Online Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Development

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Program at a Glance

  • Gain the introductory knowledge and skills to work with young children (birth through age 8) and families in early childhood settings, or further your current career in the early childhood development field.*
  • Learn to create effective learning environments for young children.
  • Apply your AAS in Early Childhood Development credits toward a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration at Purdue Global.
Upcoming Start Dates

We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility in your education, life, and work schedules.

Course Effort
15–18 Hours per Week
Course Length
10-Week Terms
Average Completion
2 years
Of Full-Time Study
Credits Required
(60 Semester Credits)
Cost per Credit
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Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development Overview

Prepare online to begin or advance your career with the foundational knowledge and skills it takes to work with children from birth through age 8 and their families.

The program curriculum focuses on the young child's growth and development, working with children in the inclusive classroom, health and nutrition needs, and activity implementation.

Online associate's degree in early childhood development courses prepare you to:

  • Apply knowledge and theory in early childhood settings.
  • Plan lessons for young children and their families.
  • Create effective learning environments for young children.
  • Help strengthen family and community relationships.
  • Apply professional standards, values, and practices.
  • Understand the importance of individuality and cultural diversity in learning and development.

See the University Catalog for policy and degree plan information specific to this program.

Purdue University Global Is Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The HLC ( is an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Ways to Save

  • Transfer Credits

    Earn credit for prior coursework completed at eligible institutions, including community colleges.

    Save Time and Money on Your Degree

  • Prior Work Experience

    You could earn undergraduate credit for your life and professional career experiences.

    Your Experience Counts

  • Financial Aid

    Title IV federal financial aid is available for many of our degree programs.

    Financial Aid FAQ

  • Grants

    Learn about federal financial grants and loan programs that may be available.

    Federal and State Grants

  • Prior Military Experience

    We offer credit for ACE-evaluated training and CLEP and DANTES examinations.

    Credit for Military Training

Program Cost Estimator

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Take the Next Step in Your Education and Career

Career Opportunities

Earning your AAS in Early Childhood Development online at Purdue Global prepares you to pursue a number of careers in the field.*

Potential job titles include:

  • Preschool teacher (except special education)
  • Preschool assistant teacher
  • Child care program specialist

Potential employers include:

  • Head Start programs
  • School readiness programs
  • Local preschools
  • Early Intervention programs
  • Child care organizations

Note: This program is not intended for individuals who are pursuing a license to teach early childhood education in a public or accredited private elementary school and is not represented as meeting specific state Board of Education criteria for assisting with children and teachers in a public school setting. This program will not certify graduates to become licensed teachers.

Reach Your Professional Goals Sooner

Earning your associate’s degree in early childhood development can have an immediate impact on your career.* It also lays the groundwork for advancing to a Purdue Global bachelor’s degree.

Get a Head Start on Your Bachelor's

Coursework from the AAS in Early Childhood Development is 100% transferrable into Purdue Global’s online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration.

What Courses Will I Take?

The associate’s in early childhood development curriculum connects applied theory to practice, ethics, and professionalism. It also helps you develop the critical thinking and communication skills you need to fulfill the responsibilities of early childcare development roles in a variety of learning environments.

See All Early Childhood Courses
Sample Courses
  • Early Childhood Curriculum Planning
  • Child Safety, Nutrition, and Health
  • Creative Activities for Young Children
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • Young Children With Special Needs

Program Requirements

  • Core Credits
  • Major Credits
  • Elective Credits
  • Total Credits

Get to Know Our Faculty

Purdue Global faculty members are real-world practitioners who bring knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and industry experience.

View Education Faculty Directory
grad hat icon 98% Faculty members who have advanced degrees
diploma icon 48% Faculty members who hold a doctorate
tablet icon 264 Faculty publications in 2019–2020
student at desk icon More Than 45,000 Professional development hours logged by faculty in 2019–2020

Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school or program-specific calculations. Source: Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis, July 2020. 2019–2020 academic year.

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*Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

This program will not certify graduates to become licensed teachers, is not intended for individuals who are pursuing a license to teach early childhood education in a public or accredited private elementary school, is not represented as meeting specific state Board of Education criteria for assisting with children and teachers in a public school setting, and was not designed to meet any specific state’s requirements for licensure or certification. Purdue Global makes no representations or warranties as to whether the degree or any individual courses meet such requirements. Refer to the University Catalog for additional information.

The University cannot guarantee that students will be granted admission to any future programs. Speak to an Advisor about transfer credit opportunities and see the University Catalog for the Prior Learning Assessment policy.