Online Associate Degrees in Early Childhood Education

An online associate degree in early childhood education may provide students with the training and expertise needed to effectively manage a classroom environment of young children. In this two-year program, students may learn how to promote literacy, provide guidance, and develop curriculum suited for young children. The coursework for this program may include select general education requirements as well as core early childhood education courses including interpersonal communication, language development, and working with special needs children.

Graduates may choose to pursue entry-level employment or transfer to a four-year bachelor’s degree program in the same or similar field. Associate-level graduates may find employment at charter schools, Montessori schools, child care centers, preschools, and public schools.

Program Overview

  • Prerequisite: High School Diploma or GED
  • Program Length: Two years to complete
  • Post-Grad Options: Entry-Level Employment or Bachelor’s Program
  • Projected Employment Growth: 25% (2010-2020)*

Program Coursework

The curriculum for an associate-level early childhood development degree program may include a combination of general education courses and core early childhood education classes. These classes may teach the student how to manage conflicts using intervention methods, create a stimulating learning environment, and create a learning environment conducive for special needs children. Select core early childhood education classes may include the following:

  • Language Development in Young Children
  • Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education
  • Working With Preschoolers
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Administration of an Early Education Center
  • Working With Special Needs Children

Career Options

Associate-level graduates may pursue careers at child care centers, preschools, public schools, private schools, and Montessori schools. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in early childhood education are expected to increase by 25% from 2010-2020.*

Possible careers include:

  • Preschool Teacher
  • Childcare Worker
  • Daycare Center Director
  • Special Needs Teacher
  • Teacher Assistant

Continuing Education

Associate-level degree program graduates may wish to further their education by transferring to a four-year degree program. A bachelor’s degree in early childhood development may provide individuals with enhanced training in lesson planning, fostering creativity in children, and proper disciplinary techniques. Education requirements may vary from state to state, but early childhood education employers may require certification to eligible for employment.

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

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