Job opportunities in the field of early childhood education (ECE) are on a steady growth path. We have compiled a list of 10 colleges where students can earn their early childhood education degree online on a budget.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for kindergarten and elementary teachers will likely increase over the next decade as more instructors reach retirement age. Preschool and Childcare Center Directors are predicted to see a 7% growth in employment between 2018 and 2028.
Students seeking an early childhood education major should naturally love interacting with children and have a passion to help them learn and thrive, as practically all employment in this field includes hands-on engagement with kids.
Earning a degree in early childhood education can lead to career options in a sector that significantly impacts children’s lives.
Read on to learn more about the top cheapest degrees for early childhood education and the job outlook
Types of Degrees Available in Early Childhood Education
|Degree||Credit||General Program Length|
|Certificate||24 credits||less than a year|
|Associate Degree||60-70||2 years|
|Bachelor’s Degree||120 credits||4 years|
|Master’s Degree||50-70 credits and research paper||1-3 years|
|Doctorate||coursework and thesis.||Minimum 4 years|
10 cheapest online degrees in early childhood education starting at $ 200 Tuition Per Credit Hour
1. Aspen University (Denver, CO)
Tuition Rates: $24,800
Aspen University is a regionally accredited, nonprofit institution offering online degrees in early childhood education that you can complete at your own pace. The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (BSE) is designed to prepare students to work with children from birth through kindergarten. Students will learn how to create developmentally appropriate environments and use effective teaching methods while developing their own professional growth as educators.
2. Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC)
Tuition per Semester: Resident of NC– $ 3,534.90
Non-Resident of NC– $5,534.90
Western Carolina University offers an online Bachelor of Science in birth-kindergarten Education. The degree is designed to prepare students to work with young children, including infants and toddlers. Courses cover topics such as child development, teaching strategies, and classroom management techniques.
3. Ashworth College (San Diego, California)
Tuition : $4,197
Ashworth College is a for-profit college with Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma campuses. The school’s online degree programs are offered through eCampus and are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
The college offers an online degree program in early childhood education that can be completed at either the associate or bachelor’s level: Online Early Childhood Education Associate Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.
The online associate degree program in early childhood education provides a comprehensive curriculum covering child development theory and practice. Students will learn about different methods of educating young children and designing learning environments to meet their needs.
The bachelor’s degree program requires 60 credits to complete, including 30 credits from core courses such as Lifespan Developmental Psychology, Early Childhood Growth & Development, Child Abuse Prevention Training Program Implementation Requirements Within Early Childhood Settings, and more!
4. South Dakota State University (Brookings, SD)
Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $354.75
If you’re looking for an online degree in early childhood education but aren’t sure if it’s possible to find one that won’t cost too much, South Dakota State University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education at a reasonable tuition price.
The curriculum consists of courses like “Teaching Young Children” and “Child Development,” as well as fieldwork opportunities designed to give students hands-on experience with children during their training. In addition, students may need to purchase additional materials such as art supplies or toys before they begin working with young children.
5. Florida International University (Miami, FL)
Tuition Per Credit Hour + Fees: In-State– $ $228.81
Online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degrees are available from Florida International University. The 120-credit program covers a wide range of topics, including literacy development, children with special needs, assessment methodologies, cultural diversity, and classroom management, to name a few. Students can choose to specialize in History and Play Education or Social Competence Development.
The online program maintains the same level of rigor and involvement as the on-campus program and focuses on the whole child’s development. Graduates work in fields such as childcare, child development, and early education for preschool and elementary school children.
6. Mayville State University (Mayville, ND)
Annual Tuition: $10,065
Mayville State University is a public university in Mayville, North Dakota. The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in early childhood education.
The bachelor’s program requires 120 hours of coursework to complete and can be completed within four years. The master’s program requires 30 credit hours to complete and can be completed within one year if you transfer the credits from your associate degree or 60 credit hours if you don’t have any previous college experience.
7. Fort Hays State University (Hays, Kansas)
Tuition per credit: $237.72
Fort Hays State University offers an online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, which is designed to prepare students for careers as teacher assistants or preschool teachers. This program also prepares students to transfer into a four-year university.
This online bachelor’s degree in early childhood education offers three different pathways: the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Education. The Bachelor of Arts requires 18 credit hours in liberal arts core courses and 12 credit hours in area studies courses.
8. University of the Cumberlands (WILLIAMSBURG, KY))
Tuition per credit hour: $335
The University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, is a private liberal arts university with a strong focus on Christian values. It was founded in 1906 and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university offers a variety of online degree programs, from associates to doctorate degrees.
The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education online degree at the University of the Cumberlands focuses on meeting the needs of children ages 0–6 years old through teacher training courses that cover child development theories, educational foundations, and strategies used to teach young learners while incorporating Christian values into classroom activities.
9. Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX)
Tuition per credit Hour: Resident-$8,653
Texas Tech University is a regionally accredited public university that offers several online degrees, including an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Care and Education. The program is made up of 120 credit hours and includes 36 core courses and 30 elective courses. The degree is intended to prepare students for careers as teachers in early childhood education settings, including preschools, daycares, Head Start programs, and family child care homes.
10. Brandman University (Irvine, California)
Tuition per credit: $500
Brandman University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education program prepares students to be effective preschool instructors. They learn to give inclusive care and education to children in preschool and elementary school as a result of their high-quality education. The 42-credit course combines theory, practicum, fieldwork, and a capstone project to help students exhibit their newly acquired knowledge, abilities, and dispositions.
Job and outlook Salary for people with a Degree in Early Childhood Education
The table and chart below show the top careers in this industry, as well as how much money these professionals make, job growth projections, and more.
SOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program
|Job Title||Annual Mean Wage|
|Education and Childcare Administrators, Preschool and Daycare||$53,690|
|Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education||$60,210|
|Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education||$34,650|
|Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education||$63,930|
Conclusion: Getting a qualification in Early Childhood Education can lead to steady employment opportunities. This blog lists some affordable online programs that can lead to a degree of your choice.