Early Childhood Education offers students the chance to work closely with children in a number of capacities. Graduates from Early Childhood Education programs often go on to work in rewarding fields such as teaching or childhood devolvement. Further, an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education is a great way to reinforce existing skills, or to propel yourself into a higher education degree focusing on teaching, communication, or childhood development.
What is an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education?
An Associate degree in Early Childhood Education can take many forms depending on the college or institution where you earn your degree. Many schools offer a mix of theory and practice, allowing plenty of time for classroom study, and hands-on study working and interacting with children. The course curriculum can vary but usually includes training on how to work with children, communication methods, nutritional needs, as well as how to work with the families of children. This is a rewarding degree that can lead to several career opportunities working closely with children.
What Are The Benefits?
One of the biggest benefits of earning a degree in Early Childhood Education is the ability to understand the needs for a child in order for them to develop and grow in a healthy way. Students have the opportunity to learn about the various developmental paths and checkpoints with many programs beginning with new born infants and progressing to at least the Fourth Grade. Students learn professionalism and communication techniques for working with both children and their families. Plus, Associate degrees in Early Childhood Education are often necessary to manage and operate a childcare facility, child activity program, or child recreational facility.
What is the Outlook And Salary?
The career outlook for childcare workers is steadily increasing, and is expected to grown another 11% next year making this a high demand career. Because there are so many outlets for new graduates to explore, career opportunities are endless. Many students go on to have successful careers as a kindergarten teacher, preschool teacher, childcare worker, or special education teacher. The average salary for this degree is about $45,200 per year, with special education teachers earning the most at $60,000 per year.
The Best Associate Degrees in Early Childhood Education
We understand that when it comes time to choose the best Associate degrees in Early Childhood Education that you have a hefty decision to make. There are plenty of good schools, so how do you know that you are choosing the school that best aligns with your interests and future career goals? Luckily, we have done the work ahead of time and put together a list of the top 15 schools to earn Associate degrees in Early Childhood Education for you to browse.
1. Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College – Shell Lake, Wisconsin (24 Points)
The Associates degree in Early Childhood Education Program offered at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College gives students the opportunity to earn a comprehensive degree in a short amount of time. This will give students the chance to begin working in the field of Early Childhood Education through hands-on learning and a varied course curriculum.
Following successful graduation, students will be able to assess childhood growth and development, demonstrate professionalism, practice safe health and nutritional principles for children, apply developmental theory learned in class to practice, and interact with both children and families in order to address the development and eduction of the child. Graduates from this program will be recognized as a Wisconsin Registry Career level 12.
- Tuition: $287 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Meeting with University
1. Aspen University – Denver, Colorado (24 Points)
The program offered at Aspen University is a comprehensive and inclusive program that sets graduates up for a successful career in early childhood education. This is an ideal degree for working students which offers a tremendous amount of flexibility. The program is offered entirely online, and new courses begin every two weeks, allowing students to start when it is most convenient for them.
The goal of this program is to give students the knowledge and insight necessary to either enter the workforce in this field, or to go on to pursue a higher level degree. The program sets students up to work in private education programs, private schools and kindergartens, or to work in child care organizations.
- Tuition: $163 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, SAT Scores, Transcripts
3. Haywood Community College – Clyde, North Carolina (22 Points)
Students who enroll in the Associate degree program for Early Childhood Education at Haywood Community College will have the chance to combine class work and theory with real, hands-on practical experience working with children. Students will always work with trained and professional childcare workers to ensure they are receiving the best possible instruction for their fundamental skills.
The course work is varied and classes include topics such as nutritional eduction, child growth and development, communication skills, and communication skills with families.
- Tuition: $363 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, High School Graduate or Equivalent, Must be 16 or older
3. Richmond Community College – Hamlet, North Carolina (22 Points)
The course work completed in the Early Childhood Education program at Richmond Community College sets students up for an exciting career in working with children. Students will have the ability to work with children of various ages, from birth to 12 years of age. This is an exciting opportunity for students to blend theory with practice, offering close guidance and instruction from fellow childcare professionals.
Following graduation students can pursue several employment opportunities with many students becoming the lead teacher in a childcare facility, assistant teacher in a private school, owner or administrator of a childcare facility, or program coordinator for after school programs or activities.
- Tuition: $360 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, Residency Requirements
5. Eastern Wyoming College – Torrington, Wyoming (21 Points)
The Early Childhood Education program offered at Eastern Wyoming College is perfect for students who wish to pursue a career working with children. Students who are enrolled in this program will gain an understanding of childhood development, as well as learn about administrating and planning childhood programs and activities.
Earning this associate’s degree will set students up for continued education, or to enter the workforce. In order to be awarded a degree, students must earn a “C” or better in all required coursework.
- Tuition: $418 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or Equivalent, Valid Social Security Number
5. Clovis Community College – Fresno, California (21 Points)
The Early Childhood Education degree offered at Clovis Community College is a great opportunity for working professionals to earn their degree. Courses are offered regularly in both the day and evening, available in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. This can make it ideal to attend classes as they fit around a busy work schedule.
Students enrolled in this program will have the opportunity to work both in the classroom, learning practice and theory, as well as work in the lab with children. Hands on experience is a great way to gain the needed expertise to work in this exciting field. The program for study focuses on children aged 18 months to 5 years of age. Students who graduate from this program may start an exciting career in early intervention programs, infant and toddler programs, or family child care.
- Tuition: $319 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, At least 18 years of age, High School Graduate or Equivalent
7. Shoreline Community College – Shoreline, Washington (20 Points)
Shoreline Community College offers a wonderful opportunity for students who wish to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education. This small and approachable program guarantees students the dedicated attention and hands on experience necessary in order to become successful in an early childhood education career.
Plus, this school allows you to earn credits toward your degree for applicable experience. This means that you may be able to earn your degree faster if you have years of experience already working with children. The school also makes it easy to transfer earned credits to traditional four year colleges so that students have the ability to earn a higher level degree in the future. Internship opportunities are available for students as well.
- Tuition: $281 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or Equivalent, Financial Planning
8. Surry Community College – Dobson, North Carolina (18 Points)
This program for early childhood education offered by Surry Community College gives students the knowledge and fundamental skills needed to work with children from infancy to middle school age. The program focuses on growth and development, nutritional needs, and communication skills in order to set students up for years of success working alongside children.
Following graduation this program sets students up for successful careers in both private or public educational systems, child development programs, recreational centers, or Head Start Programs.
- Tuition: $366 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, High School Graduation or Equivalent
9. Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio (16 Points)
The Early Childhood Education program offered from Ohio State University is the perfect opportunity for students who wish to pursue a career working with children up to 10 years of age. This is an all encompassing degree that is also offered as a Bachelor degree for students.
This program will go over the basic fundamentals needed to pursue a career in early childhood education, or the program can be paired with a specialized degree working with children with visual impairment. This is a specialized study that is in high demand for education centers and after school program centers around the country.
- Tuition: $281 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, High School Transcripts, SAT Test Scores, Minimum 2.75 GPA
10. Tallahassee Community College (14 Points)
Tallahassee Community College offers several different education opportunities for students wishing to pursue a career in early childhood education. The course work available at this school can prepare students for a rewarding career in childhood development, childhood management, or early childhood education. This school offers courses online, making it ideal for working students.
There are many different types of students that make up the program. The education gained through this program is perfect for people seeking certification, looking to renew or update an existing childhood education certification, learn more about specific preschool certification, or earn an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.
- Tuition: $335 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, High School Degree or Equivalent
11. Great Basin College – Elko, Nevada (13 Points)
The Early Childhood Education degree offered from Great Basin College is intended to allow students the career path necessary to work closely alongside children and their families. This educational program is also geared toward allowing students to better understand how childhood education, care, and administration can help make the overall community stronger.
This is a great program for students who wish to go on and pursue a career working with children. Many students are ready to work in the fields of childhood activity and program management, public or private education for young children, or work in childcare centers or recreational centers.
- Tuition: $441 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, High School Degree or Equivalent
12. University of Alaska – Fairbanks – Fairbanks, Alaska (9 Points)
Students who wish to enroll in the Early Childhood Education program offered at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks will have three different options for their coursework. Students may earn a minor in the program, a certificate, or earn an Associate degree.
Earning an Associate degree will require 60 credits for successful graduation. Enrolling in full time studies will take about 2 years to complete this program. There is an option for part time study as well. This program is great for first time students as well as for people who require updated coursework already working in the childcare industry.
- Tuition: $884 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Minimum 3.0 GPA, SAT Scores, High School Transcripts
12. Montgomery Community College – Pottstown, Pennsylvania (9 Points)
Students earning an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Montgomery Community College will get the chance for both theory and hands-on practice with this comprehensive degree. This program is perfect for students who want to work with children up to the Fourth Grade. Students will have an opportunity to work as a student teacher in the final year of study, giving them the much needed career experience in this competitive field.
Many students who graduate from the program go on to work in rewarding careers. These can include becoming a teacher for early intervention classes, pre-school classes, or working in childcare.
- Tuition: $623 per credit
- Application: Application, Application Fee, High School degree or Equivalent
14. University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati, Ohio (4 Points)
The Early Childhood Education degree offered by the University of Cincinnati offers flexible learning programs for students. Perspective students will have the option to learn on campus, or online, making this an idea program for working students. The program is geared toward not only giving students the skills necessary to teach young children, but to also give them the ethical understanding and appreciation for the valuable work they will do.
This school offers a Bachelor degree option for the program. Students who graduate will have the ability to teach students up to Fifth Grade in the state of Ohio. Students have a range of course options including both the fundamental core classes as well as elective studies.
- Tuition: $1,122 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, High School degree or Equivalent, SAT Test Scores, Transcripts
15. Liberty University – Lynchburg, Virginia (3 Points)
Students wishing to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education will have the option of either an Associate or a Bachelor degree from Liberty University. The program can also be completed online, allowing a flexible schedule for working students. Classes are affordable and regularly offered for students.
Perspective students in the program will have the opportunity to take several exciting classes. Example class offerings include Wellness in Early Childhood Settings, Classroom Management for Teachers, and Education Philosophy for Teachers. Completion of this program will help set students up for success in a variety of different fields working with children.
- Tuition: $947 per credit
- Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, High School degree or Equivalent, Transcripts, SAT Test Scores, Essay
In order to rank our schools offering Associate degrees in Early Childhood Education we used a point system. Points were awarded to schools based on two sets of information. The first metric used was the cost of tuition per credit. Schools that outlined an entire year’s tuition had the cost first divided in half, assuming two semesters, and then divided by 12, assuming 12 credits per semester. Schools with a cheaper tuition cost per credit were given more points, and thus a more favorable ranking.
The second metric that was used to score the listed schools was the overall class enrollment size. Schools with fewer students were awarded a higher number of points assuming smaller class sizes and more dedicated attention for students. The score from the tuition metric and the enrollment metric were added together, giving a total cumulative score. The schools were ranked in order with the school earning the highest number of awarded points receiving the most favorable ranking.
If your school has been listed in our top schools to receive Associate degrees in Early Childhood Education we would love to hear from you! We are always looking to give persecutive students the most up to date and accurate information. If something has changed about your program or curriculum, please just let us know and we will update our website accordingly.