Academic Experience

baby boy playing with toyThe online Bachelor of Arts in Early Care & Education gives you the skills and knowledge you need to make a difference in the lives of young children and their families. This innovative degree completion program prepares you to advance your career in a variety of fields, including education, social and mental health services, child care, and parent support and education.


The program curriculum incorporates academic theory, the latest research in early childhood education, and practical training in the field.

Intentional Teaching Framework

The program uses an Intentional Teaching Framework that enables students to learn not just by gaining knowledge but also through action, observation and reflection. Working in the classroom enriches the learning experience, giving you the opportunity to observe early childhood professionals in action and to practice interacting with children with expert guidance and support. 

intentional teaching framework graphicKnow  Gain knowledge of child development and specific practices

See  Objectively describe what's happening in your own and others’ video clips using specific behavioral language

Do  Set goals, plan, and implement strategies

Reflect  Observe your practice, assess, analyze, and implement quantifiable positive change

Degree Pathways

The program features two degree pathways. Both offer a strong, interdisciplinary foundation of knowledge that readies you for further study or career advancement.

Core Pathway

This pathway provides a strong foundation in early childhood learning and development. It prepares you to enter or advance in a wide range of fields affecting children from birth through age 8 and their families, including care and education, health, and social services. It also readies you for graduate study in disciplines related to young children and families.

Teaching & Learning Pathway

This pathway includes the same coursework as the Core Pathway, with additional courses that are specific to early childhood teaching and learning. The Teaching & Learning Pathway prepares you to enter or advance in early learning professions such as preschool teacher, director or owner of a preschool or child care center, coach or mentor. In addition, this pathway provides you with a strong base for future graduate study in elementary education, special education, early childhood curriculum or leadership.

Service Learning

The degree includes service-learning courses, where you can apply what you've learned while working alongside early childhood education professionals. Those already working in the field can complete the service learning at their current jobs, while others can connect with early learning sites in their community.

Program Format

The program is offered completely online. Most full-time students will complete the program in two years; part-time students typically finish in three years.

Degree Requirements

The total number of UW credits required to complete your degree depends on how many credits you transfer. You must enter the program with at least 70 academic credits. Like all UW bachelor of arts degrees, this program requires the completion of at least 180 total credits.