Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education


Am I qualified to get into an online early childhood education master’s program?






2+ Letters

At least two letters of recommendation from professors or former employers

Writing Samples

Brief Statement

A brief statement of intent regarding your degree program timetable and career aspirations



The most common exam required of applicants applying to early childhood education programs, regardless of whether the degree is offered online and offline.

Miller Analogies Test

Some colleges accept the MAT in lieu of the GRE, an exam that uses analogies to determine a candidate's analytical capabilities.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

This exam is typically used by business and management programs, however some early childhood education programs will take GMAT scores into consideration.

  • Average Score:
    • 21 Verbal
    • 27 Quantitative

Additional Requirements

No additional requirements.

What undergraduate degrees do early childhood education students typically hold?

  • Elementary education
  • Child development
  • Early childhood education
  • Family studies
  • Psychology

What can I do to better my chances of getting into an online master’s program in early childhood education?

  • Earn your teaching certification if you have completed a bachelor’s degree in education
  • Gain professional experience working with younger students
  • Many programs are interested in volunteer work and extracurricular activities, especially in education and leadership fields, so be sure to emphasize your participation in such programs

Financial Aid

What scholarships and grants are available to online early childhood education master’s students?

  • Bright Horizons National ECE Scholarship Program: Students accepted into an Early Childhood Education program at an accredited institution can win $250 to $1,000 from this national child care organization.
  • Phi Delta Kappa Past Presidents’ Fellowship: Graduate students must demonstrate their leadership abilities within the field of education by describing their past roles in an essay.
  • PATCH Early Childhood Education Scholarships: Students who wish to enroll in online programs at Hawaii-based schools can win a total of $2,250 a year from this child care agency.
  • Outlaw Student Teacher Scholarship: This academic coaching organization, formerly known as Straightforward Media, awards $500 every three months to prospective teachers.
  • Teach Grants: Students who commit to working in schools in low-income, high-need areas can receive up to $4,000 annually from the federal government.
  • James Madison Graduate Foundation: This organization is dedicated to furthering American Constitution awareness, awarding up to $24,000 to graduate students invested in teaching careers.
  • Fulbright Grants: The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers a wide range of grant opportunities to educators that focus on English language development or specialized research projects.

Careers & Salary

Upon graduation from an online early childhood education master’s degree program, what skills will I have?

  • The ability to effectively use current technology as a teaching and administrative tool in the classroom
  • A thorough understanding of childhood psychology and development for students ages 3 to 8
  • The ability to create a safe and learning environment for a diverse range of students, parents, and communities
  • The flexibility to create lesson plans and adjust teaching methods to meet students’ needs
  • Knowledge of current instructional methods and classroom planning strategies

Once I’ve earned my online master’s in early childhood education, what will my job prospects look like?

  • Elementary School Teachers

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      Rhode Island — $73,040
    • City with Highest Pay

      Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division — $96,860
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      Mississippi — $41,490
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Yuba City, CA — $66,370
  • Elementary, Middle and High School Principal

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      New Jersey — $124,040
    • City with Highest Pay

      Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division — $138,440
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      Vermont — $83,140
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Decatur, IL — $89,430
  • Kindergarten Teacher

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      Connecticut — $69,000
    • City with Highest Pay

      Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division — $94,730
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      Arkansas — $44,520
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Yuba City, CA — $65,340
  • Instructional Coordinator

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      Connecticut — $75,830
    • City with Highest Pay

      Trenton-Ewing, NJ — $89,770
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      Alaska — $65,490
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Ann Arbor, MI — $63,300

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook and Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor and Statistics; Collected July 2014

* Highest concentration of jobs refers to the location with the highest number of jobs (by field) for every thousand jobs. Average annual wage is then identified for the career in each location.


What are some of the most important publications in the early childhood education field today?

  • Early Childhood Research and Practice: ECRP is released twice a year, collecting articles about early childhood education policy, professional practice, and theory.
  • Journal of Research in Childhood Education: This Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) publication covers a wide scope of topics, including classroom practices, family issues, development theory, and current academic programs.
  • Child Development: The Society for Research in Child Development publishes this multidisciplinary journal twice a month, accepting articles, reviews, and research on childhood development from birth to adolescence.
  • Early Childhood Research Quarterly: The National Association for the Education of Young Children has featured empirical research regarding early childhood education for over twenty years.
  • Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education: This academic journal published by Taylor and Francis Online accepts reviews, manuscripts, and research regarding this field of education.

What RSS feeds related to early childhood education are worth subscribing to?

  • The Huffington Post: The dedicated Early Childhood Education section aggregates dozens of news headlines relevant to this field every month.
  • Education Week: This news feed is managed by the nonprofit, Editorial Projects in Education, and highlights commentary, special features, and news articles regarding early childhood education.
  • Let the Children Play: This is the blog feed of an early childhood teacher who details the importance of play in the education and development of young students.
  • NPR Education Section: Get national news updates and sound clips about the policies and cultural issues affecting schools and educators.
  • New York Times Education Section: Like NPR, this feed serves a national audience with news features, historical accounts, and commentary on the field of education.


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