Associate's Degree in Education

An associate's degree program in early childhood education can help prepare you for a career as a preschool teacher or daycare director. Learn about program goals, coursework, potential careers and online programs. Schools offering Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn an Associate's Degree in Education?

Associate's degree programs in early childhood education are available from a number of schools. Such programs are designed to give you a better understanding of infant and toddler development, and explain how to meet the social, emotional and health needs of young kids. Some associate's degree programs in early childhood education also offer specializations in areas, including childhood development or child and family studies.

Specialization Options Child and family studies, childhood development
Key Topics Atypical behavior, psychology, nutrition, language development, learning environments
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and online degree programs are available
Possible Careers Daycare operator, childcare director, teacher's aide, Head Start teacher
Certification Options CDA from Council for Professional Recognition, Child Care Professional credential from National Child Care Association

What Will I Learn?

Associate's degree programs in early childhood education include core courses that prepare you to evaluate student development, identify atypical behavior, create supportive learning environments and foster creativity. In addition to coursework, some programs require you to complete a field experience component in a classroom setting. Your courses might include:

  • Child psychology
  • Language development
  • Health and nutrition
  • Children's literature

Can I Complete a Program Online?

Associate's degree programs in early childhood education are available online from a number of schools. As an online student, you'll need to meet technical requirements set by your school. While specific requirements vary between schools, most require you to have an updated operating system, browser and specific software, such as Microsoft Office, in order to complete online coursework. Most distance learning programs also require you to complete a field experience at a local facility as part of your degree program.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

With an associate's degree in early childhood education, you may find job opportunities in a variety of positions, such as teacher's aide, childcare director, Head Start teacher or daycare operator. If you plan on working in childcare, you can seek certification as a Child Development Associate (CDA) from the Council for Professional Recognition or a Child Care Professional credential offered through the National Child Care Association. The CDA certification also fulfills the licensing requirement to become a preschool teacher in some states. You may also choose to transfer to a 4-year bachelor's degree program in education or a related field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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