17 Best Early Childhood Education Certificate Online Courses & Bachelor Programs

Early childhood educators have a very important job; they help children develop foundational skills that they will continue to build on as they progress through their educational journey. Early childhood education courses and degree programs typically are centered around preparing teachers to instruct children from birth to the age of eight years. If you’re interested in receiving a degree in early childhood education or taking a few courses to learn additional information that can help you help your students, read through our reviews below. We’ve highlighted 17 different early childhood education online courses and bachelor programs for you to consider.

17 Best Early Childhood Courses

A child’s beginning experiences with school and learning are so important for so many different reasons. Children begin to form a basic understanding of the core subject areas, learn to read and write and grow in so many different ways. Since this is the first time most children have been in a classroom and with other peers their own age, they also learn other skills such as how to cooperate, how to listen, how to interact with others, and how to problem-solve.

In his Tedx Talk, Steve Zwolak shares how important early childhood education is for students.

Zwolak shares his LUME Approach, which is designed to help close the socioeconomic and racial achievement gap. Zwolak shares that the first five years of a child’s life are the most important in terms of their overall development, making early childhood education essential. He shares that teachers and school systems need a new vision to help make sure the needs of all children are being met in order to deliver the greatest outcomes possible.

Best Early Childhood Education Online Courses & Bachelor Programs

1. Understanding Child Development: From Synapse to Society (Coursera) →

2. Introduction to Early Childhood Montessori Education (Udemy) →

3. How to Translate Early Childhood Education into Practice (Udemy) →

4. Inspired by Reggio Emilia: A New Beginning (Udemy) →

5. Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s Degree (K-State Online) →

6. EC Management: Associate in Science (Florida State College at Jacksonville) →

7. Early Childhood Education: Bachelor of Science (Florida State College at Jacksonville) →

8. Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (Ashford University) →

9. Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education (Brandman University) →

10. Online BS in Early Childhood Administration (Purdue University Global) →

11. Early Childhood Education: Online Bachelor’s Degree (Mizzou Online) →

12. BS in Early Childhood Education, Concentration in Early Child Development (The University of Alabama) →

13. Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (Liberty University Online Programs) →

14. Bachelor of Science, Major in Early Childhood Development and Learning (Central Michigan University Global Campus) →

15. Early Childhood Education Associate Degree (Penn Foster) →

16. Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education (Ball State University) →

17. Bachelor of Science in Education/Early Childhood Education (University of Phoenix) →

Online Early Childhood Education Courses

If you have a busy schedule, finding online early education courses can be a true lifesaver. With an online course, you’ll find that it is easier to complete your coursework around your schedule. The online courses shared below are a great option for you to consider. They don’t require a huge time commitment and will provide you with the flexibility to complete tasks and lectures when your schedule allows.

1. Understanding Child Development: From Synapse to Society (Coursera) →

Understanding Child Development: From Synapse to Society

Price: $49

Duration: 6 weeks

This course aims to help participants learn more about child development and the different factors that can influence it. Participants will spend time learning about different areas of development, including cognitive, social-emotional, motor, and language development. The course is offered by Utrecht University through Coursera and takes place entirely online. Learners will earn a certificate of completion after finishing the course.

You will learn:

  • How children’s brains and motor functions develop
  • How children develop their cognitive skills and the ways these skills influence their actions and behaviors
  • About the development of language skills in young children
  • How children develop socially and emotionally
  • How to look at each piece of a child’s development to see a larger picture of them as a whole

User feedback:

“‘Development from synapse to society’ -reflecting its name very well- fulfilled my expectations. The fact that it combines subjects like human brain development, media literacy, sociocultural theory, language development, and the relationship between emotions and culture provided me with answers to many questions in my mind. This course makes it clear that development cannot be understood without combining researches in several fields of knowledge.”

Best for: Early childhood educators or other individuals interested in learning more about child development.

2. Introduction to EC Montessori Education (Udemy) → 

Introduction to Early Childhood Montessori Education

Price: $19.99

Duration: 1 hour

In this course, you’ll learn more about the five different areas of a Montessori curriculum. These areas are Math, Language, Sensorial, Cultural, and Practical Life. The course was developed by Patricia M. Hart, Ph.D., who was a Montessori teacher for 9 years and is currently on the faculty at the University of Dayton’s School of Education. Throughout the course, participants will have the opportunity to view early childhood students in a Montessori classroom as they learn and engage with the different aspects of the curriculum.

You will learn:

  • A general overview of Montessori practices and philosophies
  • The five curriculum areas included in a Montessori education
  • About different Montessori materials and activities that can be used in an early childhood classroom
  • Different strategies and ideas from prominent educators in Montessori classrooms

User feedback:

“This course has given me many new ideas as to how can I handle my class in the most interesting way possible. Children tend to get bored with the old methods of learning numbers or language concepts. These methods of Montessori are going to be very helpful.”

Best for: Teachers, parents, or those who homeschool their children who would like to learn more about Montessori education.

3. How to Translate Early Childhood Education into Practice (Udemy) → 

How to Translate Early Childhood Education into Practice

Price: $29.99

Duration: 1 hour and 3 minutes

This course from Udemy helps participants learn more about the themes and ideals of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Participants will learn how they can help set young children up for educational success. Some of the ways to help children succeed highlighted by this course include creating a positive learning environment, building strong relationships, and helping children feel empowered. There are no pre-requisites for this course, so it can be taken for anyone interested in learning more about EYFS.

You will learn:

  • What EYFS is
  • How to facilitate children’s learning by setting up a positive classroom environment
  • How to help children feel empowered and ready to succeed
  • How to develop relationships with your students
  • Different ways teachers and help young students learn and flourish

User feedback:

“This course was really helpful. The practical examples given made it come alive for me. Thanks for the downloadable documents too. I found them really useful. Money well spent. Thanks, Udemy.”

Best for: Teachers of others who are interested in learning more about early childhood educators and different ways they can help young children find academic success.

4. Inspired by Reggio Emilia: A New Beginning (Udemy) → 

Inspired by Reggio Emilia: A New Beginning

Price: $19.99

Duration: 2 hours and 27 minutes

Participants in this course will learn about the Reggio Emilia Approach, which is an approach to teaching that was developed by Loris Malguzzi after conducting extensive research on early childhood development. The course will share that the teacher’s job is to provide an environment where children are engaged and have the ability to socialize to help them learn. Lessons will also focus on the various ways that children can learn through play. After completing the course, learners will earn a Certificate of Participation.

You will learn:

  • What the Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education is
  • How to create an engaging classroom environment
  • The benefits of using open-ended materials with your students
  • How to involve parents in their child’s education
  • How to choose materials to help students forge relationships with their peers

User feedback:

“I appreciate the passion of the instructor. I was more involved as it wasn’t a dry lecture, but a passionate one. It was helpful to have the “wrap up” at the end to bring home the points of the videos.”

Best for: Any educators who would like to learn more about the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.

University Early Childhood Education Courses and Degree Programs

A degree in early childhood education will require a lot of time and hard work. However, it isn’t necessary to attend in-person classes in order to receive that degree. Online degree programs are a very convenient way to receive a degree in early childhood education. The degree programs and classes shared below will allow you to earn your degree from home while working another job or taking care of personal matters.

5. EC Education Bachelor’s Degree (K-State Online) →

Early Childhood Education Bachelor's Degree

Price: $402.50/credit hour

Duration: 120 credit hours

The Early Childhood Program from K-State Online is designed to prepare educators to work with children from birth through kindergarten. The program will also include information on working with children who have developmental delays, disabilities, or other special needs. In addition to the online courses through the program, learners will also participate in an in-classroom field experience with a local school.

You will learn:

  • How young children develop language skills
  • How to develop lessons and curriculum to teach early learners
  • How to form effective partnerships with parents
  • How to meet the needs of diverse learners and those with special needs
  • Practices to teach infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners

User feedback:

“I enjoyed my online experience at Kansas State. There were few technological issues, and there were many people willing to help in the instances that I required assistance.”

Best for: Individuals interested in pursuing a career in early childhood education.

6. Early Childhood Management: Associate in Science (Florida State College at Jacksonville) →

Early Childhood Management: Associate in Science

Price: $6,293

Duration: 60 credits

This associate program from Florida State College is designed for those who are interested in working with young children in child development centers or home child care centers. Students will learn how they can best plan to meet the cognitive, emotional, physical, and social needs of younger learners. When they sign up for this program, learners will have the option to choose to focus on management or education.

You will learn:

  • How to plan for culturally sensitive instruction
  • Ways to help children grow socially and emotionally
  • How to help young children develop their cognitive skills
  • Strategies to use for teaching children under the age of five

User feedback:

“Learning online through FSCJ has been very helpful. I work full time so I can only take online or late night classes. My professors have always been helpful with any questions I have had, and have made good use of online resources to help myself and other students.”

Best for: Individuals who would like to manage or work in a child development/care center.

7. Early Childhood Education: Bachelor of Science (Florida State College at Jacksonville) →

Early Childhood Education: Bachelor of Science

Price: $12,586

Duration: 120 credits

This program is designed for learners who would like to teach pre-k through third grade. Participants will engage in hands-on learning as they study how young children grow, develop, and learn. As part of the program, students will complete more than 150 hours of work in a classroom. Completion of the program will also involve compiling a portfolio to showcase their learning and skills, passing Florida Teacher Certification Exams, and participating in a student teaching internship.

You will learn:

  • How to plan developmentally appropriate lessons for students in pre-k through third grade
  • How to work with young learners through field experience
  • Classroom management, planning, delivery, and collaboration skills through the internship component of the program
  • How to instruct young students in public schools, private schools, preschools, and child development centers

User feedback:

“For the classes meant to be taken online, FSCJ has great online tools (like 24/7 online tutoring). The professors are interactive and find different ways to keep you engaged even though it is online. Some professors will even have one-on-one conference calls.”

Best for: Students who would like to earn a degree to teach students in pre-k through third grade.

8. Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (Ashford University) →

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education

Price: $510/credit

Duration: 120 credits

Another program to consider is the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. This program is broken down into a series of five-week courses. You will only need to complete one course at a time, so you’ll be able to devote all of your attention to one subject matter. Throughout the program, the participant will learn about early childhood development, how to plan and deliver appropriate instruction, and how to create programs for young learners.

You will learn:

  • Different teaching strategies that are developmentally appropriate for young learners
  • How to work with families, communities, and other teachers to ensure the needs of each child are being met
  • How to plan for inclusive lessons for different types of learners
  • How children develop and what teachers need to do to facilitate healthy development
  • How to observe and assess student learning

User feedback:

“I love the flexibility. I have a full-time job and I am a full-time college student online. I would not be able to complete school as fast as I am now otherwise. The instructors have been very helpful in the courses when I did not understand something.”

Best for: Individuals who would like to pursue a career in early childhood education that would like to be able to focus on one course at a time.

9. Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education (Brandman University) →

Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education

Price: $500/credit

Duration: 42 credits

Individuals interested in teaching children who are up to 8 years old can also consider the Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education program from Brandman University. Upon completion of this program, students will receive a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. In addition to the online classes, the program includes work in the field and two practicums. The core classes in the program focus on topics such as child development, how to teach younger learners, planning and assessing students, and more.

You will learn:

  • How to plan effective lessons across subject areas for early learners.
  • How to provide support for children with special needs and their families
  • How to meet the needs of English language learners
  • How to reflect on your teaching and make improvements for future lessons
  • Information about the health, nutrition, and safety needs of young children

User feedback:

“Very well structured online courses and very flexible. instructors are flexible and understanding of work-life balance.”

Best for: Learners who would like to receive an online degree in early childhood education.

10. Online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration (Purdue University Global) →

Online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration

Price: $371/credit

Duration: 180 credits

The Online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration Program from Purdue University Global is perfect for individuals who are interested in taking a leadership role in an early childhood center or program. This administration program is broken down into 10 weeks terms where learners will have the opportunity to explore new information and develop their skills. The content of the course includes a large focus on communication, thinking critically, and ethics. As part of the program, students will also need to complete five hours in the field, they will also have the option to complete an internship to gain more experience and knowledge through the program.

You will learn:

  • How to prepare for a future as a childcare center director, preschool teacher, preschool directors, after-school program work, and more
  • Business and management skills
  • Principals of child development
  • Critical thinking and communication skills

User feedback:

“Purdue global allows me to do school at home full time on my time. This helps me to hold down a full-time job and support my family while earning my degree.”

Best for: Individuals who would like to take a leadership role in a child care center or preschool.

11. Early Childhood Education: Online Bachelor’s Degree (Mizzou Online) →

Early Childhood Education: Online Bachelor's Degree

Price: $33,818

Duration: 120 credits

Upon completion of this program from the University of Missouri, students will be awarded a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education in a Mobile Society. The course content is delivered entirely online, so there are no on-campus classes required. However, there will be required in-person practicum courses for learners to apply their learning with young children. The courses in the program focus on a variety of topics revolving around child development and early childhood education including creating positive learning environments, working with families, and assessing student learning.

You will learn:

  • How young children learn best
  • What factors can impact a child’s ability to learn and their development
  • How to develop curriculum and plan lessons for students
  • How to work with peers and families for the good of the children in your class
  • Different ways to assess and monitor the learning of young children

User feedback:

“My experience with Mizzou Online was easy to follow and grasp. I never had a problem because they always sent out reminders through emails to help students keep up with their work.”

Best for: Individuals looking to pursue a degree in early childhood education who are unable to attend on-campus classes.

12. BS in Early Childhood Education, Concentration in Early Child Development (The University of Alabama) →

BS in Early Childhood Education, Concentration in Early Child Development

Price: $375/credit

Duration: 120 credits

The University of Alabama offers this online degree program in early childhood education with a concentration in early child development. The focus of the program centers around how children between the ages of birth and 8 develop emotionally, physically, socially, and cognitively. Courses in the program cover concepts such as design learning programs for preschoolers and building partnerships with families. There is also a one-semester internship component to the program.

You will learn:

  • How to support a child’s social and emotional development
  • How children develop cognitively
  • How to evaluate the effectiveness of different programs for young children
  • How to plan for instruction for young learners
  • How to work with families to help make sure children experience high levels of success

User feedback:

“I love online courses! Typically everything is so organized and easy to find. When the course is online it allows me to go at my own pace and do assignments around my work schedule.”

Best for: Future teachers who would like to work with children under the age of 8.

13. Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (Liberty University Online Programs) →

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

Price: $390/credit

Duration: 120 credits

Each course offered from Liberty University for the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education program is eight weeks and takes place completely online. The courses in this program are designed to help arm educators with the skills they’ll need to provide a strong foundation for children to build on as they progress through their school career. The program includes and optional field experience course for students who would like to receive more hands-on experience before teaching their own class of students.

You will learn:

  • Important milestones in child development
  • How to plan lessons to teach a variety of learners in a classroom
  • The different learning styles students may have
  • How to teach math to young learners
  • How to instruct students in phonics, reading, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary

User feedback:

“Excellent school and Professors. Really enjoy the online setup which makes it convenient for me to balance my work life and as well in pursuing my educational endeavors.”

Best for: Those looking to learn more about child development and pursue a career in early childhood education.

14. Bachelor of Science, Major in Early Childhood Development and Learning (Central Michigan University Global Campus) →

Bachelor of Science, Major in Early Childhood Development and Learning

Price: $417-$434/credit

Duration: 120 credits

Students looking to major in early childhood development and learning should consider this program from Central Michigan University’s Global Campus. The courses included in the program fulfill the course requirement from the Michigan Department of education for preschool and early childhood teaching. They also meet the training guidelines established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Course content includes information about child development, working with families, and ways to best help young children learn.

You will learn:

  • How children learn and develop
  • How children change as they move from the infant stage to the toddler stage to the preschool stage
  • How to plan and implement lessons
  • How to create developmentally appropriate assessments for young children
  • How to meet the needs of special education students

User feedback:

“I love its global campus! The advisor I had was so helpful and whenever I have an issue with technical things, they are very helpful. I love being able to take classes without having to leave my home and with all that has occurred these past months, my transition was seamless.”

Best for: Individuals who would like to work in preschools, Head Start programs, child care centers, and other non-elementary early childhood environments.

15. Early Childhood Education Associate Degree (Penn Foster) →

Early Childhood Education Associate Degree

Price: $4,137

Duration: 4 semesters

Penn Foster’s on-demand courses can help you complete your Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. There are no set schedules for your classes, so you’ll be able to complete courses and assignments around your schedule. The program also includes the opportunity to work in a childcare center to help participants gain essential experience before receiving their degree. The associate’s degree program is broken down into four semesters to courses, including topics such as how to care for infants and toddlers, how to help preschoolers learn, meeting the health, safety, and nutritional needs of students, and the importance of play for young children.

You will learn:

  • How to create and implement lesson plans
  • How to help young students develop language and literary skills
  • How to teach mathematical concepts to young students
  • How to work with family and community members
  • How to meet the needs of culturally diverse learners

User feedback:

“The online program is easy to follow and full of so much knowledge!! The instructors and customer service reps were so kind and friendly.”

Best for: Individuals with busy schedules who would like to a flexible program with no set dates/deadlines.

16. Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education (Ball State University) →

Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education

Price: $449/credit (Indiana residents), $661/credit (out-of-state residents)

Duration: 120 credits

This Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education program from Ball State University is designed to prepare teachers to work with children from birth to age 5. Upon graduation from the program, students will earn a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and a Minor in Early Childhood Special Education. These classes in the program are all online and are scheduled in such a way to accommodate child care professionals who are working full time.

You will learn:

  • How to create an ideal learning environment for young learners
  • How to observe and assess children’s learning and mastery of skills
  • How to plan for and instruct developmentally appropriate lessons
  • The ethical guidelines that should shape your instruction and interactions with students and families

User feedback:

“I have had several online courses in which the professors were in touch whenever it was needed. Every professor in these courses made it challenging but doable with a busy schedule!”

Best for: Childcare professionals who already have an associate’s degree in early childhood education.

17. Bachelor of Science in Education/Early Childhood Education (University of Phoenix) →

Bachelor of Science in Education/Early Childhood Education

Price: $398/credit

Duration: 120 credits

This program from the University of Phoenix is designed to help prepare teachers for pre-K through third grade. The program is built specifically for students who do not have any teaching experience. To make it easier for busier students to balance school and work, only one course needs to be taken at a time. Each course runs for about five weeks. 100 hours of in-person clinical experience are also included in the program to help students gain the experience and skills they’ll need to teach their own group of students.

You will learn:

  • How to incorporate research-based strategies into lesson plans
  • How to implement a lesson to meet the needs of students
  • How to assess student learning
  • Different ways to meet the needs of diverse learners in a classroom.

User feedback:

“I take all my classes online and love the flexibility. Being able to adjust my school schedule to work works best with me to the key to being successful.”

Best for: Students who do not already have any teaching experience who would like to receive a degree in early childhood education.

Closing Remarks

While not easy, the job of an early education teacher is essential. They are doing so much more than just sharing knowledge with their students; they are helping set their students up for future success as they continue their education. If you are interested in taking early childhood education classes or receiving an online degree in early childhood education, we hope our reviews have helped you identify courses and programs that are of interest to you.

You may also want to consider taking online courses on blended learning, social-emotional learning, or special education. The information you learn through these courses can also benefit your young learners.

Last Updated on May 20, 2021 by Emily

Emily/ author of the article

Emily is an active mother of two and a dedicated elementary school teacher. She believes the latest technology has made a huge impact on the quality of early learning and has worked hard to upgrade her classroom and her own children’s learning experience through technology.
She created this blog to make it easier for other teachers to take advantage of some of the best devices out there to upgrade their classrooms without having to do the research themselves. She loves to hear your tech-based problems and share her extensive experience :)

MyTechClassroom.com
Comments: 2
  1. Ms.

    Great information, Thank you ! :smile:

    1. Emily (author)

      Thanks, your reaction is important to me! :)

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