Next program start date

July 01, 2024

Finish in as few as

15 months1

Learning includes

  • Online
  • Campus Support and Resources

Early Childhood Education Diploma for Just Over $15K2

You can earn your ECE Diploma for an estimated $15,030 to help make your goals more affordable. Gain new skills that help you promote a positive environment for young children and their families. A Diploma in Early Childhood Education (ECE) can help you lay the foundation for a career fostering healthy development in as few as 15 months.1 With a schedule designed for working adults, you can save money by combining traditional online courses with self-directed assessments by showing that you already know the skills in a particular course and don’t need to take it. Our ECE Diploma prepares you to meet the academic requirements for the CDA® credential application.3 Already have your CDA? Save time and money by requesting a course waiver for up to 12 credits.

Our ECE 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 childcare or non-public school setting or leadership role.

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After this credential

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

Apply 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 during their courses to apply for the CDA credential.

Advance Your Education

Rasmussen University’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 2020 and 2030 for Childcare Workers is 9%.4 Enhanced skills and knowledge from Rasmussen University can help set you up for success in this growing field.

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Request More Information About Our Early Childhood Education Program

Fill out the form to receive information about:

  • Program Details and Applying for Classes
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA (for those who qualify)
  • Customized Support Services
  • Detailed Program Plans

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Do you have potential transfer credits?

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What Skills Will I Gain?

Choose between two specializations—Special Needs and Child Development—to develop your skills in your particular area of interest. Both paths emphasize working with diverse families and dual language development while also exploring unique aspects of early childhood education.

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 program.

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.

Teacher and small child playing with blocks
Apply your early childhood education skills directly to the learning environment of young children and watch them thrive.

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

Estimate Your Tuition

Estimate Your Tuition

Rasmussen University is committed to making education more affordable for all students. Our tuition estimating tool can help you visualize the cost of your degree and see what savings opportunities are available to help you achieve it.

Estimate Your Tuition

Estimate Your Tuition

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Rasmussen University believes in helping you make your education as affordable as possible.

Our interactive tuition estimator is designed to help you discover how much you could save on a degree from Rasmussen University.

Simply enter your ZIP code, select the program and credential you're interested in, and click “next”.

Right away, you can see the total estimated cost of your selected degree.

As you engage with the tool, you may see this number start to go down.

You also have the option to see how attending full-time or part-time could impact your tuition—and what your tuition estimate looks like, broken down by quarter.

The tuition estimator walks you through a number of ways you could reduce your overall tuition.

Click the tabs or the “back” and “next” buttons to move through the tool.

Within each tab, answer the question shown as accurately as you can, by interacting with the slider, select menu or radio buttons shown.

You might not feel totally confident in all of your answers. That's okay. This tool is just generating an estimate of how much your degree might cost.

The last tab of the tool shows you your results, including how much you could potentially save on your Rasmussen degree.

Remember, the numbers shown here are just estimates, and the true cost of your degree will vary.

Talk with an admissions advisor for more information about how to make your Rasmussen degree as affordable as possible.

Additional Ways to Save

While we aim to reduce your tuition through our credit transfer policies and other ways to help you save on your education—we encourage you to seek outside scholarships as well.

You can also receive course waivers if you have earned specific professional credentials:

Florida Child Care Professionals Credential (FCCPC)
Florida Early Childhood Professional Credential (ECPC)
Florida Child Care Apprenticeship Credential (CCAC) 

Wisconsin Infant and Toddler Credential
Wisconsin Preschool Credential
Wisconsin Administration Credential
Wisconsin Leadership Credential

AIM4Excellence Director Credential
CDA Credential awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition

For more information, please view the School of Education Waivers from the course waiver section in the course catalog.

MN T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship Program

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MINNESOTA is a scholarship program that helps early childhood and school-age care providers increase their levels of education, compensation and commitment to the field by earning college credits and degrees.

WI T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship Program

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® WISCONSIN provides higher education scholarships to professionals who work in regulated early childhood and school-age care settings.

FL T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship Program

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® FLORIDA provides scholarships for early childhood teachers and facility/family home directors to work toward earning an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in early childhood education, a Florida Staff Credential, a Director Credential, a National CDA Assessment or credential renewals.

IL Gateways Scholarship Program

The Gateways Scholarship Program will pay a portion of tuition for eligible professionals working in early care and education or school-age programs who want to earn college credit, credentials or degrees.

As an entitled institution, Rasmussen University has aligned coursework to the IL Gateways Credentials. More information on the IL Gateways Credentials can be found here.

Credential Entitled College


What Should I Know Before I Enroll?

Entrance Requirements

There's no application fee and you can get started sooner with 8 start dates throughout the year.

Entrance requirements at the Rasmussen University 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.

Talk to an admissions advisor

Transfer Student

We believe in giving credit where it’s due. Prospective students can transfer credits and receive course waivers in this ECE program. For example, if you already have your CDA credential, you may be eligible to transfer up to 12 credits toward your certificate. Talk to an admissions advisor 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 an admissions advisor and learn how these programs can make it more affordable with self-directed assessments, credit for prior learning, loans and grants, scholarship opportunities, corporate grants and military discounts for those who qualify.

Learn more about other ways to save

Class Locations

Where Can I Find an ECE Degree Near Me?

At Rasmussen University, we want our courses to be available on your schedule, not the other way around. Select programs are available for enrollment through a specific campus and nationally online, but students complete the courses online and are able to utilize online and on-campus support and resources. See below to find out where you can find an online Early Childhood Education program near you.

  • Online
  • Florida
  • Illinois*
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Wisconsin