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Early Childhood Education

Bachelor’s Degree, Associate’s Degree, Diploma, Certificate

As an early childhood educator, you have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of young children. Earning an Early Childhood Education degree online from Rasmussen College can help you launch or advance your career. In our ECE programs, you gain the knowledge and skills that are needed for success as an educator who can impact the lives of children and their families by promoting the healthy development of physical, social, emotional, intellectual and language skills. Whether you’re pursuing a Certificate, Diploma, Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree, our online, non-licensure ECE programs can help you find the path that will prepare you to pursue your passion in early childhood education.2

At the Diploma and Associate’s degree level, students have the choice of two specializations—Child with Special Needs and Child Development—to enhance their skills in a particular area of interest. In the Bachelor's degree-completion program, students also have the choice of two specializations—Leadership and Administration and Child Development—to learn advanced techniques around management and each stage of early childhood.

Request Early Childhood Education Program Information

  1. Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and the number of courses completed each term.
  2. 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.
    Graduates of Early Childhood Education programs at Rasmussen College are not eligible for licensure as a teacher in an elementary or secondary school. A Bachelor’s degree and a state teaching license are typically required to work as a teacher in a public school and some private school settings. States, municipalities, districts or individual schools may have more stringent licensing requirements. Students must determine the licensure requirements in the state and school in which they intend to work.
    Childcare facilities and the states in which they are located establish quali cations for staff who work with children, and often implement guidelines regarding age, education, experience and professional development. Students must determine the licensure requirements for the state and facilities in which they work.
    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.
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, [salary data accessed May 30, 2018] https://www.bls.gov/oes/. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed May 30, 2018] 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.

Flex Choice®: Get Credit for What You Know

The Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees are available with Flex Choice®, which allows you to combine traditional online coursework, self-directed assessments and competency-based education (CBE)—the best of all worlds, so you can receive credit for what you know and can do. As a national leader in CBE, we are helping to advance this cutting-edge, faculty-led, project-based learning approach that prioritizes your learning over deadlines. For additional information, visit our Flex Choice page.

Regional Accreditation & Industry Credentials

Rasmussen College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Rasmussen College is also a proud partner of the CDA Credential and Council for Professional Recognition and is honored to be among a select group of early childhood education training organizations to be awarded the CDA® Credential Gold Standard Training Certification. Our curriculum is aligned with national best practices in early childhood educator preparation established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).2

Online Courses Go Where You Go

We applaud your dedication to grow despite your busy life. Our online learning options were designed to give you more control and balance over your schedule.

Applied Learning

If you are pursuing an Associate’s degree at one of our campuses, your work with young children may be combined with online coursework for college credit during your field experience. Students who currently work in-field (e.g., preschool teacher, center director) may be able to use their ECE setting to meet these requirements, depending on the state and work site.

Credentials Offered

Early Childhood Education

Bachelor's Degree

Finish in as few as

18 months1

Learning options

  • Online
  • Campus Support and Resources
  • Flex Choice®

Intended for

Students looking for transferrable skills to be a lead early childhood educator, run their own early childhood education program or pursue advanced training working with children and families. Students who want a program with fast time to completion, flexible learning options and affordability. Students who desire to work with children from birth to preschool and are driven by a passion for the development of healthy, happy children. Students can pursue the core program or specialize their degree in either ECE Leadership or Child Development.

Prepares you for

Center director, preschool owner, business owner-family child care, preschool director, child care administrator, assistant director, lead teacher, program administrator head start teacher or program manager, while the degree does not lead to public school licensure or certification in any state, it does prepare you to be an early childhood expert

Early Childhood Education

Associate's Degree

Finish in as few as

18 months1

Learning options

  • Online
  • Campus Support and Resources
  • Field Experience
  • Flex Choice®

Intended for

Students looking for career-focused skills, affordability and, upon graduation, may be interested in laddering their credentials towards a Bachelor’s degree. Students who desire to work with children from birth to preschool and are driven by a passion for the development of healthy, happy children. Students specialize their degree in either Special Needs or Child Development.

Prepares you for

Early childhood educator, educator's assistant, early childhood special education assistant, private preschool educator, childcare assistant, center director, assistant director, while the degree does not lead to public school licensure or certification in any state, it does prepare you to have well-rounded knowledge and skills about early childhood education

Early Childhood Education

Diploma

Finish in as few as

15 months1

Learning options

  • Online
  • Campus Support and Resources
  • Field Experience
  • Flex Choice®

Intended for

Students looking to enhance their skills or take an initial step into early childhood education and may be interested in obtaining other credentials in the future. Students who desire to work with children from birth to preschool and have a passion for the development of healthy, happy children. Students specialize their degree in either Special Needs or Child Development.

Prepares you for

Early childhood teacher, teacher’s assistant, early childhood special education assistant, preschool teacher

Early Childhood Education

Certificate

Finish in as few as

9–12 months1

Learning options

  • Online
  • Campus Support and Resources
  • Field Experience

Intended for

Students looking to take an initial step into early childhood education and may be interested in obtaining other credentials in the future. Students who desire to work with children from birth to preschool and have a passion for the development of healthy, happy children.

Prepares you for

Early childhood teacher’s aide

Take the Next Step—Talk to Us!

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Request More Information About Our Early Childhood Education Program

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  • Program Details and Applying for Classes 
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Customized Support Services
  • Detailed Program Plan

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School of Education Blog

What Can I Do with an Early Childhood Education Degree?

If you've always had the passion and ability to connect with little ones, a career in early childhood education might be up your alley. Find out what you can expect from an ECE degree online and how it can unlock a variety of career opportunities in this fulfilling field.

Read more
What can I do with an early childhood education degree spelled out with the string of a child's see-and-say toy.

Turn Your Education into a Career

We’ve made advancing your education career easier by offering Early Childhood Education classes online that fit into a busy working schedule. All of our programs are taught with industry-experienced instructors and specialized curriculum in order for you to feel confident that you will receive the level of skill you need to help achieve your early childhood education career goals. Whether you want to advance in your current career or expand your educational background, you know you will be strengthening your passion for education and enriching the students and families you strive to help.

If you are pursuing an Associate’s degree, your work with young children is combined with online coursework for college credit during your field experience. Students who currently work in-field (e.g., nanny, preschool teacher, center director) may use their ECE setting to meet these requirements, depending on the state and site. This real-world experience will help you gain confidence working with young children and families.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earning a degree, regardless of the field of study, can improve income potential.3 Here are just a few examples of where an Early Childhood Education degree can take you.

Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program

  • BLS Earnings Data:3

    • $29,980 10th Percentile
    • $36,580 25th Percentile
    • $46,890 50th Percentile
  • BLS Projected Growth 2016–2026:3

    11%

  • BLS Typical Entry-Level Education:

    • Bachelor's Degree

Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

  • BLS Earnings Data:3

    • $19,970 10th Percentile
    • $23,190 25th Percentile
    • $28,990 50th Percentile
  • BLS Projected Growth 2016–2026:3

    11%

  • BLS Typical Entry-Level Education:

    • Associate's Degree

Childcare Workers

  • BLS Earnings Data:3

    • $17,490 10th Percentile
    • $19,180 25th Percentile
    • $22,290 50th Percentile
  • BLS Projected Growth 2016–2026:3

    7%

  • BLS Typical Entry-Level Education:

    • High School Diploma or Equivalent

“I talk about the importance of education every day to my sons, and to everyone at the center, so after working in the field for 25 years, I knew it was important for me to go and get my degree.”

Michelle
Graduate, School of Education

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