Hybrid Masters in Early Childhood Education Degrees and Graduate Programs

Earning a hybrid masters in early childhood education degree may prepare present and future educators to potentially shape and inspire young minds, helping to provide them ...

with some of their first classroom experiences. Early Childhood education is widely recognized as vital to a child’s intellectual and social development.  If working with younger ages of students is appealing to you, earning a Masters degree might set you up for a variety of potential career opportunities, as the population of children ages 3 -5increases, so to, does the demand for qualified individuals who can teach this group also emerge[i]. In fact, some positions, such as principals, typically need a master’s degree in education administration or leadership[ii].

Information about Hybrid Masters in Early Childhood Education Degree Programs

The field of early childhood education may also be a fascinating academic path for current professionals who are seeking to update credentials and skill-sets, as well as for those interested in teaching and understanding this group of learners. 

Whether you are drawn to working with infants, school children, children with special needs, or taking a role of administration and leadership, you do take pleasure in teaching children, and have a strong desire to help them succeed and learn.

What is a Hybrid Masters in Early Childhood Education Degree Program?

The field of education is broad; this particular aspect is concerned with the educational programs and strategies that are tailored for children from infancy through to age 8. Sometimes early childhood education focuses on guiding children to learn through play, and often refers to preschool or infant/child care programs. These ages are widely considered as important stages of development in a person’s life.

Early Childhood Education is a Growing Field:

  • Consider that the job outlook for preschool teachers is projected to grow 17% from 2012 – 2022, which is faster than average for all occupations[i]
  • Consider that the job outlook for Kindergarten and elementary School Teachers is projected to grow 12% from 2012 to 2022, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations[iii]
  • Job opportunities may be better for special education teachers with specialties in early childhood intervention and skills in working with students who have multiple disabilities or autism spectrum disorders[iv]

What Types Of Hybrid Masters In Early Childhood Education Programs Are There?

Navigating the broad range of options for hybrid masters in early childhood education programs may present a challenge, as there are programs that are more generalized as well as ones that are more specialized in. Keep in mind that each university can offer different topics and concentrations within their programs. GradSchools.com has an extensive directory, so get out your pad and pen and prepare to take notes! Some of the types of hybrid masters in early childhood education programs include:

  • Hybrid Master of Arts in Education in Early Childhood Education (MA.): Some of these programs are designed to provide learners with the skills to improve instruction and leadership in education of children from Pre-K to Grades K-5.
  • Hybrid Master of Science in Education: Specialization in Early Childhood Education (MSE/ECS.): can equip individuals with the knowledge, skills, and leadership proficiencies required for professional excellence as early childhood teachers, administrators or program specialists. Some programs of this genre are uniquely designed for the working professional seeking to develop technical skills and competencies.
  • Hybrid Master of Education in Early Childhood Education (M.Ed.): can equip professionals to teach middle grades, or secondary education.

Potential Curriculum For Hybrid Masters in Early Childhood Education

Coursework and concentration of study may help to guide your career path. Each type of degree program and school might have a slightly different curriculum or area of focus within it. Some of the courses students in early education masters programs may explore might include:

  • Curriculum Development in Early Childhood Education
  • Advanced Studies in Play and Child Development
  • Literacy and Young Children
  • Employee Supervision and management
  • Impact of Home, School Community Interaction
  • Managing the Early Childhood Environment
  • Methods of Teaching Language
  • Child Development Theories
  • Foundations of Educational Leadership
  • Survey of Research Methodology
  • Assessment

Early Childhood Education Accreditation:

When evaluating prospective master’s programs, determine what current accreditation standards are offered. Accreditation ensures the quality of your degree, and whether potential hiring managers will recognize it. A helpful database is the U.S. Department of Education[v]. Requirements for gaining a teacher’s license vary from State to State, and may change. Good resources for this information could be your local state department of education or the U.S. Department of Education[v]. A few of the certifications and associations are:

  • AASA: American Association of School Administrators
  • AFT: American Federation of Teachers
  • CEC: The Council for Exceptional Children

Helpful Search Hints: As you look through the listings on the GradSchools.com site, notice what draws you in, where your interests lie. For instance,

  • Are you are looking for a program that is geared to a specific age group, special needs, or gifted children?
  • Are you more attracted towards programs with a strong emphasis on psychology?
  • Do you currently hold a Bachelor’s degree and aspire to assume a position of leadership or administration in the field of Early Childhood Education?
  • Are you on the Ph.D. track, and require a preparation that includes basic and applied research, curriculum development, and other related accreditation or requirements?

Potential Advantages to a Hybrid Masters in Early Childhood Education

  • Balance: The hybrid format is a combination of online and on-campus courses.
  • Convenience: The hybrid format of study can be a very suitable learning method if you are currently a working professional in education that is in school to update certification and credentials in order to work with a specific group of learners.
  • Flexibility: The hybrid format can allows students to schedule study around their own timetable for the online segments, making it adaptable to a busy schedule.
  • Access: Being on-campus means you can potentially be involved in college life, form networks, interaction with classmates and professors, plus have access to the amenities such as athletic facilities, laboratories and libraries.

Potential Career Paths For Early Childhood Education Graduates

Graduates holding a Masters in early childhood education might choose from a variety of potential careers, whether in administration or education, private or public schools. Other options may depend on several factors, such as education, experience, accreditation and other determinants. Some of these potential occupations could include:

  • Preschool Teachers: care for and educate children, usually ages 3 – 5, who have not yet entered Kindergarten[i]
  • Childcare Workers: care for children when parents and other family members cannot, including basic needs, and homework, as required[vi]
  • Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: prepare younger students for future schooling by teaching them basic subjects[iii]
  • Elementary, Middle and High School Principles: responsibilities can include the management of school operations, including daily school activities, curricula, and overseeing staff[vii]
  • Preschool and Childcare Center Directors: direct and lead staff, oversee activities, prepare budgets, plans and their center’s programs[vii]
  • Special Education Teachers: work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional or physical disabilities in adaptive ways[ix]
  • Middle School Teachers: Educators, typically of grades 6 through 8, these professionals help students build on the fundamentals they learned in elementary school[x]

Ready to pursue a Hybrid Masters in Early Childhood Education Degree?

Each year, a significant number or older teachers reach retirement, leaving potential job openings for future graduates of early childhood education masters programs[xi]. The growing field of early childhood education may not only include different job opportunities, it may also be a rewarding field of study. If you have a true love for children, and desire to see them succeed in their growth and course of study, start browsing through the hybrid early childhood education masters programs on GradSchools.com so you can find the one that fulfills your vocational and academic goals!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm#tab-6 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm#tab-6 | [v] ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/childcare-workers.htm | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/management/preschool-and-childcare-center-directors.htm | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm | [x] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm| [xi] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-6