Undeniably, early childhood education years are crucial for physical and psychological development and must be bestowed in the right hands. In the lively state of Florida, educators, parents, and policymakers recognize the importance of providing high-quality early childhood education.
From bustling cities to tranquil coastal areas, Florida’s pledge to nurture young minds has been proven through a range of innovative educational programs and initiatives. Educators must understand early childhood education’s importance before teaching the young.
In this article, we will dive into the realm of early childhood education in Florida and discover the schools and universities offering Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs for students who want to pursue their careers as influential personalities! Let’s get into it!
Early Childhood Education Degrees in Florida Offered On Campus
Several top-ranked institutes in Florida are offering on-ground programs for early childhood education. Some of them are:
Associate Degree Programs for Early Childhood Education
The College of Central Florida has been ranked in the top one percent for providing the highest quality education and cost-efficacy. The Associate in Science (AS) offered by the college is designed for individuals pursuing their careers in the early childhood education field.
The college offers full hands-on experience for the students to practice early childhood techniques in the on-campus laboratory preschool to hone their skills. Moreover, students may take optional college credit certificates such as “Childhood Development Early Intervention” and “Child Care Center Management” during their Associate degree.
This program is an amazing amalgam of theoretical, supportive, and practical courses with sufficient knowledge for educators to deal with the overall psychological development of the young. Once you have decided to take the course, you have to land on the official site of the college, fill out the online application, pay the fees, and submit the required document. The application fee is usually $30, which is non-refundable and in addition to the course fee.
Associate in Science (A.S.) at Seminole State College of Florida in early childhood education is suitable for future influential educators keen to pursue their careers in this field. This state college allows you to learn from experienced and skilled faculty and small class sizes of up to 30 students for maximal interaction and seamless transition.
Now, most Associate graduates will earn the credits eligible for a bachelor’s degree at Seminole State College or the University of Central Florida via direct connect. The state data indicates that 90% of the A.S. program graduates from Seminole College get job placements without many challenges.
This program explores early childhood development’s philosophical, theoretical, historical, and political practices. Students will surely learn and practice the skills and techniques of cognitive, emotional, language, and physical development of children from newborn to eight years of life. However, every student has to complete an FDLE Level II background screening in compliance with Florida’s State Law with the school the intern has been placed in before this program.
The largest degree-granting institution nationwide, Miami Dade College, offers a plethora of degree pathways that can help you achieve your higher educational goals and enter the modern workforce. The Associate in Science (A.S.) at Miami Dade College in early childhood education builds on College Credit Certificates (CCC) while enhancing the student’s knowledge of a child’s overall psychological and emotional development.
This degree is ideal for students who want to immediately pursue their careers as educators after graduation. Most discipline courses in this program are related to the identified career area, i.e., early childhood education, and the remaining courses focus on General Education. The major areas of study in this program include “Emergent Literacy using Children’s Literature,” “Social Development Facilitation,” “Family Interaction and Cultural Continuity,” “Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood,” and “Working with Children.”
The graduates of this program are well-positioned for employment in any part of Florida, with success rates of up to 100%. Most important employment roles include education administrator, kindergarten teacher, preschool teacher, and childcare worker.
The interesting fact about this college is that studying here is more economical than one can think –that’s why 90% of the graduates complete their studies without incurring student debts. In addition, there are special financial aids for eligible students and several scholarships, grants, and awards.
You have to start the application process by filling online application form, paying $30 non-refundable application fees, attaching the required transcripts, and finally paying the tuition fees.
Eastern Florida State College, Located in Brevard Country, is a public community college offering an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree program in early childhood education. This program develops the skills of infants and toddlers teachers, child development curriculum coordinators, preschool teachers, and child development center directors in public and private programs.
Students completing the Associate degree in early childhood education are also eligible to transfer from EFSC’s Early Childhood Education Associate in Science to Bachelor in Science in Early Childhood Education at the Jacksonville campus. The coursework of this program earns the state-approved “Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC) after completion of the following courses:
· Early Childhood Curriculum
· Conflict Resolution in Early Childhood
· Assessment in Early Childhood Education
· Developing curriculum for Infants/toddlers
· Early childhood Practicum
The learning outcomes of this program revolve around cooperative work, ethical and civic responsibilities, cognitive and logical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and overall psychological development of newborns to 8 years of children. This 60-credit hour degree program has only two eligibility requirements: a high school diploma and a minimum of 18 years of age.
You have to create an account on the official website, run the application process, complete all the prerequisites, and begin your journey as an ardent learner in this prestigious institute!
Valencia College is a renowned institute in Orlando, Florida, with a diverse range of 130 programs of study to pave your career pathways to absolute success. They offer an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree instead of an Associate in Science (A.S.) program in Early childhood development. However, they offer Associate in Science degree programs in various fields, including Allied Health, Business, Arts and Entertainment, I.T., Hospitality and Culinary, Nursing, Engineering and Technology, and many more.
The curriculum of this program is designed so that students who plan to transfer to the University of Central Florida (UCF) to continue a Bachelor’s degree after completing an Associate degree at Valencia College will have no hurdles this way. The following Common Program Prerequisites (CPPs) are included in this degree pathway, which is important for transfer to majors in Early Childhood Education at the University of Central Florida:
· Introduction to the Teaching Profession
· Introduction to the Technology for Educators
· Introduction to Diversity for Educators
While pursuing the associate degree at Valencia College, you can also apply for financial aid, but make sure the courses you are enrolled in count towards your Associate degree with 36 credits of General Education and 24 credits of internship. To begin your learning journey at Valencia College, you must visit their official site, run the application process, pay the application and tuition fees, and attach the required transcripts.
Bachelor Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education
The University of South Florida, a high-impact, global research institute with its main campus in Tampa and Florida, offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Early Childhood Education. However, the early childhood education bachelor’s degree is only available at the Tampa campus.
Upon completing this state-approved program, the students are eligible for early childhood education teaching from pre-kindergarten/primary to grade 3. This diversified program includes theoretical coursework and extensive practical field experiences in childhood settings. Hence, you will get full hands-on experience and practical exposure to integrate your theoretical knowledge into teaching practice.
This 4-year program provides future educators with the required skills, knowledge, and practical experience to deal with children from birth to 8 years. The curriculum combines general education courses with specialized coursework, including educational psychology, assessment and evaluation, curriculum planning, classroom management, and language development. Enroll yourself, and begin the journey today!
The Bachelor of Science in early childhood education at Florida International University gives students a deep insight into advanced teaching and pedagogical tools and technologies suitable for little ones. Discover Early Childhood EDU has recognized the Florida International University as one of the top 40 most cost-effective Early Childhood Education Programs.
This undergraduate degree will prepare you for your career in child development, childcare, and early education from birth to age 8. The university has designed a meaningful and engaging curriculum, covering diversified courses such as Literacy Development, Classroom Management, Children Assessment Techniques, Children with Special Needs, Family Engagement, and Cultural Diversity.
There are two major tracks you can choose further:
· Early Childhood Development: This track mainly enlightens the importance and understanding of righteous learning during the developmental years of childhood. In this pathway, students will learn about children’s language, cognitive, social, and emotional development within community and family studies. Moreover, they will also learn about early and general education curricula and practicum.
· Pre-kindergarten/Primary Education and Reading/ESOL Endorsement: This track aims to train future teachers from Pre-kindergarten to grade 3. In short, it’s an initial teacher preparation program
After completing this degree from FIU, you can pursue your career as an elementary or preschool teacher, occupational/physical therapist, curriculum specialist, and educational advocate.
University of North Florida –Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Early Childhood Education/ Early Childhood Development Concentration
The University of North Florida, located in Jacksonville, is a nationally-ranked prestigious institute offering a Bachelor of Arts degree program in Early Childhood Education, particularly Early Childhood Development. This 4-year program meets the requirements of people working in early childhood who don’t require a teaching certificate from the Florida Dept. of Education.
Students can choose their desired electives depending on personal and professional goals. The students will get their field placement in early childhood faculty in various settings, including where the student is employed after graduation. The University of North Florida graduates are eligible for jobs in the early childhood field, including early learning coaches, Head Start, childcare directors, and other childhood and health-related non-profit agencies.
This 4-year degree curriculum comprises eight terms with 15 credit hours each, totaling 120 credit hours. A student has to complete a minimum 120-credit-hour program at the campus with 48 hours at the upper 3000/4000 level to get the degree. Apart from imparting theoretical knowledge, the university provides students a full hands-on practical experience to enhance their skills.
Ranked in the top 1% affordable universities, the University of Central Florida (UCF) offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Early Childhood Education. This program is ideal for students who want to pursue their careers and play influential roles in impacting the lives of the young from age 3 to grade three.
With approval from the Florida Department of Education, it is actually a state-approved initial teacher preparation program. Graduates having a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education hold the certifications for the following:
· Pre-kindergarten/primary (PreK-3) teacher
· A reading endorsement (K-12)
· Pre-K disability endorsement
· ESOL endorsement (K-12)
Moreover, many graduates have electives in the Subject Area K-6 exam and become eligible for teaching children from grades 4th through 6th. Students applying for this program must have completed their Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree in early childhood education with a minimum GPA of 2.5 for successful completion.
This 123-credit-hour program also includes 60 credit hours of coursework at the Associate in Science/Associate in Arts in Early Childhood Education level. However, students may be asked to pass an FDLE Level II background screening or any other on-ground requirements before beginning the experience.
Masters Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education
The Masters of Education (M.Ed) in Early Childhood Education program at Florida Atlantic University is a 36-credit-hour degree program that aims at providing expertise for practicing educators. Explicitly, those who want to pursue their career or intend to assume various leadership and teaching roles in their respective educational setups.
This program integrates advanced research, theoretical knowledge, and quality practice in the interdisciplinary field of early childhood education. Moreover, the Department of Exceptional Student Education (ESE) aids the program with more comprehensive content to strengthen the interdisciplinary focus. It will help the graduates to learn the required knowledge and teaching skills for children with various developmental issues.
To apply for this 27-credit Master’s degree program at Florida Atlantic University, you have to submit the graduation application form.
Masters in Science in Early Childhood Education at Florida International University, a public research university with more than 190 degrees pathways, provides sufficient training to the graduates. It mainly focuses on understanding and teaching children from birth to age 8 with the most contemporary and practical techniques to enhance their learning experience.
Moreover, students will develop a strong foundation in curriculum planning, instruction skills, and specialization in development and learning during childhood. You can apply for this program via the online graduate application with a minimum GPA of 3. Apply now and begin your journey as an influential educator!
Master of Education (M.Ed.) at the University of South Florida in curriculum and instruction, mainly concentrating on Early Childhood Education, emphasizes social justice and advocacy. This degree is explicitly designed to bring advancements in the knowledge and skills of childhood educators, so it’s not an initial teacher accreditation program.
You must meet the specific program and university’s graduate admission requirements to enroll. However, if you have not graduated in childhood education, you must complete some undergraduate courses after admission to the major.
Ph.D. Programs in Early Childhood Education
If you want to get a higher position or rank as an Early Childhood Teacher, Curriculum Specialist, or Educational Advocate, a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Florida is a suitable pathway for you. This program aims to develop influential leaders in teaching education and scholarship, primarily focusing on children from birth to age 8.
Once you attain a doctoral degree in childhood education, you’d be capable of impacting the personality and psychological development of the young. The prerequisite for this program is that all the applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, special education, child development, psychology, or any closely-related field, along with one year of employment. Students pursuing the Early Childhood Studies doctoral concentration need to take at least 18 hours of work in early childhood studies.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Florida ensures multi-disciplinary and scholarly inquiry on early childhood pedagogies. In addition to that, it also highlights curriculum development, teacher education, and policymaking among children from childbirth to age 8.
Students also develop deep insights into practical skills required to assume the roles of influential personalities, leaders, scholars, and advocates in innovative and contemporary childhood teaching practices. This program integrates a sound theoretical background with early childhood education practice, specializing in social justice and child advocacy.
Early Childhood Education Degrees in Florida Offered Online
Let’s discuss some online degree options in Florida!
Online Associate Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education
State College of Florida, with its campuses in the Manatee and Sarasota countries of Florida, is the region’s largest and first public college serving up to 11,000 college credit students. The online Associate in Science at the State College of Florida in early childhood education provides an immersive curriculum with tools and techniques to teach and lead the young in the classrooms within the comfort of their homes.
You will probably love the experience of touching the lives of the young and making an everlasting impact on their growth and development during the most important years of life. With unrivaled staff and faculty, the college offers an extraordinary virtual experience for new educators.
As you progress through the program, you will establish knowledge of the subject through specific field experiences and practicums. Moreover, lesson planning and child management skills will surely help you in the classroom. This associate program is offered in 5-week sessions, each focusing on a particular aspect of early childhood education.
After completing this online program, you will be prepared to undertake the primary charge for the long-term planning of young children’s education, care, and guidance. The State College of Florida graduates are immediately applicable for employment as child development managers and teachers, child development curriculum planners, and infant/toddler teachers.
Bachelor Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education
The entirely online Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Early Childhood Education at the University of North Florida aims to provide students with an extraordinary virtual learning experience worldwide. Even if you live far from Florida, you can benefit from this non-licensure study program from a highly prestigious institute.
This program aims to produce graduates eligible for various designations, including preschool teachers, child life specialists, Head Start and Early Head Start, learning coaches, preschool directors, and child advocates. Moreover, students who want to advance their degrees in childhood education must pursue this degree. After graduating, they can do the final practicum in various settings.
Florida International University is a highly reliable institute in higher education, offering some online childhood education programs. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) offered by the FIU is an entirely online course for those enthusiastic about early childhood education and development worldwide. The course aims to provide personal and potential growth for educators to impact young children’s lives positively.
This course is fundamental for teaching strategy and childhood development learning. The program typically provides classroom management techniques, child grooming, curriculum planning, childhood education, and much more. With the help of this degree, you might be able to support the growth and grooming of children from newborn to 8 years old.
This 120-credit-hour online program highlights the philosophy and theories of a child’s emotional, physical, social, and cognitive development. FIU provides high-quality academic experiences to both online students and on-campus students. You can easily connect with your classmates, discuss the lecture and share documents, and directly interact with your instructors.
Masters Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education
Students who are ardent about pursuing a career in childhood education must consider an online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction, especially if they live outside Florida or can’t manage to attend on-campus classes. This 36-credit online M.Ed. program accentuates the issues of curriculum planning, instruction, and assessment that influence educators at every level of their careers in various educational institutes.
Moreover, this degree is highly suitable for one looking for a balance of subject and pedagogical knowledge. Due to the online curriculum, the university ensures flexible schedules to ensure the completion of coursework while teaching. This program allows team-based learning among emerging educators to build a community.
Apart from many on-campus programs, the University of Florida also provides amazing online Master’s degrees for applicants worldwide. The online Master of Arts (M.A.) is specially designed for those who desire to deepen their knowledge in early childhood education.
This program generally covers advanced topics related to evaluation methods, leadership, curriculum design, etc. After electing this program, you can pursue a future in various fields, such as doctorate programs, employment in non-governmental agencies regarding education, health, early childhood organizations(NAEYC), and many more. Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education designed to advance your knowledge after B.A. is only for the Fall Semester at the University of Florida.
Ph.D. Programs in Early Childhood Education
The reinvention of doctoral-level education at the University of Florida is a promising pathway for educational leaders, advocates, and change agents to refine skills of practitioner scholarship. This program aids practicing educational professionals attracted toward theoretical knowledge and research to scrutinize the pressing problems in the teaching profession.
Once the students are engaged in the online coursework related to early childhood education, they will work full-time as instructors, teachers, administrators, and other educational professionals. This doctoral program develops a deep connection between theory, research, and practice and enhances students’ analytical thinking.
Although primarily online, the cohort model of this program supports maximal student interaction through synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. Hence, this inquiry-based experience creates a highly oriented learners’ community who co-construct and exchange knowledge to enhance their learning and skills.
Take your love and affection for nurturing a child’s future to a successful and satisfying career by learning the field’s philosophical, theoretical, and political practices. We have mentioned some top-ranked Florida on-ground and online institutes offering Associate, Bachelor, Master, and doctoral programs in early childhood education. Select the program, choose your pathway, and begin your journey as a keen childhood education learner!