Early Childhood Education: Teaching Young Children

Instill a lifetime love of learning as an early childhood educator.

What is Early Childhood Education: teaching young children?

The Bachelor of Science Education Studies degree with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education Teaching Young Children is designed to prepare graduates for positions of teaching curriculum coordination, program directors, consultants and leadership positions in programs for early education.

This early childhood education degree program will equip you to help early learners thrive emotionally, socially and academically in the long run. You will have the opportunity to develop your approach in vital areas of early education, including the broader framework of learning aptitude, as well as specialized aspects of this framework, such as literacy. Build out your problem-solving and critical thinking skills to tackle the challenges of enhancing the individual child’s ability and well-being.

Have you already earned an AAS degree in Early Childhood?

Then we have great news…. Achieving a Bachelor’s degree is now easier than ever! Park University will automatically accept 18 education core credit hours (in addition to applicable general education courses) from your AAS into Bachelor of Science in Education Studies degree with Emphasis in Early Childhood Education: Teaching Young Children.

Learn more about the AAS in Early Childhood to Bachelor of Science Education Studies degree with Emphasis in Early Childhood Education: Teaching Young Children.

Locations & Learning Options

Although the coursework can be completed online, 95 percent of the early childhood education degree courses require interaction and/or observation with young children, educators and the community. Practicum courses and internships are “hybrids.” Early childhood education and training program seminars are online, but the coursework takes place in the field with young children, educators and the community. Diversity of experiences is necessary for a well-rounded educator. As a result, some observations may be pre-approved at the student’s place of employment, while others will occur outside the student’s place of employment.


You have the opportunity to pursue your early childhood education degree online or onsite at the following locations:

  • Online
  • Parkville
  • Campus Centers

The Bachelor of Science Education Studies degree with Emphasis in Early Childhood Education Teaching Young Children is designed to prepare graduates for positions of teaching curriculum coordination, program directors, consultants and leadership positions in early childhood programs. The degree program combines knowledge of child development and learning; family and community relationships; observation, documentation, and assessment; concepts and tools of inquiry in the content areas; curriculum development; effective teaching strategies; guidance; and professionalism. The Degree does not result in Missouri Teacher certification.


All students must apply for admission and meet admission requirements of the School of Education Early Childhood Teaching Young Children program one semester prior to education coursework numbered as 350 or higher.

School of Education Admission Requirements and Procedures


What is a practicum?

A practicum is a course that is tied to other related courses.

Within a practicum, candidates are able to directly apply concepts and ideas presented in the college classroom into a classroom with children.

Sometimes candidates consider practicum a “pre-student teaching experience”.

How many practicum are required?

There are two practicum required.

EDC 372: Infant and Toddler practicum: working 1 full day per week in an approved infant or toddler classroom (children aged 2 and under) during weeks 2-7.

EDC 373: Pre-primary practicum: working ½ day per week in an approved pre-primary (children aged 3-5-but prior to kindergarten) during weeks 3-15.

Determining practicum placement

Candidates will work with the faculty advisor to secure a practicum placement. If a candidate is near a campus center, there may already be practicum designed to meet the candidate’s and University’s needs.

Candidates should first review the NAEYC accredited programs to determine if there is a program near them.

Candidates may also suggest Early Head Start (infant/toddler) or Head Start (pre-primary) programs that are near them.

Once a potential site is identified, the candidate should notify the faculty advisor for further instruction. If candidates are unable to identify an accredited, Head Start, or Early Head Start program, the faculty advisor will work with the candidate to determine other options.


Once an internship placement is secured, the candidate will begin working in the placement one week after classes have begun.

Candidates will spend the equivalent of six weeks full-time in the internship experience.

Candidates will co-enroll in the seminar where they will work with other candidates engaging in the internship and a university faculty.

Internship Possibilities

  • Student teaching
  • Shadowing a director
  • Organizations benefiting children and families
  • Office of Head Start/Early Head Start
  • Resource and Referral Agencies
  • Education outreach (zoos, libraries, etc.)
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Licensing or Accreditation offices

Applying for Internship

One semester prior to the internship, candidates should work with their Faculty Advisor to determine possible placements for the internship.

Once the type of internship is determined, candidates will complete the application for internship and submit to Faculty Advisor.

The candidate and Faculty Advisor will work in collaboration to arrange the internship.

A mentor for the candidate will be identified by the program/agency and vetted through the Faculty Advisor. A university supervisor will be assigned to the candidate as well.

Amy Wolf

Dr. Amy Wolf

ECTY Coordinator of Distance Learning/Faculty Student Advisor
Associate Professor of Education

Dong Choi

Dr. Donna (Dong) Choi

Program Coordinator
Professor of Early Childhood Education

Our program for early childhood education provides instruction in the education of children from birth through pre-kindergarten, in key areas such as cognitive and social development, including emotional skills. Programming is specialized and geared toward the individual career aspirations of our candidates.

When selecting early childhood – teaching young children as a major, you will select a minor that interests you. All minors were vetted with community programs and agencies ensuring a good fit for your choice of career in early childhood education.

Early Childhood Education Career opportunities

  • Early Childhood Teacher
  • Head Start Teacher
  • Early Childhood Director
  • Early Childhood Consultant
  • Family Advocate
graduate with baby
students walking down steps outside

The path to A career in early childhood education

Park University’s Early Childhood: Teaching Young Children program is closely tied to the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s standards for teachers. All early childhood education degree program assessments are analyzed regularly with the standards to ensure candidates graduate with knowledge required. Program for early childhood education faculty work closely with early childhood programs and agencies to ensure candidates have hands-on experiences in programs that interest them.

All early childhood education degree candidates will apply to the School of Education one semester prior to their first practicum experience. Application includes FBI fingerprinting and state required background checks in addition to a number of other requirements.

Prepare for careers everywhere

Early childhood education degree graduates are prepared for all early education environments through diverse placements in rural, suburban and urban settings. Our graduates have their choice of internships in a variety of settings that are of interest that benefit children — from childcare facilities to a number of early education environments.

Related programs

Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.