The field of early childhood development education is predicted to expand through the next decade as the federal government increases funding for many key early childhood programs.*

Through Walden’s early childhood master’s non-licensure degree program, you can gain the knowledge, abilities, and leadership skills to prepare you for existing and emerging roles both in and out of the classroom. This child development master’s will deepen your understanding of child development and learning, expand your knowledge of effective programs and services and your ability to link issues of equity and inclusion to the impact on student learning and development. You will critically examine trends, apply research to relevant problems, and make informed decisions that will impact and improve your practice and ability to work with children in diverse learning environments.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Edition, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco (visited April 7, 2010).

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    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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  • Click here to view available scholarships.

  • “The care, respect, and knowledge adults bring to working with young children and their families can determine children’s later success in school and in life. Walden’s M.S. in Early Childhood Studies degree can help prepare you to shape programs and policies and make informed decisions that can improve learning opportunities for young children.”

    Dr. Kelley Costner
    Associate Dean of Master’s Programs
    The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership

  • Considering a career in early childhood education?

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    Download Walden’s Degree Guide for Early Childhood Careers. (pdf)

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Specializations

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

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

Administration, Management, and Leadership

Gain the skills you need to start or manage a child care center or development program. Earning your M.S. in Early Childhood Studies with a specialization in Administration, Management, and Leadership can give you the knowledge and skills you need to create child-centered programs that promote positive learning experiences for all children. Discover how to plan and manage budgets, as well as recruit, evaluate , and motivate qualified staff. Ensure child safety through regulatory compliance and explore ways to market your program in your community.

Courses in the Administration, Management, and Leadership specialization prepare you to:

  • Lead a curriculum and programmatic content that encourage learning for all children.
  • Recruit, select, hire, and evaluate staff members.
  • Manage finances and operational budgets.
  • Ensure the center’s compliance with health, safety, and other state codes.
  • Communicate effectively with parents, family, and the larger community about the center and its programs.

Pursue a variety of professional roles in child care administration and management, including:

  • Child care administrator
  • Assistant director
  • Director of a child care center or program
  • Owner of a child care center
  • Preschool director
  • Program administrator for early childhood programs

Completion Requirements

  • 33 total semester credits
    • Core courses (21 sem. cr.)
    • Specialization courses (9 sem. cr.)
    • Capstone Seminar (Capstone (3 sem. cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 20–24 months. 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.

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

Early Childhood Public Policy and Advocacy

Examine the complexities of the infrastructure of the early childhood field from local, state, national, and international perspectives. Analyze how policies are formed, the relationship of policies to politics, and the ways funds are allocated. Study grant writing, family and political advocacy, and research practices as you learn about effective communication plans, public policies, and advocacy initiatives.

Completion Requirements

  • 30 total semester credits
    • Core courses (21 sem. cr.)
    • Specialization courses (6 sem. cr.)
    • Capstone Seminar (Capstone (3 sem. cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 20–24 months. 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.

The program’s courses are delivered online in a prescribed sequence.

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

Teaching Adults in the Early Childhood Field

Explore the major theories of adult learning and motivation to prepare you for your role as a higher education faculty member, community trainer, technical assistance provider, parent educator, mentor, professional development facilitator, or child development trainer. Explore how to plan learning experiences, assess and modify instruction, and incorporate technology into instruction geared to adult learners.

Completion Requirements

  • 30 total semester credits
    • Core courses (21 sem. cr.)
    • Specialization courses (6 sem. cr.)
    • Capstone Seminar (Capstone (3 sem. cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 20–24 months. 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.

The program’s courses are delivered online in a prescribed sequence.

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

Teaching and Diversity in Early Childhood Education

Deepen your understanding of the ways diversity affects development and learning in early childhood. Study specific special needs as well as the impact of living in poverty and the effects of stress, violence, and trauma. Learn practical strategies and tools required to work with and teach young children including ways to plan curriculum, create caring and respectful environments, and improve developmental and learning outcomes for every child.

Completion Requirements

  • 30 total semester credits
    • Core courses (21 sem. cr.)
    • Specialization courses (6 sem. cr.)
    • Capstone Seminar (Capstone (3 sem. cr.)

Estimated time to completion is 20–24 months. 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.

The program’s courses are delivered online in a prescribed sequence.

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

M.S. in Early Childhood Studies

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost
Courses 30 total semester credit hours $660 per semester credit hour (includes course textbooks and materials)
Technology Fee per semester $160

M.S. in Early Childhood Studies with a specialization in Administration, Management, and Leadership

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost
Courses 33 total semester credit hours $660 per semester credit hour (includes course textbooks and materials)
Technology Fee per semester $160

20% off if you reside outside the U.S. Click here to find out more!

Tuition and fees are subject to change.

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

No Application Fee - Applying has never been easier.

As the development of high-quality programs and services for young children increasingly becomes a national priority, career options in the early childhood field are predicted to grow.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of education administrator positions in preschool and childcare will grow by 12 percent through 2018.*
  • The number of childcare workers is predicted to increase by 11 percent through 2018.*
  • Employment of preschool teachers is expected to grow by 19 percent through 2018—faster than the average of all occupations.*

Expand Your Career Options

Prepare for a variety of roles in the early childhood field, including:

  • Child and family advocacy
  • Public policy
  • Child development
  • Parent/family education
  • Professional development
  • Higher education
  • Working with young children
  • Program management

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Edition, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco (visited April 7, 2010).

In the M.S. in Early Childhood Studies program, which takes into consideration the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), you can:

  • Develop leadership skills and broaden your understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to the early childhood field.
  • Prepare to assume roles that impact and improve the profession.
  • Benefit from access to recognized experts in the field.
  • Put your newfound knowledge to work in a final capstone course that allows you to integrate and apply learning to real-world situations, issues, or problems.

When you choose Walden’s M.S. in Early Childhood Studies, you can benefit from the flexibility of online learning and from MobileLearn®. Offered exclusively at Walden, MobileLearn not only enables you to choose where and when you learn, it also gives you the ability to choose how you learn. Learn more.

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

“The care, respect, and knowledge adults bring to working with young children and their families can determine children’s later success in school and in life. Walden’s M.S. in Early Childhood Studies degree can help prepare you to shape programs and policies and make informed decisions that can improve learning opportunities for young children.”

Dr. Kelley Costner
Associate Dean of Master’s Programs
The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership

In this program, students gain the knowledge and leadership skills necessary for emerging roles in the field. The program allows student to deepen their understanding of child development and learning, and effective programs and practices, as well as explore current issues and trends. Students will learn to become skillful communicators, team members, relationship-builders, and collaborators with families, colleagues, and agencies. Knowledge gained regarding equity and inclusion will help students to become advocates for social change in the field of early childhood.

Graduates of the M.S. in Early Childhood Studies program will be prepared to:

  1. Demonstrate deep knowledge of child development, learning, and effective programs and practices.
  2. Critically examine issues, trends, and current research.
  3. Understand foundational theories of research and practice evidence-based research and decision making.
  4. Have deep knowledge of issues related to equity and inclusion; address inequities and advocate for social change.
  5. Be skillful communicators, team members, relationship-builders, and collaborators with family members, colleagues, and agencies related to the field of early childhood.
  6. Be critical and self-reflective of their own values, beliefs, and biases and use this understanding to improve their own work.

Walden is committed to providing the information you need to make an informed decision about where you pursue your education. Click here to find detailed information for the M.S. in Early Childhood Studies relating to the types of occupations this program may lead to, completion rate, program costs, and median loan debt of students who have graduated from this program.

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.