Early Childhood Education Resources

Early childhood educators lay the foundation for young minds to grow and thrive. Teachers are an important part of a child’s social and intellectual development both in the short term and long term.

From teaching kids about shapes and colors to creating curriculum to charting students’ progress, an early childhood educator’s day is full of variety, challenge and special moments. While their days are spent primarily with children, early childhood educators also work closely with parents and specialists.

And as the number of preschool-aged children increases, the demand for early childhood education teachers will grow making now a great time to join the field. While education requirements vary by state, most teachers earn a college degree.

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An early childhood educator’s job is rewarding, but not without some challenges. We’re here to help; we scoured the Internet looking for the most valuable early childhood education resources. What you’ll find below is a comprehensive library of websites, blogs, webinars, research and tools. Whether you’re just embarking on an early childhood education career or already work with children, you’ll find plenty of useful information.

Professional Organizations

Association for Childhood Education International

http://acei.org

The Association for Childhood Education International is a non-profit devoted to innovation, research and sharing of ideas. The group of educators and its advocates also examine global trends.

National Association for the Education of Young Children

http://www.naeyc.org

With more than 70,000 members, the National Association for the Education of Young Children offers professional development, accreditation and other resources. Become part of their mission to promote high-quality education.

Professional Association for Childhood Education

http://www.pacenet.org

Since 1955, members of the Professional Association for Childhood Education have served thousands of children in California. The organization works in advocacy, professional development and provides legal consultations to members.

Southern Early Childhood Association

http://www.southernearlychildhood.org

The Southern Early Childhood Association offers its members a wide range of benefits including training discounts and access to professional publications. The decades-old organization works on public policy and leadership efforts as well.

National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators

http://www.naecte.org

One of the main goals of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators is to promote professional growth. The organization is also instrumental in pushing for educational improvements, providing a network for educators and to disseminate ideas and research.

World Organization for Early Childhood Education

http://www.omep-usa.org

The U.S. chapter of the World Organization for Early Childhood Education promotes the development and education of children. Members enjoy professional development opportunities and invitations to related events.

Early Childhood Education Licensing and Credentials

All Education Schools

/degrees-licensing

Teacher licensing requirements differ by state. Use this handy, clickable map to find the information you need to become an early childhood education teacher.

Teach.org

https://www.teach.org/certification

Teach.org provides clear information on teacher certification. From state requirements to national certification, you’ll find answers to all your questions here.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm

Get clear and concise facts about kindergarten teacher licensing and certification. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics updates this information regularly.

National Early Childhood Program Accreditation

http://www.necpa.net/NACCourseOverview.php

The National Administrator Credential from National Early Childhood Program Accreditation can be earned through a 40-hour course. Topics include staff management, leadership, advocacy and professional development of a childcare professional.

Council for Professional Recognition

http://www.cdacouncil.org/credentials/apply-for-cda

Choose from four credential types based on your background. The Council for Professional Recognition offers the credentialing to professionals who work with children from birth to 5-years old.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm#tab-4

Find straightforward information about preschool teacher licensing and certification. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics updates this information regularly.

Early Childhood Education Research

The Pew Charitable Trusts

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/archived-projects/pre-k-now/research

From funding pre-K programs to transforming public education, you’ll find solid research from scholars. Educators and policymakers look to Pre-K now research regularly.

National Institute for Early Education Research

http://nieer.org

Delve into the many publications from the The National Institute for Early Education Research. The organization publishes journal articles, policy reports and working papers on topics related to early education.

The Sesame Workshop

http://www.sesameworkshop.org/what-we-do/our-initiatives/early-education

The Sesame Workshop, part of the beloved Sesame Street family, works to promote early childhood education across the globe. Read more about their approach, results and initiatives.

National Education Association

http://www.nea.org/home/18163.htm

Learn more about early childhood education in America with the help of the National Education Association. This page provides the organization’s recommendations and links to research.

Department of Education

http://www.ed.gov/early-learning/research

On this simple page provided by the Department of Education, users can find a comprehensive list of research studies on early learning effectiveness. Use this as a starting point to learn more about the field.

Harvard Family Research Project

http://www.hfrp.org/early-childhood-education

The Harvard Family Research Project seeks to promote knowledge about early childhood education (ECE). Start by reviewing the group’s research and projects to learn more about how ECE can help a child’s development.

TeachingStrategies for Early Childhood

http://teachingstrategies.com/curriculum/research

Tap into these curriculum resources from TeachingStrategies. Using research, the organization has developed solutions for teachers across the country.

Strategies for Children

http://www.strategiesforchildren.org

Discover in-depth research on topics such as math and science in early learning. Find infographics and a variety of publications devoted to early childhood education.

Blogs

Teach.Train.Love.

http://teachtrainlove.com

From tips for student teachers to insight on the latest tools, Bevin Reinen offers up plenty of information to teachers on her early childhood education blog.

A Teeny Tiny Teacher

http://www.ateenytinyteacher.com

Looking for inspiration for your classroom? This colorful blog provides an array of ideas ranging from bulletin board shortcuts to book ideas. The author also has a solid social media presence.

Pocket Full of Kinders

http://pocketfullofkinders.blogspot.com

Blogger Shuna publishes lighthearted posts that will provide any teacher with inspiration for new classroom activities. Click on the “Freebies” link to find products you can use.

Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits

http://www.tunstallsteachingtidbits.com/blog

This blog gives readers a look inside a primary grade teacher’s classroom experiences. The author, Reagan, publishes a variety of lesson ideas to inspire others.

Growing Firsties

http://growingfirsties.blogspot.com

This first-grade teacher delves into teaching fluency, parent input forms and more. The blog is full of freebie resources and bright ideas for early learning.

Education Week

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years

Education Week covers hard-hitting news and offers analysis and insight as it relates to early childhood education. Stay abreast of the latest developments by following this blog.

A Place Called Kindergarten

http://www.aplacecalledkindergarten.com

Nonfiction writing in kindergarten and shapes identification are a few of the topics kindergarten teacher Jonelle discusses on her blog. Take a peek inside her classroom to gain inspiration.

Getting Messy with Ms. Jessi

http://www.gettingmessywithmsjessi.com

Preschool teacher “Messy” Jessi isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in the classroom. Here colorful art projects are used to teach kids about dinosaurs, space, transportation, even camping.

Literacy and Laughter

http://literacyandlaughter.blogspot.com

Authored by an all-day kindergarten teacher who focuses primarily on literacy skills, readers will find a treasure trove of inspiration. From her favorite authors to “teacher talk,” there is plenty to explore.

Teacher Tom

http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com

Conflict, rules, and development are just some of the teaching themes tackled on this blog. Preschool teacher Tom offers his insights and opinions after working at a cooperative school for 15 years.

What the Teacher Wants

http://whattheteacherwants.blogspot.com/

A collaborative effort between teachers Rachelle and Natalie, What The Teacher Wants is chock full of teaching ideas and photos. Common Core Math and LA are discussed regularly.

Early Childhood Education Resources

Head Start

http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/health-services-management/program-planning/veec.html

Hone your health and safety skills using Head Start’s Virtual Early Education Center. The online tool lets you explore information on child development and learn more about issues such as staff wellness and managing infectious diseases.

National Black Child Development Institute

http://www.nbcdi.org/what-we-do/early-care-and-education

Learn more about the National Black Child Development Institute and the steps the organization is taking to promote high-quality and accessible early care and education. Some of their initiatives include ensuring racial and cultural diversity in the workforce and promoting professional development that supports understanding of race and culture.

Scholastic

http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/ect/curriculum.htm

Dig into Scholastic’s Early Childhood Today curriculum products. Read articles from experts in the field to gain new ideas and strategies for the classroom. Tools, activities, freebies, videos and resources are just a few clicks away.

Department of Education

http://www.ed.gov/early-learning/resources

From developing early literacy to helping preschool children, the Department of Education provides a thorough resource page listing early learning publications. Read summaries and findings from the National Research Council, Department of Education and the Department of Heath and Human Services.

PBS LearningMedia

http://www.pbslearningmedia.org

PBS LearningMedia is a comprehensive source for teachers. The site includes activities for topical issues (such as the U.S. election) and tools to keep productivity high. All subjects are covered using audio, video and interactive methods, among others.

PBS Parents

http://www.pbs.org/parents/child-development

Parents can find a wealth of information on PBS’ Child Development page. From literacy to development trackers to social and emotional growth, you can find a wide array of tools and information devoted to early childhood learning.

Hatch

http://www.hatchearlylearning.com/resources/events/early-learning-expert-webinars

Self-proclaimed “early learning experts,” Hatch provides free live webinars and on-demand videos for early childhood educators. Webinar topics include cultivating creativity, using music to boost development and school readiness. Most webinars last about 1.5 hours.

Teachers Pay Teachers

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com

Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT for short) is a marketplace where you can access a broad range of resources for minimal cost. Search everything from activities to teacher manuals and share your own work with other teachers around the country.

Department of Education

http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/earlylearning/index.html

Check in with the U.S. Department of Education’s Early Learning page to learn about the latest programs ands services intended to drive positive student outcomes. Stay up to date with webinars, read about various initiatives and subscribe to the newsletter.

Teach.org

https://www.teach.org

Considering a teaching career? Teach.org is your starting point. From one-to-one sessions with teachers to video resources, you’ll find answers to your questions here.

Tools, Quizzes and Lessons

Discovery Education

http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers

Improve your teaching chops with free resources from Discovery Education. Dive into puzzles and games, view videos and tap into lesson plan ideas.

NeoK12

http://www.neok12.com

Comb through this collection of interactive diagrams, games, puzzles and more. NeoK12’s simple format makes it easy to find just what you’re looking for.

Hot Chalk

http://lessonplanspage.com

Who better to design a lesson plan than another teacher? HotChalk’s Lesson Plans page provides more than 4,000 lessons for free to educators. The site also includes news, tips and an active online community.

Denver Art Museum

http://creativity.denverartmuseum.org/for-teachers/resources/teachingresources

The Denver Art Museum recognizes the importance of art in a student’s life. They’ve created a comprehensive page with teaching tips, useful websites and more. Help students explore their creativity.

BetterLesson

http://betterlesson.com

BetterLesson pairs teachers up with coaches who have experience in the education system. Tackle classroom issues, learn new strategies and set goals with the help of personalized coaching.

Scholastic

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plans/free-lesson-plans

From discussion guides to lesson plans, Scholastic offers free materials to teachers across the country. Search for specific topics or browse through the latest monthly content for ideas and guidance.

TeachingStrategies for Early Childhood

http://teachingstrategies.com/creative-curriculum-preschool

With a focus on exploration learning, TeachingStrategies for Early Childhood provides preschool teachers with the tools put a curriculum in place. The plans are research-based and inspire teachers to promote creativity and critical thinking in students.

Education World

http://www.educationworld.com/a_earlychildhood/archives/activity.shtml

This activity bank was created by Education World’s early childhood editor. Narrow down your search by finding activities, such as Hungry Ants, by month or “anytime.” From poems to math, there’s something for every student and teacher.

Early Childhood News

http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com

The self-proclaimed “Professional Resource for Teachers and Parents,” Earlychildhoodnews.com publishes in-depth articles, activities and craft ideas. The site also includes a job board and state licensing requirement information.

Project Learning Tree

https://www.plt.org//environmental-education-for-early-childhood

Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood is designed specifically for early childhood education teachers. The curriculum includes more than 130 outdoor play and exploration experiences for children ages three to six.

Journals & Webinars

Journal of Early Childhood Research

http://ecr.sagepub.com

A respected peer-reviewed publication, the Journal of Early Childhood Research is a must-read for educators. Subscribe to get the latest news on childhood research, learning and development.

Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education

http://naecte.org/journal

Use the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education to learn more about issues in the field and to better understand research related to early childhood teacher education. To read the original manuscripts, essays and other pieces published in the journal, you’ll need to become a member of NAECTE.

Early Childhood Research & Practice

http://ecrp.uiuc.edu

Based at Loyola University Chicago, the Early Childhood Research & Practice journal is bilingual and publishes reports, essays, interviews and more related to trends in the early education field. Specific attention is paid to ethics, teacher prep, policy and higher education, among other topics.

Association for Childhood Education International

http://www.acei.org/news-publications

By becoming a member of the Association for Childhood Education International, you’ll have access to several publications including Childhood Explorer, Childhood Education and Journal of Research in Childhood Education. Research and education theory are common themes.

Early Childhood Research Quarterly

http://www.journals.elsevier.com/early-childhood-research-quarterly

By publishing mostly empirical research, Early Childhood Research Quarterly has made a name for itself for the last two decades. Its content includes childcare, children’s development in all areas and childcare program quality. Visit the site to access the most popular articles in recent months.

Child Development

http://www.srcd.org/publications/child-development

Child Development, from the Society for Research in Child Development, is published bi-monthly and includes peer-reviewed articles and research designed for educators and experts in related fields.

Journal of Early Intervention

http://jei.sagepub.com

Access the Journal of Early Intervention and read abstracts from current and past issues. The publication includes research, reviews and analysis. To view the complete text of the journal, sign up to become a subscriber.

Young Children

http://www.naeyc.org/yc/pastissues

Selected archives of Young Children (a publication by the National Association for the Education of Young Children) are available online. Publications include articles about nutrition, leadership, positive guidance and more.

Harvard Family Research Project

http://www.hfrp.org/early-childhood-education/publications-resources

Visit the Harvard Family Research Project site and you’ll find pages upon pages of early childhood resources. Read Q&As and commentary from leaders in the education field.

Rand Education

http://www.rand.org/education/research/early-childhood-education/publications.html

Search Rand Education’s database of publications related to early childhood education. You’ll find in-depth research and analysis and objective viewpoints. Many publications are available online and as a PDF.

Scholastic

http://www.scholastic.com/teachermag

Don’t miss Scholastic’s Teacher magazine which is chock full of activities, lesson plans and new books and authors to look out for. The online version gives users access to the article archive and print-ready resources.

SEDL

http://www.sedl.org/pubs/free_early_childhood.html

SEDL’s webinars delve deep into research and provides evidence-based recommendations in their webinars. The affiliate of the American Institutes for Research use their findings to present resources that can aid educators in the classroom. Recent topics include “Teaching Math to Young Children” and “Building Early Childhood Data Systems.”

National Association for the Education of Young Children

https://www.naeyc.org/ecp/online/webinars

Tap into The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)’s Thought Leaders in Early Childhood webinar series. Best practices and trends are discussed with a focus on leadership, classroom quality and language development.

Frog Street

http://www.frogstreet.com/frog-streets-early-childhood-webinars

Frog Street has gathered master storytellers, award-winning authors, curriculum specialists and other early childhood experts to present a wide range of webinars for educators. By joining the Frog Street community, you’ll have access to these valuable lessons, including “Fine Motor Skills…Write Out of the Box” and “Life Skills, Character Education and Bully Prevention.”

Head Start

https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/development/teacher-time-webinars.html

With webinars going as far back as 2013, Head Start has no shortage of valuable information to share with early childhood educators. Preschool math ideas, digital technologies and problem solving are just a few of the topics addressed in these videos.

Community Playthings

http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles

From 10 rainy day activities to the discussion surrounding children and screen media, you’ll find a packed library of articles on Community Playthings’ site. Search by topic, blog post, articles and more.

Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/early-childhood-education

Looking for the latest news on early childhood education? Interested in what influential voices are saying? Check out Huffington Post’s Early Childhood Education blog section where you’ll find regular updates from a variety of authors.

Early Childhood Investigations

http://www.earlychildhoodwebinars.com/presentations

This free series of webinars from Early Childhood Investigations is designed specifically for early childhood educators and showcases experts in the field. Upcoming topics include helping children see the best in themselves, social-emotional education and vocabulary enhancement.

Education

Association for Early Learning Leaders

http://www.earlylearningleaders.org

The Association for Early Learning Leaders has two main missions: To promote professional development and enhance and improve program quality. The site includes info on training and the accreditation process.

Council for Professional Recognition

http://www.cdacouncil.org/index.php

The Council for Professional Recognition’s core mission is to advance professional development for early childhood educators. The organization does this through credentialing, training, webinars and more.

The Fred Rogers Center

http://www.fredrogerscenter.org/about-us/mission-beliefs-core-values

The memory of the beloved Mr. Rogers lives on. The Fred Rogers Center supports early learning through its fellows program, professional advancement and mentoring. Learn more about this influential institution by visiting the site.

McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership

http://mccormickcenter.nl.edu/professional-development

Early childhood educators interested in advancing their career may benefit from the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership’s professional development opportunities. Users can access online trainings, attend workshops or participate in a year-long training.

Kodo

http://kodokids.com/professional-development

Kodo’s professional development opportunities are designed to expand learning approaches and provide new ways to engage with children. The seminars are hands-on and allow educators to move from theory into practice.

Scholarships

Bright Horizons

https://www.brighthorizons.com/brightfutures

Students who pursue a degree in early childhood education are eligible for Bright Horizon’s Bright Futures Scholarships. Awards range from $250 to $1,000 for full-time students.

T.E.A.C.H. Scholarships

http://teach-fl.org

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship Program in Florida offers scholarships to early childhood teachers (and those in related professions). The program structure includes a partnership between student, sponsor and T.E.A.C.H.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood MICHIGAN

http://www.miaeyc.org/TEACH.htm

With a goal of better retention and increased compensation, T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood MICHIGAN provides scholarship opportunities for teachers (and those in related fields) trying to meet professional development requirements.

American Montessori Society

http://amshq.org/About-AMS/What-We-Are-Doing/Awards-and-Grants/Teacher-Education-Scholarships

Aspiring Montessori educators can apply for scholarships through the American Montessori Society. The organization provides several $1,000 awards each year.

Teach.org

https://www.teach.org/teaching-federal-aid-programs

A comprehensive page that outlines financial aid and scholarship details for aspiring teachers. TEACH.org gives straightforward facts about funding opportunities and links to reputable sources for students interested in earning an education degree.

PDK Educational Foundation

http://pdkintl.org/programs-resources/scholarships-awards/prospective-educator-scholarships

Have a Phi Delta Kappa connection? The PDK Educational Foundation offers more than 30 scholarship opportunities to aspiring educators. Fill out one application to be considered for all of the awards.

National Association for the Education of Young Children

http://www.naeyc.org/legacy/scholarship

The cost of professional development and attending conferences can add up which is why the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has established scholarship opportunities. The “Building a Lasting Legacy Campaign” scholarships are open to NAEYC members.

ChildCare Aware of Washington

http://www.childcarenet.org/providers/scholarships

ChildCare Aware of Washington supports its teachers by offering three different scholarships. Depending on your education goals, you may be eligble for the Bachelor’s Degree Completion Scholarship, General Scholarship or CDA Assessment Fee Scholarship.

U.S. Department of Education

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach

Learn more about the federal TEACH grant on this page. The funding is dependent on students enrolling in specific courses. Students are not required to pay this money back as long as they complete certain service obligations after graduating.

Teach.org

https://www.teach.org/scholarship-search

Striving to recruit 1 million teachers in the next 10 years, the TEACH campaign is backed by the Department of Education and private organizations such as Microsoft. Check in with this site for scholarship and other information.

Daniels Fund

http://www.danielsfund.org/Boundless

Designed for the non-traditional student pursuing a career in early childhood education, the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship can be used for tuition, books and other school-related costs. Available in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Early Childhood Education Career Information

Child Action, Inc.

http://www.childaction.org/providers/booklets/docs/ece%20handout-brochure12-10web.pdf

In this short PDF file, Child Action, Inc. provides clear facts on what to expect if you pursue a career in early childhood education. From college course info to job details, this document is worth a read.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is one of the most trusted sources for career information. Learn how to become an early childhood education teacher using this page.

O*Net Online

http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/25-2011.00

A one-stop shop for everything you need to know about early education careers. From job tasks to skills needed, you’ll find it here.

Early Childhood Education Zone

http://www.earlychildhoodeducationzone.com/early-education-degree-careers

An early childhood education degree can open many career doors. This site examines the types of roles you’ll be qualified for.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm

Check in with one of the most trusted sources for career info. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides comprehensive facts about kindergarten and elementary school teacher jobs.

Social Media

National Head Start

https://twitter.com/NatlHeadStart

Follow the official Twitter account for National Head Start. The organization tweets regularly about early childhood development and education.

Early Childhood Ed

https://twitter.com/earlychilded_rr

Expertly curated content by early childhood education influencers. Tweets include industry article links and follower recommendations.

Early Education For All

https://twitter.com/EarlyEd4All

How smart are babies? That’s just one question posed on this Twitter account. Follow to stay up to date on this organization’s early childhood education efforts.

The Alliance

https://twitter.com/4earlysuccess

The Alliance For Early Success works with various partners to improve state policies related to early childhood education. Stay in the know by following their Twitter account.

Early Childhood Educators ROCK

https://www.facebook.com/Early-Childhood-Educators-ROCK-236053776528471/info/?tab=page_info

Get ideas, a few laughs and stay motivated with this Facebook page designed for early childhood educators. It’s open to anyone with an interest in the field.

National Institute for Early Education Research

https://www.facebook.com/PreschoolToday

The National Institute for Early Education Research disseminates the latest information, such as the State of Preschool Yearbook, via their Facebook page. Start following to stay in the know.