Next program start date

July 05, 2022

Finish in as few as

15 months1

Learning includes

  • Online
  • Campus Support and Resources

Early Childhood Education Diploma for Under $12K4

You can earn your ECE Diploma for under $12,000 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.5 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%.2 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

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

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Skills

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.

children playing with building 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

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

Enrollment

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
  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 October 6, 2021] www.bls.gov/ooh/. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
  3. Tuition for the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Certificate is $161 per credit, for new students only. A student who withdraws and re-enrolls will be required to pay the tuition price offered at the time of their re-enrollment. Students who receive the tuition price of $161 per credit cannot use any additional Rasmussen University discounts, grants and/or scholarships. If a student needs to retake one or more courses in the degree program, the total cost of the program will exceed $6,000. Program cost breakdown: $161 per credit x 36 credits = $5,796 + $135 book fees = $5,931 estimated tuition cost. Program availability varies by campus and state; please see the Rasmussen University Catalog for details.
  4. Tuition for the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Diploma is $161 per credit, for new students only. A student who withdraws and re-enrolls will be required to pay the tuition price offered at the time of their re-enrollment. Students who receive the tuition price of $161 per credit cannot use any additional Rasmussen University discounts, grants and/or scholarships. If a student needs to retake one or more courses in the degree program, the total cost of the program will exceed $12,000. Program cost breakdown: $161 per credit x 70 credits = $11,270 + $330 book fees = $11,600 estimated tuition cost. Program availability varies by campus and state; please see the Rasmussen University Catalog for details.
  5. CDA and Child Development Associate are registered trademarks of the Council for Professional Recognition.

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