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.
Our Early Childhood Education degrees are available with Flex Choice® , which allows you to combine traditional online coursework, self-directed assessments and competency-based education—the best of all worlds, so you can receive credit by demonstrating what you know and can do. Rasmussen College is a national leader in competency-based education, helping to advance this cutting-edge, faculty-led, project-based learning approach that prioritizes your learning over deadlines. CBE gives learners more control over their time, allowing you to move quickly through topics you already understand and slow down with more challenging material—a perfect fit for the busy adult learner! You’ll be able to have the flexibility you need in your life for college. Learn more about our Flex Choice offerings.
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:
- Course plan customized for you
- Support and financial aid planning
- Career path guidance with no obligation
Read more about this program
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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 90 hours of applied learning in an environment that supports your career goals.
Partnership with CDA and Council for Professional Recognition
Our curriculum includes a focus on preparing students to apply for their Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition. Rasmussen is a proud partner of the CDA and the Council for Professional Recognition and is honored to be among a select group of early childhood education training organizations to be awarded the CDA® Gold Standard Training Certification. The certification helps ECE students find the high-quality training and support services they need to prepare for the CDA Credential.
*The Early Childhood Education programs at Rasmussen College are not accredited by 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 Work Across Industries
Graduates from our School of Education programs are working for leading industries, including:*
- Child Care Centers
- Early Childhood Education
- Public Preschool Education
- Self-Employed Nannies and Teachers
- Social Services
117 Years of Successful Graduates
At Rasmussen College, we’ve been dedicated to our mission of preparing students for career success since 1900.
*Industry information reported by Rasmussen College graduates. This list does not constitute an endorsement of Rasmussen College by the industries shown above. Listing does not guarantee or imply that future employment opportunities within these industries will be available.
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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.
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 2026)|
|Preschool Teachers Except Special Education||$19,430||$22,750||$28,790||11%|
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, [salary data accessed September 13, 2017] www.bls.gov/oes/. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed December 13, 2017] 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:Calculate Your Estimated Degree Cost
We Help Make College Affordable
At Rasmussen College, we believe higher education should be a successful investment. That’s why we offer affordable options that make earning your degree attainable. See how you can save:
- Flex Choice® learning option
- Loans and Grants
- Scholarship Opportunities
- Corporate and Military Discounts
- Seamless transfer policies
Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program:
Want to learn more? Consult with a program manager
Program Page Methodology and Disclosures
Time to Complete
Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and the number of courses completed each term.
Industry Certification Exams
Rasmussen College will reimburse the application fee for each first attempt of all of the industry certification exams for which you qualify to take. Should you need to take an exam more than once to receive a passing score, you will be responsible for all subsequent exam application fees.