Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

a young girl reads a book symbolizing early childhood education

For people who are already practicing educators, a master’s degree in early childhood education allows for both the advancement into program administration and a chance to enhance professional practice.

Students can expect +to learn advanced topics in early child development, classroom management, and both public and private school administration.

Master’s Degree Coursework

Since all of the general education credits are taken at the bachelor’s degree level, the master’s degree track is much shorter. Most programs are anywhere from 36-48 credit hours, meaning 12-16 courses. All of these courses are related to education and often link to a specific emphasis. For example, an early childhood education master’s could focus heavily on pre-literacy skills and the way children develop communication skills.


Instructors analyze many of the most important skills for successful educators during observational periods for advanced degrees. For example, the management of an early childhood classroom relies upon setting up authentic play experiences for children. Common topics of study include advanced instruction in the structure and elements of effective play-based classroom curriculum.

Also, for those who aim to move into program administration, school law and finance are often a component of study. Since administrators must understand and abide by all related funding and equal access laws, the master’s degree can help educators prepare for those responsibilities. Data management and analysis are a significant part of modern education as well, so master’s degree programs often include the development of these skills as well.

Employment Outlook

A master’s degree in early childhood education can lead to a variety of jobs. In areas where funding is not an obstacle, the master’s degree makes early childhood teachers more desirable hires. Also, the educational administration landscape enjoys a positive job outlook. On top of that, a master’s degree in early childhood education leads to university instructor positions and jobs in teacher preparation. The master’s degree in early childhood education substantially broadens an educator’s options.

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