By Gabrielle Kratsas
Published March 2015
In this article, we consider the top affordable early childhood education online degree programs.
As an early childhood educator, you could be the teacher that lays the foundation of many children’s lives. It is an early childhood educator’s job to help care for and educate today’s children who will grow and eventually be tomorrow’s leaders. With the proper skills gained through an educational degree program, early childhood educators provide the building blocks for future growth and learning.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the career field of early childhood education is expected to increase 17 percent by 2022. Lucky for you, a multitude of schools—many featured in the following list—are making the process of achieving a degree in early childhood education simple, flexible and affordable with online bachelor’s degree programs.
The following ranking of early childhood education degrees online was developed using Wikipedia’s list of accredited online colleges, College Navigator<, The Best Schools, Early Childhood Education Degrees (ECED) and research of each individual school’s online programs and offered degrees. After creating a list of all major schools offering an early childhood education degree online, we sorted the list by the average net cost of undergraduate tuition, as reported by College Navigator, and chose the top 30. These schools are ranked according to that net cost, from highest to lowest. The “Unique Courses” sections list a few examples of the many courses offered within each college’s program.
Ranking the Top Online ECE Degree Programs
30. National University in La Jolla, Calif.
B.A. in Early Childhood Education Online
Net Price: $21,142
Overview: National University’s early childhood education program has been designed and established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Child Development Associates National Competency Standards (CDA). The program also meets the educational requirements necessary for the Child Development Associates National Licensing program and the State of California Child Development Permits. The program’s conceptual framework consists of current theory, contemporary perspectives and sound research findings. It also focuses on knowledge, attitudes, skills, practice, reflection and field experiences necessary to become proficient in this field.
After graduating from this program, students will be able to create healthy, respectful, supportive and challenging environments for young children, as well as positive relationships and supportive interactions with their students. National University has been accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) since 1977.
Unique Courses: Children with Special Needs, Early Cognition and Crisis Trauma and Abuse
29. Aspen University in Denver, Colo.
Online B.S. in Early Childhood Education
Net Price: $21,029
Overview: With Aspen’s early childhood education program, which includes essential liberal arts courses as well as specialized courses that cover ECE-specific topics, students will be well-equipped to begin or advance in their careers in child care. Students can also customize their degree by completing a concentration in the preschool or infant/toddler specializations. Although this is not designed as a teacher certification program, it has been designed to accommodate students seeking the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.
The Best Schools ranked Aspen No. 8 on their list of “The 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education.” The university is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as well as the Council for Higher Education.
Unique Courses: Speech Communications, Religious Studies and Cultural Anthropology
Overview: At Ashford, students have the choice of majoring in early childhood education, early childhood education administration, child development or other various education programs—completely online. After completing Ashford’s early childhood education program, students will be well-versed in child development principles, such as cognitive and language. They will also be able to analyze the influence of families and communities on a child’s learning and development, design and assess learning programs appropriate for various ages of development and demonstrate knowledge of fiscal, legal and ethical child care program requirements. Students can specialize in infant and toddler care, and through Ashford, they can join a digital community specific to those learning early childhood education online.
Listed as No. 12 in TBS’s top early childhood education degrees, Ashford is also accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Unique Courses: Adult Development & Life Assessment, Personal Dimensions of Education and Language Development in Young Children
Net Price: $20,084
Overview: For those seeking an online degree in education, the options are plentiful at Grand Canyon University. Including the early childhood education major, GCU offers 13 degree majors within teaching and school administration online. The early childhood education program’s content curriculum focuses on birth through third grade and includes instructional strategies, teaching methodologies, assessment techniques, theories of early childhood growth and development, and the impact of family and culture on early childhood. The program also requires two placements of student teaching for those wishing to complete the degree.
Although TBS put Grand Canyon University at the bottom of their list at No. 20, Early Childhood Education Degrees (ECED) ranked the school at No. 2 on their list of “The Top 10 Online Early Childhood Education Degree Programs.” According to ECED, Grand Canyon’s program can be even more affordable through their extensive financial aid options. Also, this school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Unique Courses: Christian Worldview, Psychology in Everyday Life and Assessing, Monitoring, & Reporting Progress of Young Children
26. University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio
B.S. in Early Childhood Education Online
Net Price: $19,310
Overview: The University of Cincinnati’s online program for early childhood education and human development prepares students with the skills necessary to teach children from birth through age five with a PreK licensure. The bachelor’s degree program provides students with a comprehensive view of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The students will explore curriculum for all age groups before kindergarten, and they will study topics such as literacy, assessment and social issues. This program’s courses are also specifically designed for working professionals so that students can continue their current lives while earning the degree.
All of UC’s online programs are included in their accreditations with the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Ohio Department of Education. UC also scored the No. 2 spot on TBS’s list of top online schools for early childhood education.
Unique Courses: Educational Technology, Individuals with Exceptionalities and Classroom Organization & Guidance
25. University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass.
Early Care and Education or Children’s Learning and Development Online
Net Price: $19,120
Overview: Through UMass’ University Without Walls program, students can complete their bachelor’s degree in various fields, including early childhood education, at a nationally-recognized university with the flexibility that comes with online learning. The school will match the courses and programs to a student’s interests while including their experience to help accelerate the degree process. Between the early care and education program and the children’s learning & development program, students have the choice to plan a career in education or working for agencies and programs serving children, youth and families, respectively. If a student already lives or works as an early childhood educator within Massachusetts, scholarship money is available to help make the program even more affordable.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits schools in the six New England states. UMass also made it on to both top-ranking lists as No. 3 by TBS and No. 8 by ECED.
Unique Courses: Multi-Cultural Education, Early Childhood Curriculum and Children’s Behavior Management
24. Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn.
B.A. in Child Development Online
Net Price: $19,072
Overview: Concordia University’s child development program consists of 42 fully-online credit hours that are designed for students who need flexibility in obtaining their degree. The program’s courses address the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards for initial professional career preparation. Although this program isn’t specifically called “early childhood education,” it covers all of the bases. Students will able to articulate the theories of early education that support best practices, define developmentally appropriate lessons, articulate the role of families as the primary teachers, caregivers and models in the lives of young children and much more after graduating, according to the program’s website.
Concordia made it to the No. 7 spot in TBS’s list of top online schools for early childhood education. This school is also accredited by The Higher Learning Commission – North Central Association and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. This school was also ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Best Online Programs” in 2013.
Unique Courses: Children’s Play & Learning, Writing for Educators and Dual Language Learners
Net Price: $18,975
Overview: Kaplan University’s non-licensure early childhood education program is designed to provide students with a strong understanding of child growth and development, ethics, health and nutrition, lesson planning and more. According to the program’s website, the curriculum emphasizes planning, developing and implementing family and community-build strategies, creating effective learning environments for young children, understand the importance of individuality and cultural diversity and more. The program also offers students option students teaching experiences to integrate and apply their learning within a real-world setting.
Kaplan made it on to both top-ranking lists as No. 15 by TBS and No. 7 by ECED. The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and the school has numerous programmatic and state approvals and additional accreditation.
Unique Courses: Professional Presence, Interpersonal Communications and Young Children with Special Needs
22. Notre Dame College in Cleveland, Ohio
B.A. in Education with Early Childhood Education (ECE) (Pre K-3) License Online
Net Price: $17,947
Overview: Notre Dame College offers two different licensure tracks within their bachelor’s degree in education program: Mild to Moderate Intervention Specialist (MMIS) (K-12) License and Early Childhood Education (ECE) (Pre K-3) License. From this program, students will learn the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to meet young children’s educational needs. The developing practice learned in this program is related to the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession. Graduates of this program are prepared for dynamics careers in the classroom helping students of all ages and academic abilities to achieve excellence within careers like childcare worker, preschool teacher, elementary school teacher, special education instructor and more.
According to the program’s website, “Experienced faculty present innovative pedagogy techniques and advise students on current trends in education for a supportive and collaborative learning environment.” Notre Dame College Online is accredited by the North Central Association of College and Schools and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
21. University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.
B.S. Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society Online
Net Price: $16,884
Overview: Within Mizzou Online’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, students have the option of continuing education in various youth development programs, but only the early childhood education in a mobile society program is offered to undergraduates. This degree is technically in human environmental sciences with an emphasis in human development and family studies and a focus in early childhood education in a mobile society. According to the program’s website, “The early childhood education online bachelor’s completion program is designed specifically to meet the needs of students who are balancing school with a mobile lifestyle or living far from a college campus, but who wish to earn a degree in the field of early childhood education.” Graduates of this program will be prepared to work in various programs that offer early childhood care and education in civilian communities and on military installations, including infant/toddler and preschool centers and homes, Head Start programs and before-and after-school programs for children up to age 8.
Mizzou made it onto U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 list of “Best Online Programs” for obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Mizzou is also authorized by 49 states to offer university-level online programs.
Unique Courses: Health, Safety & Nutrition, Working with Families and Technology & Young Children
20. Mississippi State University in Mississippi State, Miss.
B.S. in Elementary Education with concentrations in Early Childhood or Middle School Online
Net Price: $15,422
Overview: Mississippi State’s elementary education degree program, including both the middle school and the early childhood concentrations, is fully online, but several of the elementary education courses taken during the last two years of the program require extensive field experiences. With the early childhood education concentration, students will get at least 30 hours of real-world experience in a K-3 classroom. The program allows online students to complete these field experiences at an elementary or middle school in or near the students’ hometowns. Most of the courses in this program are taught by full-time MSU faculty, and the courses will parallel the on-campus program.
The Mississippi State University College of Education is nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and regionally accredited with Mississippi State University by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The college is also accredited annually by the Mississippi Department of Education.
Unique Courses: Middle Level Education, Early Childhood Ed., Teaching Adolescent Literature
19. Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.
Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s Degree Online
Net Price: $15,414
Overview: Kansas State’s early childhood education degree program prepares students for careers, such as administrative or teaching positions, coordinating parent programs, working with parents and community agencies and working with young children from birth to age six. The program focuses on the study of individuals and families from a multidisciplinary perspective, and it puts emphasis on subjects like developmental processes throughout the life cycle, interpersonal relationships and more. The license students will obtain with graduation combines early childhood education and early childhood special education content knowledge and pedagogy in one teacher education program. According to the program’s website, Kansas State places great importance on laboratory and real-world field and classroom experiences.
Kansas State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, plus the Kansas State Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has approved K-State’s early childhood education preservice program.
Unique Courses: Curriculum for Emotional, Social & Physical Development of Young Children, Reflective Practice: Infants and Toddlers and Environments in Early Childhood
18. University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb.
B.S. Child, Youth & Family Studies: Emphasis in Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society Online
Net Price: $15,132
Overview: Nebraska’s early childhood education in a mobile society (ECEMS) program prepares students to work with young children, especially those who comes from highly mobile family lifestyles, like those of the military. Graduates of this program achieve the skills necessary to provide early care and education for children from birth to age eight. All 120 credits hours of this program were designed to ensure that students meet the professional preparation standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Students will come away from the program able to value the importance of complex characteristics of a child’s family and community, understand how a successful early childhood education depends on partnerships with that family and community, learn to create healthy, respectful, supportive and challenging environments for each child and much more.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the teacher education programs at the school are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE).
Unique Courses: Assessing Young Children & Their Environments to Enhance Development, Diversity in the Lives of Young Children & Families and ECEMS Young Children with Special Needs
17. Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz.
B.A.S. Early Childhood Online
Net Price: $14,398
Overview: According to Northern Arizona’s early childhood program webpage, the school’s “goal in offering the B.A.S. degree is to provide you with a general knowledge of management, organizational, and policy issues and to advance your communication, computer, and quantitative skills.” These skills are combined with the concentration in early childhood education to help graduates obtain careers in preschool education, early childhood education, childcare specialization and more. This program also ensures that the knowledge and skills gained at NAU comply with the No Child Left Behind Act. NAU’s BAS in early education is based on state and national education reforms and concentrates on educating students about the expanding specialized knowledge base concerning early childhood.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA) accredits Northern Arizona University and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accredits the educational programs at the school.
Unique Courses: Topics in Contemporary Social Issues, Play Education and Educational Psychology
16. University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Ariz.
B.S. Education/Early Childhood Education Online
Net Price: $14,252
Overview: At the University of Phoenix, students can take the education/early childhood education degree program to gain the skills needed to help children develop academically, socially and cognitively. Unlike some of the other schools on this list, this program is intended for those students have don’t have any prior teaching experience who want to work with children from pre-K through grade three or age eight. However, the program will waive credits for students who already completed their Child Development Associate (CDA). The curriculum is designed to help prepare students for teacher lincensure in early childhood education, and it is aligned with National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards.
The University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is a member of the North Central Association.
Unique Courses: Exceptionalities Of The Young Child, Methods Of Teaching In Early Childhood: Mathematics and Instructional Strategies For Early Childhood Education
15. Granite State College in Concord, N.H.
B.S. Early Childhood Education with Teacher Certification Online
Net Price: $14,025
Overview: Granite State College’s early childhood education program curriculum also addresses standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Graduates of this program will be qualified to obtain dual teaching certifications in Early Childhood Education (N-3) and Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-8). This program will help students develop skills, such as a working understanding of current brain research and its implication for learning and teaching and the skills to access and utilize technology as a tool to empower learning and teaching.
The Best Schools placed Granite in the tops spot for the best online bachelor’s degree program in early childhood education. Granite is also accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE).
Unique Courses: Foundations of Education, Creative Arts in Early Childhood Education and Dynamic Role of Special Ed. Educators
14. Wilmington University in Newcastle, Del.
B.S. Education Studies: Early Care and Education (Birth-Grade 2) Online
Net Price: $13,633
Overview: Although this program does not qualify recipients for state licensure or certification, all courses successfully completed as part of a student’s education studies degree program at Wilmington will easily transfer into a student’s licensure or certificate program. Some courses are prerequisites to all other education courses, including EDU203, where students will learn about a variety of technology applications designed to enhance teaching and learning.
Wilmington University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association (MSCHE). The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), formerly known as NCATE, specifically accredits Wilmington’s College of Education.
Unique Courses: Professional Issues in Early Childhood, Creating Environments for Learning and Assessment of Exceptional Children and IEPs
13. University of Nebraska in Kearney, Neb.
B.A. in Education – Early Childhood Inclusive Online
Net Price: $13,549
Overview: According to the degree program’s website, UNK’s early childhood inclusive program “is designed for in-service teachers, assistants in preschools, staff in HeadStart programs, and other non-traditional students who are unable to attend regular face-to-face classes at a university.” While working to complete this program, students will also work in early childhood-related places of employment to gain the real-world experience necessary to succeed in a post-graduate career. UNK’s program is designed to prepare graduates to teach children from birth to age five in special education settings as well as children from birth to age eight in regular education settings. Since this is a degree completion program, the school assumes that students will complete most of their general studies courses at a community college before transferring to UNK.
UNK is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Unique Courses: Childcare Administration, Early Childhood Music and Movement and Young Child Special Needs
12. Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich.
B.S. Early Childhood Education Online
Net Price: $13,357
Overview: Ferris State’s early childhood education program teaches a wide variety of new and relevant courses that keep up with the ever-evolving career field. Students in this program learn about the education of children and study their development, nutrition, first aid, children’s literature and child psychology. FSU’s general education courses also provide students with a broad educational background at the beginning of the program.
Ferris State also made it onto TBS’s list as the 18th top school for this online program, and the school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Unique Courses: Text & the Child, Computer Applications in Child Development and Children’s Activities
11. Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Ore.
B.S. Early Childhood Education (ECED) Online
Net Price: $13,135
Overview: Eastern Oregon University and the College of Education offer a non-licensure early childhood education program completely online, which can be completed within two years. The program is designed to prepare students for working with young children from birth to age eight, and it offers students the opportunity explore the career field and gain the knowledge and skills necessary for supporting, educating and advocating for young children. The graduates of this program will be able to apply these skills and this knowledge to creating high-quality early care and educational programs. By completing this program, students will be able to start careers as teachers, program directors and administrators, advocates, educational coordinators or policy makers in schools, businesses, mental health agencies and community, private or church-related programs.
This University has been continuously accredited since 1931 by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and its predecessor agencies.
Unique Courses: Math Methods in Early Childhood, Multicultural Education in Early Childhood and Play & Learning Environments in Early Childhood
10. Ball State University in Muncie, Iowa
B.S. Completion Program in Early Childhood Education Online
Net Price: $13,049
Overview: According to Ball State’s early childhood education program webpage, “Our degree can give you a distinct advantage within a variety of early childhood settings. And your studies will prepare you for a workplace where Head Start and pre-K teachers are required to hold advanced degrees.” BSU’s program, similarly to some other schools on this list, is offered and designed especially for full-time child care professionals. All online classes are taught by the same faculty who teach within the Teachers College on the school’s main campus.
U.S. News & World Report rated BSU among their “Best Online Programs” for bachelor’s degrees in 2015, and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits this university.
Unique Courses: Promoting Pro-social Behavior in Young Children: Guidance and Cultural, Introduction to Students with Exceptional Needs and Early Emergent Literacy
9. Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Ore.
B.S. Early Childhood Development Online
Net Price: $12,989
Overview: Southern Oregon’s early childhood development program is designed to be a degree completion program for those students who completed their general education and approved early childhood prerequisites at their local community college or online. However, the school still encourages those students who are interested in the degree but are not already in a program to contact the school so that SOU may evaluate their transcripts and provide those students with an idea of how to move forward toward their goals of achieving this degree. Some of the professional opportunities that this program will help students become qualified for include a preschool teacher, Head Start program teacher, administrator, family advocate, early interventionist, educational assistant and more.
Southern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Unique Courses: Social Emotional Learning, Play As The Core Curriculum and Science & The Young Child
8. Baker College in Allen Park, Mich.
B.S. in Early Childhood Education Online
Net Price: $12,987
Overview: The curriculum within Baker College’s online early childhood education program takes an interactive approach to learning, which better enables students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for becoming an early childhood educator. All of the teaching skills Baker provides its students are hands-on, such as planning age-appropriate environments and play centers and developing age-appropriate curricula. This program will prepare students for the Child Development Associate (CDA) assessment process so that students will have the chance to nationally recognized as a professional within their career field.
Baker College has earned Accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation. The college is also accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Unique Courses: Healthy Environments for Early Childhood, Creative Activities and Developing Anti-Bias Curriculum
7. Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C.
B.S. Birth-Kindergarten (BK) Online
Net Price: $11,978
Overview: At WCU, students can enroll in the birth-kindergarten online program, which offers a B.S. degree with a concentration in either early childhood education or professional education, as well as a birth-kindergarten minor. The program’s education does lead to licensure, according to the school’s website. This program is designed to provide students with the skills to meet children’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs during the early stages of their lives in a variety of settings. Because this program is selective, no more than 30 students are accepted each semester.
Western Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s, master’s, education specialist, and doctor’s degrees. The school also maintains accreditation with 10 nationally recognized agencies and more than 15 college or program specific accreditations.
Unique Courses: Foundations of Child Study, Adult-Child Interaction and Promoting Social Emotional Competence
6. Park University in Parkville, Mo.
B.S. in Education – Education Studies with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education Teaching Young Children
Net Price: $11,859
Overview: Within Park’s School of Education, students can obtain a B.S. in the education studies program, and they have a choice of four different concentrations to direct their career path: young child, youth, early childhood education and leadership and early childhood education teaching young children. According to the program’s website, the early childhood education teaching young children program, “Prepares graduates for positions of teaching or curriculum coordinators in accredited programs, Head Start programs, early childhood centers, private preschools, and family child care centers, or with programs such as Parents as Teachers.”
Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This school was also ranked No. 9 on ECED’s list of top online schools for early childhood education, as well as No. 14 on TBS’s similar list.
Unique Courses: School as a Social System, Early Childhood Principles and Study of the Family
5. Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan.
B.S. in Education – Early Childhood Unified Online
Net Price: $11,207
Overview: Fort Hays offers a fully-online early childhood unified education program, which is a licensure program that can be used for entry into various occupations that serve children and families from birth to age eight. Some careers that this program prepares students for include teacher, administrator and coordinator for various education programs, such as district-sponsored early childhood special education pre-kindergarten, kindergarten through third grade teacher in public or private schools, Early Head Start and more. FHSU’s degree is designed to provide students with the academic requirements necessary to achieve a variety of levels within their careers.
The Virtual College at Fort Hays is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Unique Courses: The Young Child, Diverse Learners and Behavior Strategies & Support
4. Columbus State University in Columbus, Ohio
Early Childhood Education, B.S.Ed. Online
Net Price: $10,745
Overview: Columbus State’s early childhood education program emphasizes contemporary theory and research to provide students with a solid knowledge base before entering their teaching career. According to the school’s website, “The program was selected as the 1997 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education by the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators (GATE).” Graduates of this program will have an entry-level Georgia certification, and they will be qualified to teach pre-kindergarten through age five.
Columbus State made it onto TBS’s list of online early childhood education degree schools at No. 11. The school is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters and educational specialist degrees, as well as a doctoral degree. Specifically, educator preparation at CSU is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Unique Courses: Creative Act for Young Child, Basic Preparation for Teaching Reading and Teaching Language Arts in Early Childhood Education
3. Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8) Online
Net Price: $10,058
Overview: Western Governor’s early childhood education program enables students to earn a degree as well as a K-8 teaching certificate fully online, with the exception of the in-classroom component filed experiences and demonstration teaching. This program is specifically for those who already have experience in a career field, such as unlicensed substitute teachers, retired military personnel, career changers, etc.; individuals who may not have career experience, but have already completed some college coursework; and individuals who can spend about 15 or more hours on their studies each week. The program covers several areas of study, including general education, teacher education diversity and instructional planning and presentation.
WGU landed in the No. 4 spots for both TBS’s and ECED’s lists of top online schools for an early childhood education degree. The online program is also accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Unique Courses: Classroom Management, Engagement, & Motivation, Integrated Natural Science Applications and Introduction to Pre-Clinical Experiences
2. University of North Carolina in Greensboro, N.C.
B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies Online
Net Price: $9,581
Overview: At UNC, Greensboro, the Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers students and online early childhood degree completion program, with which students can choose to concentrate in either the birth through kindergarten online teacher licensure or the early care and education online program. This program is intended for students who have completed an AAS degree at a community college in North Carolina, but those who completed that degree out-of-state should be able to transfer in with all of the requirements. The HDFS online program is part of the 2-Plus program at UNCG, which is designed to help community college graduates transfer with advanced standing to pursue their career goals. An early care and education concentration prepares students for careers serving children with and without disabilities within child care centers, agencies, private kindergarten, hospitals and more. The teacher licensure programs prepare students to join careers in teaching public school pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Unique Courses: Families & Close Relationships, Human Development Across the Life Span and Development of School-Age Children
1. University of Washington in Seattle, Wash.
B.A. Early Childhood & Family Studies Online
Net Price: $9,559
Overview: The University of Washington only offers two fully-online bachelor’s degrees, one of which includes the early childhood and family studies degree program. This program prepares students to make an impact by positively educating young children with the right knowledge and skills. The UW College of Education designed this program to fit the needs of students who are interested in analyzing and applying the latest evidence-based research in early learning. The curriculum combines the study of academic theory with practical training in the field, and the courses are enhanced with the most-recent research from the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning, as well as the Haring Center. The program also includes service-learning courses, where students are to practice their skills in the real world while working alongside teachers in preschools classrooms and childcare centers.
The University of Washington is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and is a member of the Association of American Universities.
Unique Courses: Positive Behavior Support in Early Childhood, Learning & Teaching in Our Changing World and Becoming a Resilient Educator
Further Reading: Top 10 Cheap Online Bachelor’s Degrees