For those with an interest in the development and education of young children, a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education might be a good fit. A Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education degree opens the door to careers in both teaching and administration in a wide variety of settings including preschools, churches, private schools, social service agencies, and, in some cases, public schools. As noted below, some programs can lead to teacher licensure for pre-K through third grade but requirements vary by state so each student is encouraged to check with their own state’s department of education licensing requirements if teaching certification is desired. Non-licensure programs can also lead to teaching careers in every sector except for public schools. Below is a list of schools that offer an online bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education taking only cost into consideration. These are the cheapest online bachelor programs in Early Childhood Education. Program tuition does not include fees — check with the institution for a complete list of costs. Our data was taken from the university websites.
#1. Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University is a public university based in Hays, KS, with nearly 12,000 students, half of whom pursue online degrees through the “Virtual College.” The “Virtual College” opened in 1999, offering 19 bachelor’s degrees and 10 master’s degrees entirely online. FHSU’s Bachelor of Science in Education – Early Childhood Unified prepares students for careers in early childhood programs as teachers, administrators, or coordinators. Because this program is “Early Childhood Unified” graduates are qualified to teach regular and special education from birth through third grade in the state of Kansas. Students who live outside of Kansas may contact their state of residence Department of Education to learn more about their licensing transfer requirements. Degree completion requires 126 credits, with 40 credits in the Major, 20 credits in Professional Studies Courses, and 12 credits in Student Teaching within the students’ local area. Major courses include Human Growth and Development, Educating Exceptional Students, Emergent Literacy, Behavior Strategies and Support, and Educational Psychology.
Accreditation: Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $26,112
#2. Florida International University
A public research university based in Miami-Dade County, FL, Florida International University enrolls over 54,000 students each year. FIU offers 12 fully online bachelor degree programs including a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. This degree is a non-licensure program and prepares graduates to work in educational settings with children from birth to age 5. Graduates will be well-versed in general and early education theory and practice, as well as in the cognitive, language and social/emotional development of young children. Major courses include 30 credits in the professional education area, including Classroom Management, Educational Psychology, ESOL Principles and Practices, and Special Needs of Children and their Families, and 30 credits in the area of early development, including Early Social and Emotional Development, Family Literacy and the Young Child, and Assessment, Evaluation and Diagnosis of the Young Child. 120 credits are required for graduation.
Accreditation: Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $39,572
#3. Granite State College
Granite State College is a part of the state university system in New Hampshire that specializes in making online degrees accessible for adult students. GSC’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree prepares graduates to teach in educational settings and public schools from nursery through grade three. This program emphasizes mentorship of the student by professionals within the field and the hands-on experience of working with children in an educational setting. Courses include Conducting Critical Inquiry, Child Development, the Dynamic Role of the Special Educator, Special Education Law, and Behavioral Interventions in Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education. In the final semester students participate in a Culminating Teacher Experience and Seminar. Graduates from this program receive teacher certification in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education, however those who do not reside in New Hampshire should check with their state’s licensure requirements for teacher certification.
Accreditation: Granite State College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Tuition: $40,200
#4. Indiana Wesleyan University
A private Christian university, Indiana Wesleyan University is based in Marion, IN and offers both online and on- campus degrees at every level. IWU’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree prepares graduates to promote child development and learning, to build family and community relationships, and to use content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum. This program includes a minor in Reading and offers both a licensure and non-licensure track. Students who seek teaching licensure in the state of Indiana must complete a full-time 16-week clinical experience in a preschool – third grade educational setting. Prerequisite courses and Reading courses for both tracks include Child Growth and Development, Early Childhood Literacy, Instructional Tools for the Teaching of Reading, and Teaching Reading Through Literature for Children. Major courses include Guiding Early Childhood Curriculum, Planning, Instruction, and Assessment for Exceptional Learners in Early Childhood, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Early Childhood, and Health, Safety, and Nutrition. Two additional courses in the licensure track are Educational Psychology for Early Learners, and Student Teaching in the Pre-K/Primary Grades. Students entering this degree program must have 48 prior college credits and complete 120 credits for graduation.
Accreditation: Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $44,160
#5. Bluefield College
Bluefield College is a small private Christian school located in Bluefield, VA that began offering online degrees in 2011. Bluefield’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education requires 126 credits for degree completion and emphasizes field experience throughout the program. The initial field experience course is taken at the beginning of the program and gives students 20 hours of hands-on experience under the supervision of a mentor teacher or administrator in an educational setting for young children anywhere from birth to age 8. In the final year of the program students choose between two practicums depending on area of interest. The Early Childhood Management Practicum focuses on the director’s role in educational programs in development, evaluation, hiring and recruiting. Or, for those interested in teaching, the Early Childhood Practicum gives students the opportunity to put theory into practice under the supervision of a mentor teacher. Both practicums provide 120 hours of field experience. Other major courses include Body-Brain Based Learning, Designing Physical Environments, Literature of Children and Adolescence, and Family, School and Community Involvement. This is a non-licensure program that prepares graduates for work as preschool teachers, child care administrators or directors, home-based service providers, and as social services coordinators among many others.
Accreditation: Bluefield College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $45,990
#6. Liberty University
Based in Lynchburg, VA, Liberty University is a private Christian university that has a large online degree program offering over 500 degrees to more than 94,000 students. Liberty’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education Interdisciplinary Studies degree prepares graduates for careers in preschools, church education programs, tutoring, and homeschooling or for further graduate work in education. In addition to focusing on educational theories and practices in the public and private sector, this degree also examines practices in Christian education in Christian schools, churches, and homes. This degree requires 120 credits for graduation which includes 45 credits within the Early Childhood Education major. Courses include Principles of Education, Classroom Management for Teachers, Wellness in the Early Childhood Setting, and Psychology of Childhood. A 90-hour practicum is optional and prior learning and experience may be assessed for credit towards degree completion.
Accreditation: Liberty University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $46,800
#7. Regent University Online
Regent University is a private Christian research university based in Virginia Beach, VA. Regent’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education is a non-licensure degree that requires 120 credits for graduation. The program emphasizes both educational theory and practice as well as business operations, preparing graduates to work in multiple settings including preschools, churches, and social service agencies, as well as in education consulting and community care licensing. Major courses include Child and Adolescent Growth and Development, Teaching Content to Children, Administration of Childcare Programs, and Characteristics of Students with Disabilities. In addition, 15 credits are required in the area of Business Operations and Principles. Students may choose from courses such as Introduction to Business, Business Law, Cross-Cultural Communication, and Principles of Management. 34 credits are required in open electives allowing students to tailor the degree to particular interests.
Accreditation: Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $47,400
#8. University of Cincinnati
Part of the University System of Ohio, the University of Cincinnati is the second largest university in Ohio with over 44,000 students enrolled each year. Their Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education degree prepares graduates for careers as Head Start teachers, infant/toddler specialists, preschool teachers, or as program administrators in early childhood education settings. This degree emphasizes practical learning and requires access to children from birth to age 5 in an educational setting throughout the program with nearly every course including at least one fieldwork assignment in addition to the Student Teaching Practicum and Internship. Major courses include Educational Psychology, Introductory Child Development, Infant and Toddler Care and Education and Administration and Leadership in Early Care and Education. Students may choose from three focus areas: Pre-K, Infant-Toddler, or Administration with three courses in each focus area. This degree can lead to teaching licensure for pre-K programs in the state of Ohio but does not lead to kindergarten or elementary teaching licensure. Students who reside outside of Ohio and wish to seek pre-K licensure should consult their own state’s department of education requirements.
Accreditation: The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $48,480
#9. University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix is a for-profit university based in Phoenix, AZ with over 140,000 students enrolled in programs on 91 campuses in addition to online degree programs. Their Bachelor of Science in Education/Early Childhood Education degree is offered entirely online but requires field education and student teaching in students’ local areas throughout the program. This degree leads to certification in teaching birth through grade 3 and is in line with national teaching standards, however requirements can vary state to state so students should check with their own state’s department of education for specific licensure requirements. In addition to the Early Childhood Student Teaching course requirement, core courses include Instructional Strategies for Early Childhood Education, Ethics and Social Responsibility in Education, Developmentally-effective Learning Environments, Community and Family Engagement, and Early Childhood Literacy Development. This degree requires 120 credits for graduation.
Accreditation: The University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Tuition: $49,710
#10. Grand Canyon University
A private for-profit Christian research university based in Phoenix, AZ, Grand Canyon University has over 60,000 students enrolled in online degree programs. GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education prepares students for careers in teaching children from birth through grade 3 emphasizing practical application throughout the program with internship requirements and student teaching opportunities. This degree follows all national teaching standards and can lead to teaching certification for birth through third grade in the state of Arizona. Students who live outside of Arizona are encouraged to check with their state’s department of education licensing requirements. Major courses make up 80 credits of the degree and include Educational Psychology in Early Childhood, Child Guidance, Management, and the Environment, Quality Practices for Typical and Atypical Behaviors of Young Children, Early Literacy Development, and Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom. Most online courses are seven weeks in length with 120 credits required for graduation.
Accreditation: Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Tuition: $52,800