Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 2)

College of Education


What is Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 2)?

This major prepares you to teach children from birth to grade two. You’ll learn how to teach students subjects like reading and math as well as skills like studying and communicating with others. You’ll learn to assess students to test their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. You'll also work with them to overcome specific learning challenges. 

Our Early Childhood Professional Education Program is an online program uniquely designed for transfer students holding an associate degree in early childhood or a similar field. Coursework is offered online, in the evening, and in a format structured to meet the needs of working professionals. Field and clinical experiences are arranged to meet the geographic and logistical constraints of program participants. This 2.5-year degree program meets all requirements of the Illinois Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Act (ECACE). Two concentrations, licensure and non-licensure, are available.

Career Options

  • Child care
  • Elementary education
  • Parent education
  • Pediatric nursing
  • Preschool education

Post-Graduation Success1

87% employed or continuing education

84% employed after graduation

3% attending graduate school

$41,112 average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: Chicago Public Schools, Champaign Unit 4 School District, Urbana School District 116 View All

Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Midwestern University, Illinois State University View All

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Strong English coursework and performance
  • Interest and experiences related to the major

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

3.8 years to degree

91% first-year retention rate

Four-year graduation rate: N/A

Six-year graduation rate: N/A

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $12,712
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $35,862


  • Tuition: $31,832
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $55,322


  • Tuition: $32,780
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $56,270