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College of Education and Human Services
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Early Childhood Education

We offer courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels that provide in-depth, research-based knowledge in key areas for early childhood professionals working with children from birth though age 8. Our network of  Professional Development Schools offers our students an opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including public, private and public charter schools. In some cases, we can coordinate partnerships for students who wish to complete their field work at their places of employment or specific settings such as non-profits or out-of-school programs. Take a look at our course offerings below and see which program best suits your needs and career goals. 

Graduate Programs

Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

UNF’s Master of Education: Early Childhood Education was ranked in the top 100 for Best Online Graduate programs in 2021 by U.S. News and World Report

The Educational Curriculum and Instruction Master's Degree includes a specialization in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Education Leadership. The interdisciplinary program is designed for individuals who work or wish to work as leaders in early learning or early childhood professions. The program of study focuses on curriculum, instruction, leadership, policy, and advocacy for children and families with coursework in the social, historical, philosophical and international perspectives of early childhood education. Graduates of this interdisciplinary program will be well-positioned to serve in positions in both the public and private sector, to support the healthy development, growth, and education of families and children.  Admission to this program does not require teaching credential.

Graduate Certificates

Early Childhood Certificate

The 18 credit distant learning program in Early Childhood Education emphasizes the professional preparation of students at the graduate level for a range of careers in early childhood education (children ages 0-8) within diverse community contexts. The coursework provides preparation for working with young children, their families, and communities. This program prepares individuals for a highly specialized role and offers a dynamic combination of theory, research and practical field-based application. This certificate will prepare students who are interested in teaching in higher education. While this program is stand alone, students may work with an advisor and the graduate school to include this coursework as part of a master's or doctoral program.

Whole Child Certificate

The 15 credit program focuses on research, theory, and best practices related to teaching in developmentally and culturally responsive ways. The program covers child-centered educational models including Montessori, Waldorf, Public Waldorf, and Reggio. The play-based pedagogy supports individuals interested in literacy, science, technology, art and mathematics (STEAM) and service learning. The blended model may include face to face, hybrid, and online coursework. Periodic opportunities to travel to Perugia, Italy and England to study whole child learning models are also offered. While this program is stand alone, students may work with an advisor and the graduate school to include this coursework as part of a  master's or doctoral program.