Online Preschool Teacher Degree Program Options

Students have many online options for training to become preschool teachers. Certificates, associate's and bachelor's degrees in early childhood education are sometimes available through online programs. Each of these programs provides education that can lead to careers working with young children.

View 16 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Online certificate and degree programs for preschool teachers are hard to find. Certificate programs are rare, either online or on campus, while the classroom experiences required in associate's and bachelor's degree programs make totally online degree programs impossible.

Certificate programs may allow students to complete all courses via distance learning. However, some certificate programs are open only to students enrolled in a degree program at a school. In these short programs, students get general information on the education of young children, with courses that may include child development, children's literature and educational theory.

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs for preschool teachers are available in early childhood education. These programs may offer a few online courses. Associate's degree programs may require teaching experiences in a day care center, while the bachelor's degree programs call for student teaching experience in a school. In both these degree programs, students study education theory, child development and classroom management.

Education and training requirements for preschool teachers/child care workers vary from state to state. Several states say childcare workers must have completed a training course before starting to work. Federal Head Start teachers must have or be working towards an associate's degree. Some states require that child care workers hold a certification from a national professional organization. Early childhood education majors who want to teach in a public school must meet state teacher licensing requirements.


Online Preschool Teacher Certificate Overview

Though rare, online certificate programs in early childhood education are available. Topics relevant to preschool education, like child development and beginning education techniques, are the main focus in these programs. In some cases, the program you apply to may have restricted admissions, open only to students who are residents of the state housing the school and are currently enrolled in a specific degree program at the same school.

Program Information and Requirements

Online certificate programs in early childhood education typically allow students to complete all courses in a distance learning format. In some cases, the program may require students to participate in a practicum at an approved site, such as a preschool. This gives students the chance to gain hands-on experience teaching and supervising young children. Schools may use technology like Blackboard's ANGEL system to deliver course materials.

Common Preschool Teacher Certificate Courses

Curricula for these programs focus on giving students foundational information in educating young children.

Early Childhood Education Theory and History Course

In this foundational course, students learn the history and development of early childhood education techniques. One focus is the development of curricula for children, including those who are disabled, from infancy through age eight. Other topics discussed may include ethics and early childhood education theory.

Children's Literature Course

Students in this class learn about teaching literature and language arts to young children. In addition to being exposed to a variety of different type of children's literature, students learn how to incorporate technology into language arts lessons.

Childhood Development Course

Stages of youth development from birth through adolescence are covered in this course. Child behavior is discussed through the lens of data and psychological theories.

Career Information for Graduates

An early childhood education certificate may be sufficient education to gain a position in child care or preschool teaching. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some positions in this field only require a high school diploma, with no further training, so a certificate could be seen as an asset by some employers. However, the BLS does indicate that some preschool teaching jobs are only open to those with more advanced education (www.bls.gov).


Overview of Online Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education Programs

Online associate's degrees for preschool teachers are not common. Like the certificate, degrees in this category are typically in early childhood education rather than preschool teaching. These degree programs may focus on a specific area of early childhood education, such as child development.

Program Information and Requirements

Typically, all the classes required for this degree are available online. However, some programs may require students to seek practical experience at an approved site. These practicums can take place in preschools or day care centers. They may be scheduled at the student's convenience, but cannot take place online.

Common Early Childhood Education Associate Degree Courses

In addition to this focus on educating young students, general education courses are typically included.

Art for Young Children Course

Classroom-relevant art activities are explored in this course. The class focuses on developing creativity rather than entertaining students.

Early Childhood Math, Science and Technology Course

Age-appropriate math and science topics are covered in this course. Additionally, students learn how technology might be used to teach these lessons.

Teaching Exceptional Children Course

Techniques for educating children with special needs are covered in this course. Assignments may include developing a curriculum for individual special needs students.

Career Information for Graduates

Earning an associate's degree in early childhood education opens a few doors not available to those with fewer credentials. For example, the BLS pointed out that Head Start programs are now required to hire professionals with an associate's degree as a minimum credential. The BLS also stated that it is becoming increasingly common for employers of child care workers to hire employees with associate's degrees.


Online Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education

Online bachelor's degree programs in early childhood education are available on a limited basis. As is common in this field, the degree title itself may be in a variety of closely related disciplines, like early childhood education or education studies. In the latter case, the degree is available with a specialization in early childhood education.

Program Information and Requirements

Depending on the program you choose, it is possible to take the bulk of your requirements for this degree online. However, in-person student teaching experiences are required for state teaching certification. Additionally, some programs offer classes that have some elements online, but include in-person classroom observation and interaction components that cannot be completed online.

Common Early Childhood Education Bachelor's Degree Courses

Coursework in these bachelor's degree programs includes a more in-depth study of child psychology and development.

Principles of Early Childhood Education Course

This class delves into the philosophical foundations of early childhood education. The class may require observation of different age groups including kindergarteners and infants.

Child Development Course

The course covers growth and development from birth through middle childhood. An emphasis may be placed on multiculturalism and how development plays out across different cultures.

Family Participation Course

Students in this class are trained to encourage parents and family to become involved in the education of their young child. The course may emphasize diplomatic interaction and other skills necessary to promote family participation.

Career Information for Graduates

Having a bachelor's degree in early childhood education can be an asset if you want to manage or run a preschool or daycare center, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The NAEYC serves as an accrediting body as well as an advocacy group, and according to its standards, early childhood program administrators must have a bachelor's degree (www.naeyc.org). Additionally, the BLS says that a bachelor's degree in early childhood education may qualify graduates to teach kindergarten through third grade.

Show me popular schools

Related to Online Preschool Teacher Degree Program Options

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Preschool Teacher: How to Become a Preschool Teacher

Some states now require children under the age of four to attend preschool. This has increased the need for teachers at the...

How to Become a Preschool Teacher Online

States have several different requirements for preschool teachers - from high school to specific college majors and...

Preschool Teacher Educational Requirements

Preschool teachers usually instruct young children ages 3-5. Using interactive teaching methodologies, preschool teachers...

Preschool Teacher: Job Duties & Requirements

Preschool teachers play a vital role in the development of children. Find out the basic education and skills required. Get...

How to Become a Certified Preschool Teacher

Popular Schools

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright