The job outlook for early childhood education professionals is expected to grow by 7% from 2018 to 2028 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With a continued focus on the importance of early childhood education, parents look for programs and providers with knowledge and skills that will make a positive and lasting impact on their children.

Who Are Early Childhood Educators?

Early childhood education professionals care for children birth through age eight. They work in a variety of settings including child care centers, schools, and in-home daycares. They are actively engaged in professional development to stay on top of trends and best practices in their field.

What Does a Bachelor’s Degree Mean for Early Childhood Educators?

Early childhood education professionals should have, at a minimum, an associate’s degree. Earning a bachelor’s degree in ECE opens doors to a variety of leadership opportunities in the field. Bachelor’s level ECE practitioners may be lead teachers in a preschool setting, serve as a childcare center director, or become an elementary school teacher. Not all programs lead to licensure, so it is important to choose a program that closely aligns with your career goals.

What Are the Best Online Bachelors in Early Childhood Education?

Online College Plan uses data from the National Center for Education Statistics to determine the best programs. We factor in academic reputation, affordability, and student satisfaction.

  1. MERIT: 226
    View Profile Average Cost: $10,692

    Our top choice for an online bachelor’s in early childhood education is offered by the University of Washington College of Education. UW offers a relevant, practice-based curriculum taught by experts in the field. Online students have access to tech support and personalized guidance throughout the program. Course content is available online at any time to maximize work/life balance. Full-time students can complete their degree in two years.

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  2. MERIT: 195
    View Profile Average Cost: $9,888

    The College of Arts, Sciences and Education at Florida International University offers an online early childhood education bachelor’s degree focused on learning and development of children from birth to age eight. Online courses are challenging and students are held to the same high standards as campus based students. Courses cover areas like the special needs of children and their families and early childhood educational programs. Every student is paired with a success coach, a valuable resource that helps students stay on track throughout their participating in the program.

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  3. MERIT: 185
    View Profile Average Cost: $20,376

    Vanguard University features a top early childhood education bachelor’s degree emphasizing Christian philosophy and values. Courses are taught by experienced ECE professionals. Semesters are comprised of two-seven week sessions. Courses cover areas like creative learning, transitional kindergarten programs, and teaching exceptional children. Graduates meet the formal educational requirements for the ACSI’s Preschool Associate Credential and the director’s certificate.

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  4. MERIT: 178
    View Profile Average Cost: $28,181

    Liberty University is an NCATE accredited institution offering a reputable online ECE bachelor’s degree program. Courses are offered in short, eight week sessions and there are no mandatory campus visits. There are no set log-in times so students can make time for school around their other personal and professional obligations. Students can take an optional field experience course that provides them with a valuable hands-on learning opportunity before they graduate.

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  5. MERIT: 174
    View Profile Average Cost: $21,221

    The online bachelor’s in early childhood education from Mount Vernon Nazarene University from Mount Vernon University is a flexible program for students working with children in preschool through grade five. With easy-to-access course materials, personal advisors, and 12 (or more!) weeks of student teaching, students have what they need to succeed. Graduates of this CAEP accredited ECE program are qualified to earn their teaching license in Ohio.

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  6. MERIT: 173
    View Profile Average Cost: $24,063

    The Adult Accelerated online early childhood education bachelor’s degree program from Eastern University was tailor made to meet the needs of working adults. Courses are delivered fully online and there are no on-campus residency requirements. New students are admitted to the program every seven weeks, so there is no need to wait on a traditional semester admittance. Class size is kept small so all students receive individualized attention. Cutting-edge research and best practices are interwoven throughout the curriculum.

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  7. MERIT: 173
    View Profile Average Cost: $24,085

    If you want a degree that will help you stand out from the competition, the online bachelor in early childhood from Northwestern College is a great choice. Courses are offered 100% online in short, eight week sessions. Practicum experience and clinical practice allow students to grow as an educator in a professional environment. Unique course offerings cover areas like supporting language and literacy development, individualized teaching and learning, and supporting dual language learners.

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  8. MERIT: 171
    View Profile Average Cost: $17,093

    The University of Nebraska Lincoln features a reputable online ECE bachelors degree program focused on children and families who are highly mobile. Military families, immigrant families, and families living in poverty need ECE educators who understand their unique needs. The program follows the professional preparation standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Students will learn how to develop effective partnerships with families and communities to positively influence the development of the children they care for. Graduates are successful working in programs like Head Start and childcare centers and homes.

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  9. MERIT: 168
    View Profile Average Cost: $13,533

    Ball State University is one of the top colleges for ECE. They offer a bachelor’s in early childhood education with a built-in minor in early childhood special education. With a flexible, asynchronous online format, students can complete assignments on their own schedule while meeting weekly deadlines. This CAEP accredited program is taught by faculty known throughout the country for their ECE research and activity in the field.

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  10. MERIT: 161
    View Profile Average Cost: $17,088

    Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College developed an online ECE program for students who want to work with children preschool-3rd grade and in early childhood special education. Students participate in diverse placements within public and private schools to gain valuable classroom experience. Courses are taught by veteran educators who are able to meet the needs of online adult learners. Both accelerated, eight-week courses and traditional 16-week courses are available. Students can save money by applying for numerous financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

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  11. MERIT: 161
    View Profile Average Cost: $23,055

    The bachelors in early childhood education from California Baptist University prepares students for leadership roles in the ECE field. Students will learn various assessments and developmentally appropriate learning environments that enhance children’s learning potential. Students can complete their degree in just 16 months. Graduates are successful in early intervention, research, advocacy, and education.

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  12. MERIT: 154
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,108

    The Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro offers two unique online ECE bachelors degree programs. The Birth through Kindergarten Online Teacher Licensure and the Early Care and Education Online programs are for students with their associates degree from a participating North Carolina community college. Courses are taught by experienced faculty in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. All students have access to professional development and networking opportunities that provide additional enrichment. New students are admitted during the fall and spring semesters.

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  13. MERIT: 149
    View Profile Average Cost: $37,627

    The early childhood education bachelors program at Lynn University prepares students to teach children from birth through age three. Students will learn cutting-edge teaching strategies, emotional and social supports, and strategies to improve child and parent outcomes. All students benefit from internship opportunities that align with their professional goals. Students will explore a variety of technologies to enhance their classrooms.

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  14. MERIT: 148
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,635

    To successfully work with children from birth through age eight, ECE professionals need skills in developmentally appropriate practices, curriculum, and assessment. The bachelor of early childhood education from Minot State University gives students the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to positively impact young lives. Small class sizes means students receive individualized attention and quality learning relationships. The curriculum blends theory with practical application.

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  15. MERIT: 147
    View Profile Average Cost: $15,062

    Regent University offers an affordable online ECE bachelors degree program through the College of Arts and Sciences. All courses are offered online in convenient eight-week sessions and there are no residency requirements. Students will learn to create effective lesson plans, enhance their assessment techniques, and study best practices in child care center designs and services. Courses cover areas like ethics, grant writing, wellness, and cross-cultural communication. Graduates have taken exciting roles as preschool teachers, parent educators, and education consultants.

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  16. MERIT: 144
    View Profile Average Cost: $23,731

    The online Early Childhood Education bachelors degree program from Southwestern University is a vibrant program that incorporates hands-on application and real-life scenarios into online courses. Students can transfer in up to 94 credit hours, saving both time and money. All courses are taught online, allowing students maximum flexibility for other obligations. Graduates are eligible for licensure to teach children birth through age eight in Kansas.

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  17. MERIT: 134
    View Profile Average Cost: $5,587

    Fayetteville University offers an innovative ECE bachelors degree program for students who want to teach children from birth to kindergarten in public or private settings. Students learn how to become leaders in their classroom, strengthen family and community relationships, and develop a meaningful curriculum. The program leads to a North Carolina Teaching License. Graduates are also prepared to work in mental health agencies, childcare resource and referral agencies, and developmental programs.

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  18. MERIT: 128
    View Profile Average Cost: $21,332

    Grand Canyon University features one of the top bachelor of ECE programs in the country. Students can work and study on their own schedule with no on-campus residency requirements. Courses are taught by experienced faculty and instructors who are passionate about ECE. Programming is career-oriented so you can be confident you can apply your knowledge and skills to the classroom. Graduates work in a variety of settings including daycares, schools, and social service agencies.

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  19. MERIT: 111
    View Profile Average Cost: $23,781

    The Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Brandman University is a hands-on program that includes fieldwork and two practicums. Students will gain skills that complement their previous training and education in ECE while preparing them for career advancement. Courses cover areas like social and emotional competence, dual language learners, and diversity. Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA for any completed undergraduate work.

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  20. MERIT: 90
    View Profile Average Cost: $29,382

    National University features a bachelor in early childhood education emphasizing modern theory and perspectives and evidence based research. Students will learn to design appropriate learning environments, develop curricula, and strategies that maximize learning outcomes. Students take one course at a time, each lasting four weeks, to quickly move through the program. Applications are accepted year round and there are no on-campus residency requirements.

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