Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (BAECE)

Program Overview

On-site   Online  

Non-residents of California; military personnel or their dependents; and international students should contact the Department of Education of the state in which they reside or intend to reside, or the Ministry of Education of the country in which they live, to determine specific requirements for employment. State or country specific coursework, in addition to the BAECE degree program, may be required to obtain a permit, license or credential necessary for employment. Candidates assume the responsibility for determining and meeting these requirements.

The program is based on a conceptual framework of current theory, contemporary perspectives and sound research findings. Focus is on knowledge, attitudes, skills, practice, reflection and field experiences needed to become efficient, competent, and effective professionals in the field of early childhood education. Emphasis is on designing appropriate learning environments, individual and adaptive curricula, and instructional strategies and techniques to maximize learning outcomes. Topics demonstrated, both in writing and discussion, provide a broad-based foundation of child development in the areas of familial and socio-cultural influences on learning and brain development, parent empowerment, peer cooperation and collaboration, early cognition, emerging literacy (listening, speaking, reading and writing), ongoing participant observation and appropriate developmental screening assessments, child advocacy, law and ethics, and, most important, play as pedagogy.

Background Check
Agencies/schools collaborating with the Sanford College of Education to provide field experience, often require a background check and TB clearance prior to acceptance of a student into their facility. Candidates who do not have a Certificate of Clearance will not be able to attend the field experience component of the course and, therefore, will be unable to complete their program of study. Any fee or cost associated with background checks and TB testing is the responsibility of the student.

Note: ALL ECE prefix courses require a field experience in an approved setting. An approved setting is working with children from Birth to Age 5 in a general education, inclusive setting. Recommended sites are Early Head Start, Head Start, CA State Preschools and NAEYC accredited sites.

Students may be required to provide proof of current DTAP, MMR, and Flu vaccinations in order to complete their field work per SB792. Any fee or cost associated with this requirement is the responsibility of the student.

Arkansas Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education Disclosure
Enrollment in the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education offered by National University may require Arkansas applicants/students to pursue teacher/administrator licensure in California and then earn an Arkansas educator or school administrator license by reciprocity. The State of Arkansas has additional course requirements in order to earn an Arkansas license in the program area or a similar program area, and Arkansas applicants/students must check the website for information on Arkansas reciprocity:

Washington Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education Disclosure
Eligibility for initial educator certification in Washington is based on a completion of a state-approved educator preparation program. This program in intended to lead to licensure in California. Even though you may be residing in Washington while in this program, your application for educator certification in Washington will be processed as an out-of-state application. Go to for more information. Educators are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.


Program Learning Outcomes

  • Identify essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas and resources for early childhood education.
  • Develop oral, written and technological skills for communicating with families and very young children.
  • Create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for young children.
  • Use systematic observations, documentation, and other assessment strategies in partnership with families and professionals to positively influence children’s development and learning.
  • Implement a curriculum that promotes development and learning outcomes for diverse young children.
  • Demonstrate ethical, legal, and professional standards in early childhood education.
  • Create positive relationships and supportive interactions with young children.

Click here for program specific course information. 

Meet Our Faculty

Introducing the Opportunity Scholarship

In honor of our students, and in celebration of our 50th anniversary, National University is investing $30 million in new student scholarships. To learn more about the Opportunity Scholarship, how you can apply, and how much you can save, inquire today.

Why Choose National University?

We’re proud to be a veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 180,000 alumni worldwide.

Four-Week Classes

Focus on one subject at a time — one month at a time — and finish your degree faster.

75+ Degree Programs

Choose from associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, plus credentials and certificates.

On Campus or Online

Study when and where it’s convenient for you with evening, weekend, and 100% online classes.

Year-Round Enrollment

Apply or transfer any time. Classes start monthly, and applications are accepted year round.

20+ Locations

Attend class and learn onsite at one of over 20 locations in California.

Military Friendly

As a Yellow Ribbon school, we offer tuition discounts to servicemembers and dependents.

Chat with an Advisor