Why This Matters


    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that kindergarten and elementary teachers earn an average of just over $60,000 per year.


    Jobs for teachers in kindergarten and elementary schools are expected to grow by 4%, which is around the average level of growth for all occupations, and there will be 56,100 new jobs by 2029.


    California, Texas, and New York employ the highest number of elementary school teachers, with Florida and Illinois rounding out the top five, according to the BLS.

Our Research

Most of the expenses you take on with a bachelor’s degree are related to tuition, and that’s why we looked for early childhood education programs that had the lowest cost per credit. Our list includes schools with cost per credit figures as low as $150.

Also, any program you’re considering should be accredited. Some of the major accrediting bodies for the programs on our list include the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AQEP), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  • 55 hours to write this article
  • 150 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 170 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

An online bachelor’s in early childhood education can be much cheaper than a traditional in-person program. Some schools give online-only students a tuition discount since they aren’t using the brick-and-mortar facilities of the campus, and you may also be saving on gas to and from the school as well as daycare expenses if you need childcare while you’re in class. When you’re trying to get an idea of how much your bachelor’s in early childhood education will cost, multiply the cost per credit by the number of credits required to graduate.

When you’re pursuing an undergraduate education, it’s important to be aware of the various financial aid options available to help take some of the burden off. The first step for most grants, need-based scholarships, and student loans is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you think you may qualify for merit-based scholarships, talk to the financial aid office at your intended school to see what’s available.

Many students have to work while also pursuing their degrees. In that case, it’s important to consider how much time you have for your studies. While online degree programs usually allow for more flexibility, you may need to go to school part-time if you’re working full-time or have other obligations. Online degree programs may also require you to have specific computer equipment, programs, and a high-speed internet connection, all of which may mean extra expenses on your part.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s in early childhood education programs.

  • Am I eligible for this program? Most bachelor’s programs only require a high school diploma or equivalency. However, some schools may also require you to submit ACT or SAT scores or take a placement test to demonstrate math, reading, and writing proficiency.
  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Whether classes are offered asynchronously or synchronously depends on the individual school and program. Some schools let you work at your own pace and just require that assignments and tests be completed by a specific deadline, while others require you to log in for specific class times and discussions. Make sure you look for a program that fits your schedule and needs. You may also need to complete student teaching requirements.
  • How long does it take to complete an online bachelor’s in early childhood education? Students going full-time can expect to complete a bachelor’s program in about four years. You can cut this down a bit by taking summer classes or extend it by only going part-time. Keep in mind that you will also need to get licensed in your state and pass the Praxis if you’re planning on working in elementary education.
  • What tests are required for an online bachelor’s in early childhood education program? You may have to take the SAT or ACT for entry into a bachelor’s program. For an online program, you may also have to pass a test that shows you have basic computer skills.