Early Childhood Education (ECE)
Next program start date
April 03, 2023
Finish in as few as15 months1
- Campus Support and Resources
April 03, 2023
You can earn your ECE Diploma for under $15,000 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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Implement strategies for health policies, controlling disease, establishing proper nutrition and responding to children's special health concerns.
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.
Child Development Specialization
Use your knowledge and skills to help families manage resources through various problem-solving methods.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.