state agency that licenses teachers. States, municipalities, districts, or individual schools may have more stringent licensure requirements and other standards. Childcare facilities and the states in which they are located establish qualifications for staff that work with children, and often implement guidelines regarding age, education, experience, background, and professional development. Before enrolling, it is important to understand all of the licensure eligibility standards for a desired career by consulting the appropriate state and school/facility requirements.