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Southern New Hampshire University

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Purdue University Global

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Online Schools with Early Child Development Courses

Online courses in early childhood education, development and care can help you become a certified childcare worker or preschool teacher. Learn about the programs offered and licensure requirements.

What You Need to Know

Early child development programs focus on various factors influencing a young child's social, intellectual, emotional and physical growth. Some of these degree programs have a blended online and 'in-the-field' format, through which Web classes are supplemented by observation assignments requiring contact with children in a classroom setting.

Degree Programs Associate of Science (A.S.) in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in Child Development, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education Studies, Master of Arts (M.A.) in Child and Family Studies, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy, Childhood Development Certificate
Courses Child observation and assessment methods, language and literacy development, behavioral guidance
Online Most of this program is available online; some programs have on-campus requirements

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona State University, Council for Professional Recognition, Florida International University

How Can Early Child Development Courses Help Me?

Early child development classes can provide career training if you're interested in getting a job at a day care center, a Sunday school or a community education program. Web courses in child development cover such topics as these:

  • Methods for educational research
  • Health, safety and nutrition
  • Family dynamics

What About Other Courses?

You may also be interested in working for a preschool or school district. You can prepare by taking online classes in early childhood education that deal with the following:

  • Social and emotional learning methods
  • Children with special needs
  • Promoting a learning environment

What Types of Programs Are Offered by Online Schools?

You may earn online certificates in child development or in early childhood development. Among the factors you'll explore, they include children's families, communities and environments. Some programs may be affiliated with a certain religion and thus may also offer strategies for cultivating a child's spiritual development.

You can pursue an associate degree in early childhood education with a specialization in child development. This specialty gives you the skills to promote innovative curricula built around the theory that family and community dynamics play large roles in a child's learning development. Alternatively, you may obtain a Bachelor of Science in Education Studies with an emphasis in early childhood education.

These schools offer online early child development courses:

  • Post University (Waterbury, CT)
  • Kaplan University (Davenport, IA)
  • Penn Foster Career School (Scranton, PA)
  • Rasmussen College (Bloomington, MN)
  • Park University (Parkville, MO)

Do I Need To Be Licensed?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), licensing requirements for child care workers and preschool teachers differ by state (www.bls.gov). The BLS maintains that training standards also vary by state, with some states only requiring high school education and others requiring a college degree in child development or early childhood education.

The Council for Professional Recognition offers its Child Development Associate credential to child care workers who have 120 clock hours of child care education and 480 clock hours of experience in the field. The CDA credential demonstrates that you meet national competency standards and, as reported by the BLS, is preferred by some employers.