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Next start date

January 02, 2019

Finish in as few as

15 months1

Learning options

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

As an early childhood educator, you have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of young children. A Diploma in Early Childhood Education (ECE) can help you lay the foundation for a career as an educator working with young children in as few as 15 months.1 Obtain the skills and techniques you need to successfully promote a positive environment for children and their families with our foundational Early Childhood Education Diploma courses and curriculum. You may have the option to choose between the Field Experience or Exploration track (based on the state in which you live) to gain practical experience. The ECE Diploma is available with Flex Choice®, which allows you to combine traditional online coursework and self-directed assessments—a more affordable way to receive credit for what you already know.

You can choose one of two specializations—Special Needs and Child Development—to enhance your skills in a particular area of interest. The Special Needs specialization teaches how to create an inclusive environment for exceptional learners, prepare children for future learning and bring together fellow caregivers, educators and family members critical to supporting the child. Specializing in Child Development can help you develop an understanding of developmentally appropriate practice, positive guidance and assessment of young children and the importance of partnering with parents.

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  1. Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and the number of courses completed each term.
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed May 30, 2018] Employment conditions in your area may vary.

After this credential

What Will I Be Prepared to Do When I’m Done?

Academically Prepared for the CDA

This program's ECE courses are aligned to the standards of the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Students will be academically prepared to apply for the CDA Credential.

Advance Your Education

Rasmussen College’s ladder curriculum allows you to easily transfer your credits toward an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Upon receiving your Associate's degree, you can transfer those credits toward an ECE Bachelor’s degree.

Pursue Potential Job Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the yearly projected job growth potential between 2016 and 2026 for childcare workers is 6%.2 Enhanced skills and knowledge from Rasmussen College can help set you up for success in this growing field.

Take the Next Step—Talk to Us!

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

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What Skills Will I Gain?

Child Development Foundations

Utilize your knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice as it relates to child development, individual needs and using interpersonal skills and communication within the early childhood education setting or center.

Promote Safe Educational Environments

Implement strategies for health policies, controlling disease, establishing proper nutrition and responding to children's special health concerns.

Techniques for Exceptional Children

Special Needs Specialization

Create an inclusive environment for exceptional learners, including children with diagnosed and undiagnosed special needs and English Language Learners, and bring together fellow caregivers, educators and family members critical to supporting the child.

Active Parent Education and Support

Child Development Specialization

Use your knowledge and skills to help families manage resources through various problem-solving methods.

Sample Courses

What Types of Classes Will I Take?

    Dynamics of the Family

    • EEC 2401
    • Online
    • 4 Credits

    Focuses on the dynamics of the family and the family’s influence on the growth and development of children. The history of family systems, child rearing and parenting styles will be discussed. Explores the issues that families of today face.

    Curriculum and Instruction for Children with Special Needs

    • Special Needs Specialization 
    • EEC 2271
    • Online
    • 4 Credits

    Explores how to adapt developmentally appropriate curriculum to support the development of children with special needs. Studies strategies for effective partnering with other professionals and parents to ensure the achievement of developmental goals.

    Language and Literacy Acquisition

    • Child Development Specialization
    • EEC 2213
    • Online
    • 4 Credits

    Examines how infant, toddler, preschool and school-aged English Language Learners acquire language and literacy. Studies early childhood programs that support children’s home languages and explores how to create an environment that sustains English Language Learners.

18 Courses to Complete

70 Credit Hours


What Should I Know Before I Enroll?

Entrance Requirements

Entrance requirements at the Rasmussen College School of Education vary depending on the program. We do not require enrolling students to submit standardized test scores; however, every entrant must have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent.

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Transfer Student

We believe in giving credit where it’s due. Prospective students who hold a current CDA Credential may be eligible to waive or transfer up to 12 credits into this Early Childhood Education program. Talk to a program manager today or explore our Transfer Policy page to review our seamless credit policies designed to maximize credits, potentially save money and expedite graduation.

Visit our Transfer Policy page

Help Paying for College

Higher education should be a manageable investment. Talk to a program manager and learn how these programs can make it more affordable with Flex Choice® learning options, loans and grants, scholarship opportunities and corporate and military discounts.

Learn more about Flex Choice

Class Locations

Where Will I Take These Classes?

At Rasmussen College, we want our courses to be available for your schedule; not the other way around. Many of our programs are available on campus or online. Select programs are available for enrollment through a specific campus, but students complete the courses online and are able to utilize online and on-campus support and resources.

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