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Home > Education and Child Care > Early Childhood Education Associate Degree

Early Childhood Education Degree

Make a difference in the lives of children and families with an early childhood education degree. Today more than ever, society is placing a higher value on improving early childhood learning — so now is an exciting time to get into this field! Follow your career goals and make school work for you with on-demand courses and affordable tuition.​

Work with Leading Employers to Gain Valuable Work Experience

In this program, you can gain practical field experience by working in a licensed childcare center.​ Penn Foster College is an official partner of Bright Horizons Family Solutions and Learning Care Group. Through our partners, you may be able to be placed in a Bright Horizons center or in a center under the Learning Care Group’s family of brands for the externship portion of the program.
Gain Valuable Work Experience
early childhood education

Why Become an Early Childhood Educator?

With Penn Foster College, earning college credits and a full degree is within reach. Our Early Childhood Education program will provide the foundational concepts that are used by ECE teachers every day — including how to make lesson plans and promote language, literacy, and preschool social skills development​ — all at a price that fits your budget. With Penn Foster’s Early Childhood Education Associate Degree program, you pay up to $79 per credit and study on your schedule. In this affordable program, you have no set class schedules and can access on-demand support.
Why Choose Penn Foster College?
At up to $79 per credit, and 3 easy payment plans to choose from, we can help you fit college into your budget.
On-Demand Learning
On-Demand Learning
No set class schedules so you decide the pace and study when you can. Access ECE teachers and coaches through text, phone and email or chat with classmates online.
Prepare for in-demand careers
Prepare for in-demand careers
You can gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials to move toward success along a new or existing career path.
Mobile Friendly
Mobile-Friendly Flexibility
Our 24/7, on-demand learning platform is easy to use – at home or on the go – and you decide when to start and take your classes.
Personalized Goal Tracking
Personalized Goal Tracking
With our progress-tracking and goal-setting tools, you can customize your study and exam schedule to help meet your personal goals.
All-Inclusive Program
Your tuition includes access to instructors and teaching assistants, all of your textbooks, unlimited career support and even a personal Success Coach!
Student Experience
A Customized Learning Experience
With interactive, mobile-friendly courses, progress-tracking and goal-setting tools, and personal coaches to help you succeed, the Penn Foster Experience (PFx) is an online learning experience like no other!

Early Childhood Education Course Details

Take courses in curriculum development for young children, guidance procedures, and how to promote language, literacy, and social skills development that can help you prepare for a career as an early childhood education teacher.​ Penn Foster College will help you succeed in the early childhood education industry, with support from experts in the field.

Learn more about our Early Childhood Education Curriculum
Penn Foster Curriculum

Important State Requirements: Be sure to check here for the requirements in your state.


With flexible, affordable payment options, you can get started on your early childhood education training online today.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in a field that makes an impact on the lives of children and their families, becoming an early childhood educator could be the career for you! With a renewed focus on providing quality pre-school and childcare and an expected job growth of 10% for preschool teachers by 2026, there’s no better time than now to start training to make a difference. Join the 97% of ECE alumni that say their career has improved since graduating from the online degree program and take the first steps toward a career you love. Our graduates have gone to find rewarding jobs at early education facilities like Wee Care Child Care, Tynee Tots, Kinder College, and Bright Horizons.
97% Growth Rate
  • I enrolled with Penn Foster, because I had to go back to school if I wanted to integrate nicely into the system. Handling children had been my passion throughout my life, so I was looking forward to embark on a course in childhood education. I chose Penn Foster, because after searching for sometime, the criteria, the time, tuition and everything suited me perfectly.
    Dorothy S.
    Early Childhood Education Graduate
  • Penn Foster coursework helps me to work with the kids better and successfully incorporate different principles I learned while dealing with parents and staff.
    India S.
    Early Childhood Education Gradute
Early Childhood Education Degree

What Can I Do with an Early Childhood Education Degree?

For those interested in pursuing a career in early childhood, earning your Early Childhood Education degree can help you take the first step toward a number of careers — including becoming a preschool teacher, teaching assistant, childcare worker, or special education teacher. While additional training may be required for each career, an Early Childhood Education Degree can help you learn the fundamental skills required for a career working with children.​


Q. What will I teach as an ECE Teacher?

A. Early Childhood Education professionals most often teach children younger than five years old. You’ll teach students basic skills such as identifying colors, shapes, numbers, and letters. You’ll organize activities that allow children to learn about the world around them. Most ECE graduates work as preschool teachers, teaching assistants, childcare workers, and special education teachers.

Q. What is the average salary for a teacher in early childhood education?

A. The average salary for early childhood education teachers can vary based on experience, the state in which you work, and the environment you work in. The national average salary in 2018 for preschool teachers was $29,780 per year.² Salary and hourly wages for teachers can also be determined based on whether or not the school they work for is a private or public institution.

Q. Is Early Childhood Education right for me?

A. Teachers in early childhood education work closely with young children and their parents to develop language, literacy, and other necessary skills. Effective teachers are patient, compassionate, creative, and have developed written and verbal communication skills. If this sounds like you, becoming an ECE teacher could be a great career path!

Q. Can I teach elementary school with a degree in early childhood education?

A. Generally, an Early Childhood Associate’s Degree prepares graduates for work in preschools, daycares, or other facilities. Though requirements can vary slightly based on your state and whether you’re seeking employment in public or private education, most elementary school teachers are required to attain at least a bachelor’s degree and pass state exams.

Q. Where else can I teach with an Early Childhood Education Degree?

A. Besides preschools, you can teach in public and private daycares, childcare centers, and schools as a teaching assistant or special education support staff. Additionally, early education teachers also work in social services or as a home-based provider, such as a nanny.

Q. Are Early Childhood Education Teachers in demand?

A. Skilled educators are important to a child’s short and long-term intellectual growth and well-being, so the need for early education teachers is projected to grow about 7% by 2028,² faster than average for all occupations.

Ready To Enroll?

Get started today on your path towards making a difference in children's lives with the Penn Foster College Early Childhood Education online program.​

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Hundreds of leading employers and workforce organizations partner with Penn Foster to attract, develop, and retain talent for today’s in-demand middle skilled occupations.

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¹ The decision to transfer credits is up to the individual institutions. Students who plan to continue with another school after completing coursework at Penn Foster College should check with that school regarding its transfer credit policies. For more information about ACE CREDIT, visit their website at​

² Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Preschool Teachers, on the Internet here.