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2022 Most Affordable Early Childhood Education Degrees Online

By the OnlineU team | Updated 9/7/2022
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An online degree in early childhood education puts students on the path to work with children, ranging from birth to third grade. The coursework looks at child development from a variety of factors, including psychology, curriculum design, behavioral analysis, and education policy. Some online programs even provide a direct path to become a certified teacher, while others prepare graduates for work with child care centers, community health networks, or child counseling services. 

Alternative degrees can prepare students for a wider variety of career opportunities in similar fields. For example, an elementary education degree focuses on the age groups just after early childhood education, ranging between preschool and middle school. If a student is less interested in teaching, there are child development degrees that look at the environmental and cultural influences of early childhood but without a central focus on academia. 

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Online Early Childhood Education Bachelor's Degrees You May Be Interested In


All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 North Seattle College Seattle (WA) $3,938
# 2 #2 Aspen University Denver (CO) $5,400
# 3 #3 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg (KY) $5,970
# 4 #4 Fort Hays State University Hays (KS) $6,806
# 5 #5 Wichita State University Wichita (KS) $6,843
# 6 #6 Western Carolina University Cullowhee (NC) $6,974
# 7 #7 Athens State University Athens (AL) $6,975
# 8 #8 University of the Potomac Multiple Locations $7,200
# 9 #9 Florida Gateway College Lake City (FL) $7,216
# 10 #10 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville (FL) $7,263
#1
#1

North Seattle College

Seattle (WA)
Annual Tuition: $3,938
Annual Tuition: $3,938
Annual Tuition: $3,938

North Seattle College (North) is a medium-sized, public institution offering an Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Applied Science, which prepares students for administrative, teaching, and leadership positions in academia and child services. Core classes include Guiding Behavior, Health, Safety and Nutrition, and Curriculum Development. A capstone project is also required, and it should demonstrate a student's ability to compile research and present their teaching philosophy. Overall, 180 credits are required to graduate, all of which long-distance learners can earn through Canvas. Full-time students can finish the degree in two to three years, depending on whether they have transferable credits.

This online degree at North is offered in a fully online or hybrid format. Students that live within 100 miles of the school are required to attend in-person workshops, ranging from two times weekly for the hybrid program and once per quarter for the online program. Those outside that radius can complete all meetings through Zoom. NSC offers a variety of services for hybrid and online students including career advising, counseling, IT support, and tutoring.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 51%
  • Graduation Rate: 25%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 928
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Phone #: (206) 934-3600

Example Classes: Anti-Bias Education, Children and Media, Creative Expression, Information Literacy for Undergraduate Research, Language, Literacy and Communication, Partnership and Collaboration in Early Care and Education

#2
#2

Aspen University

Denver (CO)
Annual Tuition: $5,400
Annual Tuition: $5,400
Annual Tuition: $5,400

Aspen University (Aspen) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Studies that requires 120 credit hours. Completion time varies from two to four years, depending on pre-existing credits. The curriculum follows professional standards set by the Association for the Education of Young Children. Students take core courses that include Early Childhood Research, Infant and Toddler Mental Health, and Strategies for Classroom Management, with the purpose of gaining a multi-faceted understanding of child development and education psychology. A senior capstone project is also required for graduation. Importantly, the program is not intended to be a teacher certification program or lead to state licensure. Instead, it prepares graduates for work in child care organizations, early childhood education programs, private kindergartens, or elementary schools.

Aspen is a medium-sized, private institution with online coursework hosted on Brightspace, a popular learning management system. Although classwork follows an asynchronous format, students are still expected to meet assignment and project deadlines. Student services include academic and career counseling.

  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 0%
  • Graduation Rate: 0%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,413
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,356
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Phone #: (303) 333-4224

Example Classes: Children with Special Needs, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Preschool and School Age Settings, Infant and Toddler Mental Health, Play and Learning for the Preschool Child, Professionalism and Growth in the Early Childhood Field

#3
#3

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg (KY)
Annual Tuition: $5,970
Annual Tuition: $5,970
Annual Tuition: $5,970

The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education from University of the Cumberlands (UC) is an online program requiring 120 credits hours. This program focuses on all aspects of teaching young children in an academic environment. Blackboard is the primary learning management system used for this program, and it includes courses such as Early Childhood Curriculum and Methods, Teaching Infants and Toddlers, and Early Childhood Administration and Leadership. All full-time students can complete the required coursework in three to four years. They are also required to complete an in-person, supervised student teaching session to gain hands-on skills in a functioning classroom.

UC is a medium-sized, private, Christian institution offering counseling services for mental health and career advancement. Graduates of the bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary early childhood education may go on to explore careers as a classroom teacher for preschool to kindergarten students.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,640
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 7,852
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (606) 549-2200

Example Classes: Health and Safety Issues and Services, Hispanic Popular Culture, Instructional and Assistive Technology, Methods and Materials for teaching Kindergarten, Teaching Infants and Toddlers, Working with Parents and Children of all Cultures

#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $6,806
Annual Tuition: $6,806
Annual Tuition: $6,806

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a medium-sized, public institution with a Bachelor of Science in Education - Early Childhood Unified that prepares students for a teacher's license in Kansas, where the school is located. Students may also complete the degree from other states through 100% online coursework, but they may need to adhere to different licensure requirements. Students may also go on to become administrators or education coordinators. All 126 credits must be completed — including courses in Curriculum and Assessment, Literacy Methods, and Educational Psychology, as well as a student teaching practicum. The program also includes special education coursework, which indicates a "unified" approach.

FHSU offers online students academic advising, career services, and support via counseling services. All remote learning coursework is completed through Blackboard's learning management system in collaboration with the school's Teaching Innovation and Learning Technologies (TILT) department. Students generally take four years to graduate on a full-time schedule.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,411
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,453
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (785) 628-4000

Example Classes: Child Care Management & Admin, Child Care Management & Administration, Creative Expressions Methods, Diverse Learners, Educating Exceptional Students, Educational Psychology, Programs, Procedures, & Issues in Special Education

#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $6,843
Annual Tuition: $6,843
Annual Tuition: $6,843

The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education from Wichita State University (WSU) is another Kansas-based licensure program for aspiring Pre-K to sixth grade educators through their Teacher Apprentice Program. Courses are taken 100% online, and students can complete them in four years on a full-time study schedule. They also offer flexible schedules for students to maintain their work as a paraeducator. WSU is a medium-sized, public university with student services in online academic advising.

The curriculum for this online program is designed in an "inverted" way, meaning professional teaching skills are taught at the onset instead of later in the program. For this reason, many students choose this program in order to gain work as a full-time early childhood educator in public and private schools. Required classes include Content Literacy, Professional Collaboration in Schools and Communities, and Engaging and Motivating the Learner. Students must also complete a 16-week internship in an education environment.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1270
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,272
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 632
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (316) 978-3456

Example Classes: Classroom Management and Pedagogy, Early Childhood Unified Assessment and Methods: Infants, Toddlers and Preschool (B-PreK), Family and Professional Collaboration, Inquiry Based Learning, Math for Exceptionalities, Special Education Law

#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $6,974
Annual Tuition: $6,974
Annual Tuition: $6,974

Western Carolina University (WCU), a public university with a medium-sized student population, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Birth-Kindergarten - Early Childhood that prepares students for professional work in a non-public school setting through the study of the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs of young children. The program requires 42 credits for liberal studies, 30 credits for birth-kindergarten core courses, and 9-15 credits of elective courses — all of which can be completed in four years or less on a full-time schedule. Core coursework includes Family Collaborative Planning, Environments for Young Children, and STEM in the Early Years. A capstone practicum is required before graduating. It should be noted that this program is not a track to become a licensed teacher in public schools.

WCU offers a separate distance learning tuition and fee rate for online students. Online coursework is hosted on Canvas and may follow a blended synchronous and asynchronous format. Additionally, online students have access to tutoring support, library and technology resources, career services, and a distance orientation. Undergraduate distance learning programs are not intended for first-year students who want to register full time.

  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 62%
  • Acceptance Rate: 39%
  • Average SATs: 1020 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,691
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 704
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (828) 227-7100

Example Classes: Adult-Child Interaction, Infant Development and Curriculum, Promoting Social-Emotional Competence, The Exceptional Child

#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $6,975
Annual Tuition: $6,975
Annual Tuition: $6,975

Athens State University (Athens State) is a medium-sized, public institution with two options for early childhood education degrees. The Bachelor of Science in Education - Educational Studies - Early Childhood Education provides students with the foundational knowledge and skills used in nontraditional classroom settings, but it does not lead to a teaching license. Courses cover general childhood development, such as Language Development, Primary Reading, and Classroom Management. Graduates may go on to seek employment in community organizations, nonprofits, or after school programs.

An alternative track would be the Bachelor of Science in Education - Technical Education - Early Instructor. With this option, students explore effective learning techniques to prepare for careers in a wide variety of industries, including government agencies, private companies, and healthcare. At Athens State, 124 credits are required for both degrees, which most students complete in four years on a full-time schedule. Furthemore, both programs can be completed entirely online through Blackboard.

  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,833
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 163
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (256) 233-8100

Example Classes: Children’s Constructions of Relationships through Arithmetic & Math Reasoning, Children’s Creative Experiences, Children’s Health and Safety, Early Brain Development, Educating Exceptional Children, Perspectives on Child Maltreatment & Child Advocacy

#8
#8

University of the Potomac

Multiple Locations
Annual Tuition: $7,200
Annual Tuition: $7,200
Annual Tuition: $7,200

University of the Potomac (UOTP) is a small, private institution featuring career development services and student advising through personal counseling. UOTP's Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Development is an online degree program that focuses on the development of academic, social, and personal skills for children from birth to third grade. Coursework includes Early Childhood Intervention, Behavior Management for Special Needs, and Inclusive Care of Infants and Toddlers. A supervised field experience is also required of all students. Classes can be taken online through Blackboard, but the choice is left to the students as to whether they want to attend classes fully online or through a hybrid learning format that involves campus visits.

Overall, UOTP's 120-credit hour program may take students approximately four years while studying at a full-time pace. Students may go on to seek employment as childcare center directors, nannies, or preschool and kindergarten teachers.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 31%
  • Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 56
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 42
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
#9
#9

Florida Gateway College

Lake City (FL)
Annual Tuition: $7,216
Annual Tuition: $7,216
Annual Tuition: $7,216

Florida Gateway College (FGC) is a medium-sized, public institution offering a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. This online program aims to provide a deeper understanding of classroom techniques by helping students develop their own teaching philosophies. Core classes include Education and Development of Young Children, Language Development, and Creative Arts for Preschool Education. Field experience is also required in the form of an in-person internship. Career outcomes include public or private school teacher or community resource manager.

At FGC, students take online coursework at either a full- or part-time pace, and they generally finish their degree in around two years. The degree requires 120 credits, including general education classes, electives, and upper division courses. FGC uses Blackboard for their coursework, which is 100% online. Academic advising and career services are available for all distance learning students.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,199
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (386) 752-1822

Example Classes: Designing and Implementing a Blended Curriculum, Education and Development of Young Children, Integrated Math and Science in Early Childhood, Parents as Teachers/Field Experience, Principles and Methods for Teaching Early Childhood Social Studies, Young Children with Special Needs

#10
#10
Annual Tuition: $7,263
Annual Tuition: $7,263
Annual Tuition: $7,263

Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education that features a curriculum based on practical experience for aspiring teachers. Students utilize Canvas for all 120 credits required for graduation. Coursework features core classes, such as Child Growth and Development, Observing and Recording Child Behavior, and Appropriate Strategies for Learners with Special Needs. In order to ensure students have sufficient training to meet the needs of Florida's teacher education requirements, 150 hours of fieldwork is required. Graduates can gain employment in public or private schools, preschools, and child development centers.

At FSCJ, most students study on a full-time schedule and complete all requirements within four years. As a large, public university, they offer robust student services, including career development, academic advising, and a First Year Experience featuring scheduled experiences outside of the classroom.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 71%
  • Graduation Rate: 37%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,340
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Cognitive Experiences for Young Children, Early Literacy for Young Children, Integrated Science & Math for Young Children, Internship Early Childhood, Linking Literacy & Assessment, Observing & Recording Behavior, Teaching English Language Learners

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