The online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood & Family Studies gives you the skills and knowledge you need to make a difference in the lives of young children and their families. This innovative degree completion program prepares you to advance your career in a variety of fields, including education, social and mental health services, child care, and parent support and education.
The ECFS curriculum incorporates academic theory, the latest research in early childhood education, and practical training in the field.
Intentional Teaching Framework
The program uses an Intentional Teaching Framework that enables students to learn not just by gaining knowledge but also through action, observation and reflection. Working in the classroom enriches the learning experience, giving you the opportunity to observe early childhood professionals in action and to practice interacting with children with expert guidance and support.
Know – Gain knowledge of child development and specific practices
See – Objectively describe what's happening in your own and others’ video clips using specific behavioral language
Do – Set goals, plan, and implement strategies
Reflect – Observe your practice, assess, analyze, and implement quantifiable positive change
The ECFS program features two degree pathways. Both offer a strong, interdisciplinary foundation of knowledge that readies you for further study or career advancement.
This pathway provides a strong foundation in early childhood topics. It prepares you to start or advance in a wide variety of career areas, including family and community support, policy and advocacy, social and health services, child protective services, and children’s museum education and outreach. It also readies you for graduate study in disciplines related to young children and families.
Teaching & Learning Pathway
This pathway includes the same coursework as the Core Pathway, with additional courses that are specific to early childhood teaching and learning. The Teaching & Learning Pathway prepares you to enter or advance in early learning professions such as preschool teacher, director or owner of a preschool or child care center, coach or mentor. In addition, this pathway provides you with a strong base for future graduate study in elementary education, special education, early childhood curriculum or leadership.
The ECFS program includes service-learning courses, where you can apply what you've learned while working alongside early childhood education professionals. Those already working in the field can complete the service learning at their current jobs, while others can connect with early learning sites in their community.
The ECFS program is offered completely online. Most full-time students will complete the program in two years; part-time students typically finish in three years.
The total number of UW credits required to complete your degree depends on how many credits you transfer. You must enter the program with at least 70 academic credits. Like all UW bachelor of arts degrees, the ECFS program requires the completion of at least 180 total credits.