Gain the knowledge and skills you need to advance your early childhood career and lead positive change in the policies, programs, practices, and systems affecting the lives of young children from prenatal development through age eight.

In this post-master’s program, you can develop a strong foundation in child development and learning theory, including the role of social, cultural, and family influences. As you examine the interdisciplinary nature of the field; national and international perspectives on development and learning; and the complex interaction of public policy, programs, and funding, you can develop the expertise required to become a more effective early childhood leader and advocate. Through a capstone project, you can apply your coursework and research to create positive change in an early childhood setting of your choice.

An Education Specialist degree, sometimes referred to as a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.), is ideal for educators who want to remain working in the field but who would like to increase their influence and impact on their learning communities.

Find information about Walden programs and licensure requirements specific to your state.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

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  • NCATE Accreditation

    National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

    The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the standard of excellence in professional preK–12 education.

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  • Tuition Savings for NAEYC Members

    National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

    Walden offers tuition savings to NAEYC members.

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  • Curriculum

  • Tuition and Fees

  • Highlights

  • Learning Outcomes

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Completion Requirements

  • 36 total semester credits

This program can be completed in as little as 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.


Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance on licensure issues; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure or endorsement.

Find out more about the Ed.S. in Early Childhood now.  Request Information

Next State Date is January 5.  Apply Now

Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
Tuition 36 total semester credit hours  $850 per semester hour $25,500
Books and Materials Estimated costs Included in tuition $0
Capstone Fee Per course $1,000 $1,000
Technology Fee  Per semester $160 $960
    Total $27,460

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

*Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

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As a Walden student, you can choose when, where, and how you learn thanks to our online format and MobileLearn®. Through this education technology, you can listen to coursework on your MP3 player, access your classroom from your iPhone, download coursework to your laptop, and more.

Find out more about what defines Walden’s Ed.S. in Early Childhood program:

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Document the use of research-based knowledge and skills in the areas of child development and/or teaching and learning to evaluate current practices and programs.
  2. Assess the role of sociocultural contexts, diversity, and human relationships in influencing the development of young children.
  3. Develop graduate-level scholarly skills (use of resources, scholarly writing, and critical thinking).
  4. Apply self-reflection to evaluate and ensure professional growth as advocates and leaders who promote positive social change in the field of early childhood.
  5. Evaluate existing systems of early care and education and work to improve outcomes for young children and their families.
  6. Demonstrate abilities as skillful leaders, managers of change, relationship builders, and collaborators with family members, colleagues, and agencies related to the field of early childhood to promote positive short- and long-term outcomes for young children and families and positive social change.
  7. Demonstrate leading positive social change through the process of producing a capstone project

For assistance in deciding which online degree program fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.