Best Early Childhood Education Colleges: Consider getting a degree in early childhood education if you want to work with young children as a career, such as teaching kindergarten, working in a daycare, or becoming a teaching assistant in a public school.
Obtaining a formal education in early childhood education is a great method to better understand how children learn and their requirements, including social and emotional as well as cognitive demands.
The majority of employment in this industry will require at least a bachelor’s degree, even while it is feasible to begin a career in early childhood education with only an associate’s degree or perhaps no degree at all.
Obtaining a degree is a time-consuming, expensive, and frequently stressful process, even while there are many obvious advantages, such as the rise in employment opportunities and better average salaries for individuals with degrees.
As a result, choosing a school is a decision that has to be carefully considered. Your educational experience will be strongly impacted by the course options, degree requirements, teachers, resources, and facilities that differ between universities.
Finding the ideal college for your early childhood education degree might be a difficult undertaking. The good news is that we are here to assist you in making that process go more smoothly by giving you a list of some of your greatest possibilities.
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What is Early Childhood Education?
Early childhood education (ECE) covers all types of education, both official and informal, at the most fundamental level. Birth until age eight are covered under early childhood education. The development of a child depends on this schooling. It has a big impact on how someone lives out their older years.
Further investigation reveals a number of elements that work together to support a child’s early schooling. In terms of informal education, a child’s interaction with his or her parents or other primary caregivers is, of course, the most important source of input when it comes to that child’s growth. In essence, a child’s parents serve as their first teachers. Between the ages of 0 and 2, when the kid is developing a sense of self and forming an attachment with its parents, this relationship is particularly important. The type of relationship a child has at this time of life can have a big impact on how well they do in school later on.
The formal education that a child receives at a young age is the other factor in the equation when it comes to early childhood education. The years 2 through 8 of a child’s life normally make up this stage of education. A young kid may get formal education in a variety of ways, which may differ from state to state and program to program. There may be educational programs made specifically for kids of each age group. They may be offered in the following situations:
- Nursery School
These programs are run privately in some cases. Others are run by a regional school district or as part of a project with federal funding.
Best Early Childhood Education Colleges
The best early childhood education colleges in the US are listed below.
1. Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
Public domain image of the Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education and Human Development obtained from Wikimedia Commons
Vanderbilt University is one of the most well-known private research universities in the nation and is situated in Nashville.
Vanderbilt is really ranked as the #14 greatest college in the country by US News and World Report. Additionally, Vanderbilt was ranked ninth in the country for best value, so going there is a great way to make sure you get your money’s worth.
Numerous degree programs, academic experiences, and other opportunities are available at the Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education and Human Development that are related to early childhood education.
Early childhood and elementary education is one of the major specializations available to undergraduate students.
The ECED program strongly stresses experiential learning and practical application and grants graduates full teaching licenses.
2. Purdue University (Purdue, IN)
An open-access university with a stellar reputation, Purdue University was established in 1869. 13 undergraduate and graduate colleges and schools make up the university.
The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is one of them and is located in the College of Health and Human Sciences.
The department provides a bachelor’s degree program in early childhood education and exceptional needs for undergraduate students who want to work with kids.
Due to the fact that the curriculum includes teaching both children with standard competence levels and those who require more learning help, students in the ECEEN major can concurrently receive their degree and a dual teaching license.
Students have the chance to gain first-hand experience at the Ben and Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School during the course of the curriculum.
3. The University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
The University of Washington is a public university with an undergraduate enrollment of close to 50,000 students as of the fall of 2022. It is well known for its research efforts in engineering and the sciences.
From undergraduate through PhD programs, with both online and in-person choices, the College of Education at UW offers a number of early childhood education-related program options.
One of these is the BA in early childhood and family studies, a course of study that strives to provide students an interdisciplinary understanding of both child and family life in general and children’s education in particular.
The university also provides a BA in early care and education online.
4. New York University (New York, NY)
NYU is ranked as the 25th best college in the nation overall in the 2023 edition of US News and World Report’s annual school rankings.
The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development is located there. The best and oldest school of teaching in the region is NYU Steinhardt, which was founded in 1890.
The doctoral program, two master’s degrees, and the bachelor of science are all available in early childhood education at NYU. Early childhood education is also available as a minor at the undergraduate level.
The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education program is intended to equip students to work with a variety of young pupils from infancy through second grade. On the other hand, the minor program in teacher education enables students in any program to gain useful pedagogical skills without offering teaching certification.
5. Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
One of the top public research universities in the US, Indiana University was established in 1820.
Three separate early childhood education degrees, including two graduate-level options, are offered by the Indiana University School of Education. The bachelor of science in education is the third option.
Teaching All Young Learners and Early Childhood Care and Education Leadership are the two areas of specialization available to students in the BSEd in Early Childhood Education program.
The TAYL concentration, which was created especially for people who want to become teachers, enables students to obtain a complete teaching license for third-graders and younger.
On the other hand, students who concentrate on ECCEL are not granted a teaching license. Instead, this program strives to prepare students for a wider range of employment in childcare and early childhood education.
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6. Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
More than 135,000 students are enrolled at Arizona State University, a reputable public university, in all of its disciplines.
The 16 undergraduate and graduate schools that make up ASU are home to the majority of the university’s students.
ASU provides more than 800 distinct degrees, minors, and certificate programs, not including the extensive selection of online courses the institution offers.
The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, one of ASU’s institutions, is ranked #8 nationally for finest online master’s degrees in education.
MLFTC provides an online bachelor of applied science in early childhood studies at the undergraduate level.
A bachelor of arts in education program is also available online, including early childhood studies as a possible area of concentration.
7. Boston University (Boston, MA)
The Wheelock College of Education and Human Development is located at Boston University, a private research institution founded in 1867.
Wheelock College will no longer be accepting new applicants for its BS in early childhood education program as of the 2022 school year. Rather, the college’s BS program in education and human development will accept all new students interested in this subject of study.
In reality, Wheelock’s curriculum has been standardised to the point where the first two years of study for BS students are the same. Human development, social science, career preparation, and other pertinent topics are covered in the foundational courses for the BS in education and human development.
However, throughout the third and fourth years of the curriculum, students select one of five professional specializations. One of these choices is education design for transformative social futures as well as teaching and learning.
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8. University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
The University of Pittsburgh is one of the top universities in the nation and is only a few miles from Pittsburgh’s downtown.
In fact, Pitt is the top-ranked public university in the Northeastern United States, according to Times Higher Education’s 2021 school rankings.
There are 17 undergraduate and graduate schools at the university. One of these is the School of Education, which offers a number of early childhood education-related programs.
The primary goal of Pitt’s early childhood programs is to educate kids from birth to age 8 in a variety of settings, including the home and public and private schools.
The MEd in elementary education and the MEd in early childhood education are two master’s degree programs offered by the School of Education. The college also provides combination degree and certificate programs.
9. University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
The University of Georgia is one of the nation’s oldest public universities and a land-grant research institution founded in 1785.
The Mary Frances Early College of Education at UGA is where you may find a number of early childhood education degree programs.
A BSEd with an elementary education major is an option for undergraduate students. Pupils who successfully complete the program will be certified to instruct students in prekindergarten through fifth grade.
US News & World Report consistently places the UGA BSEd program in elementary education among the top five nationwide. For its thorough, practical approach to early childhood education, it is especially recognized.
For instance, all students will have completed more than 400 hours of practical training prior to graduating, including a full semester of student teaching at an elementary school.
10. Auburn University (Auburn, AL)
One of the biggest universities in the south of the United States, Auburn University is a public research institution with about 25,000 undergraduate students enrolled.
The Department of Human Development & Family Science at Auburn University is well-established.
Child life, early child development, and the general studies track are the three undergraduate degree programs that are available through the department.
All HDFS major students are required to take a full-time internship as a capstone experience before graduating, regardless of which of the three concentrations they choose to pursue.
The Early Learning Center, a reputable laboratory preschool accepting kids from 2 to 5 years old, is situated on the campus of Auburn University.
The Center provides half-day learning sessions where young children are led through an age-appropriate curriculum with an emphasis on learning by doing.
Faculty can conduct research at the Early Learning Center and see young children’s growth first-hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
How popular is early childhood education in the UK?
As the demand for qualified teachers in this field increases, this degree is in high demand.
What early childhood education position has the greatest salary?
Some of the top paying positions in early childhood education are those held by instructional experts. The creation of curricula and educational programs for preschools and childcare facilities is under the purview of these professionals.
How much do Early Childhood Educators make in the UK?
Yearly average salary is £36,598.
What other jobs can you get with a degree in early childhood education?
Early Learning and Care Programs Managers, Assistant Managers, Supervisors, Assistant Supervisors, or Directors.
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