Online Certificate Programs in Early Childhood

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: Typically, early childhood education programs a only require a high school diploma or GED, though some are intended for teachers and childcare providers who already have a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field.
  • Professional Prerequisites: None
  • Average Program Length: 12 months(full time); 18 months (part time)

Online certificate programs in early childhood education focus on the learning needs, development, and care of young children, typically under the age of eight. These programs usually cover topics in educational assessment, methods, and techniques, as well as psychology, research, and leadership fundamentals. Online early childhood certificate programs are ideal for individuals interested in working in child care or as teachers’ aides. Those who already have their bachelor’s degree and are looking to focus their skills in a particular area of education may also benefit from these types of online certificates.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Early Childhood

Most online early childhood certificate programs are a combination of survey and seminar courses. Common classes may include curriculum and assessment, childhood development, learning psychology, literacy development, and ethics in early childhood education. Students enrolled in accredited online certificate programs should expect to complete writing assignments, research projects, classroom observation work, and presentations. For this reason, strong communication and analytical skills are essential to success in this field of study.

Students attending online college certificate programs may also need to complete externships, where they observe classrooms or other child care facilities. This will typically be arranged by the student in his or her local area and then submitted for approval by their college. Supervisors at the school or facility will provide feedback on the student’s work and progress. This provides students with much-needed field experience, allowing them to apply the principles they have learned in the virtual classroom to real-world situations.

What Your Online Certificate in Early Childhood Can Do for You

Online certificate programs in early childhood education can prepare students for careers as teachers’ aides or child care workers. In addition, it may serve as a stepping stone towards further study in the field, which could lead to a bachelor’s degree and teacher certification down the road. For those who already have their bachelor’s degree and work as educators or child care professionals, an accredited online early childhood certificate program can enhance their skill set in a particular area or set them up to pursue a master’s degree in early childhood education.

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for teaching assistants is predicted to grow 15% from 2010 to 2020 ó about as fast as average for all occupations. The median annual wage for teacher assistants was $23,220 in 2010, the BLS also notes. The demand for child care workers is expected to be a bit stronger, with 20% growth predicted in the coming years, according to the BLS. However, these positions are typically based on an hourly wage, with the BLS recording the median pay rate for child care workers in 2010 as $9.28 an hour.

Those who continue on to a bachelor’s degree program and earn their teaching certification may pursue work as elementary school teachers. The demand for teachers at this level is expected to increase by 17% over the projection period, according to the BLS. In addition, their earning power was much improved, with a median annual salary of $51,380 for kindergarten and elementary school teachers reported in 2010. Please note, actual salaries and job openings can differ based on your location, level of experience, education, and employer.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.