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kindergarten teacher with early childhood education degree teaching happy kindergarten students

Are you considering a career in early childhood education?

Understanding the differences between an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree can help you make informed decisions about your future career paths.

Whether you’re interested in becoming a preschool teacher or working in a childcare center, getting your degree from an early childhood education program can give you the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed. 

If you’re curious about career opportunities based on your ECE degree, we have the answer for you. However, it’s important to remember that the qualifications differ based on where you live, so double-check your state’s requirements before applying!

What Can You Do With An Early Childhood Education Degree?

Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

An associate degree in early childhood education typically takes two years to complete and focuses on coursework such as child development, classroom management, and educational psychology. 

It also provides learners with valuable field experiences to prepare them for their future careers.

Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

A bachelor’s degree in early childhood education may qualify you for more career opportunities.

This program takes four years to complete and includes both general education courses and specialized coursework in ECE. 

In addition to classroom instruction, students can complete practicum experiences in real-world settings working with young children in elementary schools and daycare centers.

Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

If you’re looking for even more specialized training, consider a master’s degree in early childhood education. This program typically takes two years to complete and provides advanced coursework in curriculum and instruction, human development, special needs, and special education.

No matter which degree program you choose, it’s important to ensure that it’s accredited and recognized by your state’s licensing board for teachers. This will ensure that you’re prepared to obtain licensure and certification, if needed, to work in public or private schools.

Early Childhood Education Continuing Education Programs

Financial aid is available for many early childhood education degree programs, and many schools also offer online programs to accommodate both part-time and full-time learners. Ultimately, choosing the right degree program will depend on your career goals, academic interests, and personal schedule. However, with the proper preparation and training, you can be well on your way to a fulfilling career in ECE.

Teacher Certification Programs

Did you know that teacher certification programs are an alternative to a traditional degree program? 

Suppose you already have a degree in another program (e.g., English literature). In that case, all you need is a teaching certificate to become certified to teach early childhood education in the state you wish to teach in.

Teach Away’s alternative teacher certification program is a flexible, affordable, state-approved, AAQEP-accredited teacher program designed to break down barriers between aspiring teachers and their pursuits. 

The teacher certification program trains confident, compassionate teachers, through a comprehensive licensure program quickly and affordably, without sacrificing quality or competence.

What does Teach Away’s teacher certification program get you?

  • A state-issued teacher certification
  • An expedited pathway to licensure
  • An affordable alternative to traditional programs
  • A teaching certificate that can be used to teach across the US, online, or abroad

Pre-qualify for the next cohort today.


  • To work in ECE, you typically need at least an associate’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. However, the requirements can vary depending on the state or employer.
  • Some states require a bachelor’s degree in ECE or a related field to become a licensed preschool or kindergarten teacher. Additionally, some employers may require a certain level of education, such as a master’s degree, for certain positions or to advance within the field.
  • It’s also important to note that some ECE positions may require certification or licensure, which can involve completing additional coursework and passing exams.
  • Overall, it’s important to research the specific requirements in your state or for the position you’re interested in to determine what degree and credentials are necessary to work in early childhood education.

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