Early Childhood Education

Early childhood teachers have the opportunity to shape young lives. Be the teacher who ignites a lifelong love of learning.

Make An Impact

Early childhood – typically defined in Virginia as preschool through about 3rd grade – is a critical time for child development. Not only are students learning a multitude of academic skills, like reading and mathematics, they're also adjusting to classroom dynamics and practicing important socio-emotional skills that they will need for the rest of their lives. By studying early childhood education at the School of Education and Human Development, you'll learn the specific skills you need to guide and support young children in the classroom and set them on the path to lifelong learning.

“Young students need a consistent trajectory of educational experiences that builds on the preceding years—and informs what follows.”

– Dean Bob Pianta


As emerging research continues to confirm the importance of brain development in young children, early childhood educators are in increasingly high demand.

Teaching offers more than an enriching and fulfilling career – it also offers stability. US News reports that over 116,000 new elementary education jobs will be added to the market by 2022. Fortunately, the School of Education and Human Development teacher education graduates enjoy a 100% job placement rate. Our teaching graduates have also become instructional coordinators or curriculum specialists, gone into government to improve educational policy, pursued careers in academia and research, and joined museums.

Degrees and Course Series

Choosing the right degree or course series is critical to supporting your ultimate career goals. Let us help guide you through your choices.

  • BSED - Early Childhood Education

    The School of Education and Human Development's new four-year bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education offers a more affordable pathway to becoming a teacher in Virginia. Our top-ranked early childhood program combines in-depth instruction on principles of teaching and learning with significant time spent in real classrooms applying your knowledge. In four years, you'll earn your teaching license and graduate prepared to lead your own Prek-3rd grade classroom.

    Learn More
  • Early Childhood Course Series

    The Early Childhood online course series provides professional development for individuals seeking to learn more about early childhood education and ways to have an impact on our youngest learners. These open enrollment courses are beneficial for individuals who wish to work with young children across settings.

    Learn More
  • BIS - Early Childhood Concentration

    Offered at UVA's School of Continuing and Professional Studies in partnership with the School of Education and Human Development, the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in early childhood is designed to provide new educational and employment opportunities for adult learners seeking to complete their undergraduate degree with a liberal arts education and a professional focus in early childhood. Courses, all offered online, develop students’ foundational knowledge and skills in early childhood. This degree does not lead to licensure, but it will prepare you to fill a variety of in-demand roles in childcare, pre-school, education administration, and child, family, and school services.

    Learn More

News & Media

  • $10 Million Gift Supports Early Learning

    Jane Batten’s gift will enable creation of professorships and fellowships in the School of Education.

    Read More
  • 2019 Early Childhood Education Summit

    Superintendents, policy makers, and experts gathered for a conversation about the status and future vision for Early Childhood Education in the Commonwealth of VA.

    Read more
  • New Undergraduate Major: Early Childhood Education

    In a major restructuring of its Teacher Education program, the UVA School of Education and Human Development launched 3 new undergraduate teaching majors.

    Read More
  • Running on a New Promise for Pre-K

    "Let’s stop thinking that pre-k, universal or targeted, is the silver bullet answer," writes Dean Pianta for The Hill.

    Read More
  • Researchers Pilot New Curriculum in Virginia

    The Ed School will pilot a new curriculum in 100 early childhood classrooms, half private and faith-based and half state or federally funded, over the next two years.

    Read More
  • Expanding Quality Early Childhood Education

    Virginia and Louisiana landed nearly $18M in federal grants to enhance early childhood education initiatives. Ed School researchers are a key part of both projects.

    Read More
  • The Latest News

    Stay in the know – click the link below for a full list of news stories about Early Learning.

    More Stories