Early Childhood Education Classes and Training

Those who work in early childhood education help infants, toddlers and young children develop and learn. Find out about the options for education and training in this field, and see what is required to earn state licensing. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Early childhood education programs prepare you to teach students in pre-K through grade 3. These programs are available at the undergraduate through graduate levels, from certificate and diploma programs up to Ph.D. programs. Some online options for courses and programs in the field are available.

Degree Programs Associate of Science (A.S.) in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Early Childhood Education, Master of Arts (M.A.) in Early Education, Early Childhood Education Certificate, Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education
Classes Infant and child development, the early childhood learning environment, classroom management strategies, standards-based curriculum, instruction and assessment, early childhood reading and literacy instruction
Training Supervised student teaching experience with pre-K through grade 3 students

What Do Early Childhood Education Teachers Do?

These teachers instruct their young students on the basic skills they will need to complete their education, including reading, writing and spelling. In addition, early childhood educators teach social skills, such as the appropriate way to behave in a classroom.

What Early Childhood Education Training Programs Are Available?

Certificate, diploma and associate degree programs can be completed in 1-2 years and can qualify you for entry-level positions in a variety of early childhood education settings, such as daycares, childcare facilities and pre-schools. These programs won't typically prepare you to meet your state's teacher licensure requirements, but they may prepare you to teach at private kindergarten and elementary schools.

Bachelor's degree programs in early childhood education can qualify you to teach in public schools from kindergarten to third grade, as well as work in administrative or management positions in school and childcare facilities. Master's degree programs might be preferable to you if you're a working professional holding a bachelor's degree who needs specialization in a particular area, such as child development, language, history of child education or teaching methods.

Master's degree programs may also allow you to explore education research opportunities that don't involve hands-on childcare. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in early childhood education commonly prepare you to become a professor at the university level or a research professional who specializes in the subject.

What Classes Will I Take?

Through certificate programs, you can take courses in subjects such as building interpersonal relationships, special needs and curriculum development. Diploma and associate degree programs may allow you to study a wider variety of courses in areas like health, nutrition, safety, first aid and children's literature. You also learn the exact developmental differences between infants, toddlers and children.

Associate degree programs offer general-education courses and may allow you to transfer into bachelor's degree programs more easily. Bachelor's degree programs can advance into coursework in literacy, mathematics and science, in addition to development and teaching technique classes.

Master's degree programs can include coursework dealing with the following:

  • Gender
  • Family environment and community
  • Technology in the early childhood classroom
  • Developing curriculum for early childhood education
  • Language development

Ph.D. programs typically focus on research and the development of a dissertation based on your chosen field of specialization, such as child development or literacy.

What Online Options Are Available?

If you're currently working as an education or childcare professional but looking for additional credentials or specialization, you may prefer completing an online program. Distance-education options can be completed either partially or totally over the Internet through online courses, lectures and examinations.

Certificate, bachelor's degree and master's degree programs can be used to extend on previously obtained education and may be available entirely online. Online bachelor's degree programs may require you to have already completed a relevant associate degree.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • CDI College

    CDI College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at CDI College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Anywhere: Anjou, Burnaby, Edmonton, Laval, Longueuil, Montreal, Point Claire, Richmond, Surrey
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Towson University

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Towson
  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia