Early Childhood Education

If you’re like many of us, you love kids and have always known that you want to help young children develop into smart, caring adults. You can do this—and touch as many kids as possible—as an early childhood education teacher.

Early Childhood Education

If you’re like many of us, you love kids and have always known that you want to help young children develop into smart, caring adults. You can do this—and touch as many kids as possible—as an early childhood education teacher.

Online Degrees for Early Childhood Ed Teachers

Your love of kids isn’t enough, though. To become an early childhood ed teacher, you’ll first need to get a bachelor’s degree, do supervised student teaching, and pass certain exams. Depending on your state, you may also need to do a teacher prep program. With the exception of the student teaching component, many teachers today get their degrees and teacher training online.

Salary and Job Growth

Annual Median Salary


Preschool Teachers


Kindergarten Teachers

graphic supporting preschool kindergarten salary

Preschool Teacher Outlook

Kindergarten Teacher Outlook


Salary Information

While preschool and kindergarten teachers usually don’t get rich, they do make a good living. Not to mention the other perks of the job, like summers off to earn even more money, travel, or take college courses. This schedule is enough to make non-teachers envious.

In 2016, the median salary* for preschool teachers across the U.S. was $28,790, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And kindergarten teachers made a median salary of $55,490.

Job Growth information

No one denies the importance of early childhood education to develop kids’ potential and prepare them for grade school…and life.

Employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 10 percent through 2026, adding 29,600 jobs. And kindergarten and elementary school teachers should see projected growth of 7 percent in the same time frame, adding another 87,800 positions for teachers in this age group.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook.
*The salary information listed is based on national median salaries, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Teaching Career Skills

You're a good listener

You take a personal approach

You're well organized

You enjoy service to others

You're caring and supportive

You're hardworking

You don't mind routines

You're a creative problem solver

Work Environment

What grades can I teach?

There’s no exact definition for early childhood education. ECE teachers generally teach kids from kindergarten to third grade, so from about age five or six to eight or nine. But some educators work in preschools, so they may they may teach kids virtually from infancy on.

What's the job like?

ECE teachers are generalists, so they teach all subjects. They lay the foundation for reading, writing, math, science and other subjects adapted to their pupils’ grade level. They teach kids about the world, and help them explore interests and develop their innate talents. Teachers often use a lot of game play to help their pupils learn.

Day in the Life

Like all teachers, ECE teachers follow a curriculum, develop daily lesson plans, teach classes, and correct their pupils’ work. They also fill out report cards, communicate with parents, and contribute to their kids’ academic and social development. When they go on field trips, they’re responsible for the safety of their pupils.

Program Overview

Kids are the future of our country, so it make sense to have highly qualified teachers at every age…starting with the youngest and most impressionable.

That’s one of the reasons that each state requires future teachers to have a bachelor’s degree with some student teaching. Your student teaching will let you see what the job’s like, and whether you really want to teach little kids. It will also give you the opportunity to work under the watchful eye of an experienced teacher who can give you pointers, and help as needed.

What You’ll Study

An early childhood education degree will give you the background you need to succeed in this rewarding career. You’ll learn about setting content objectives and evaluating student outcomes, the foundations of any successful teacher. You’ll also study child development and learn how to meet the needs and satisfy the interests of individual children.

Length of Program

To become an ECE teacher, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in early childhood ed. Most people finish their bachelor’s degree in four years, but some people take longer, especially if they work while going to school. And don’t forget that there are many great online options that make getting a bachelor’s degree all the more convenient.

Sample Classes

Here are some of the fun courses you’ll take in most early childhood ed programs:

  • ECE Foundations
  • Child Health and Nutrition
  • Children with Differing Abilities
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Diversity Studies
  • Family and Community Relations
  • Guiding Child Behavior
  • Infant and Toddler Development
  • Art, Music and Language arts
  • Math, Science and Social Studies

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Find an Early Childhood Education Program Near You

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