Early Childhood Education

Degree Overview

The Early Childhood Education program is for those who want to be certified to teach or work with children from birth through age eight (3rd grade).  This degree program places student teachers in one of our nine partner school districts and emphasis is on teaching within urban or diverse settings. Students may also obtain a bachelor of arts in elementary education at the same time by taking four additional classes.

Who benefits from this degree?

An early childhood degree from UMKC will be a “fit” for you if you are currently working in the field and want to further your education, if you have always known you wanted to be a teacher of young children, or if you’d like to work in a wide variety of settings from community advocate of infants/toddlers to primary public school teacher.

  • YOU will benefit from this competency based program: When you learn through UMKC’s diverse community, you will be READY when you graduate to serve in any kind of setting.
  • The CHILDREN you will teach will benefit: You will learn about the vital importance of the early years, understand child development theory, and be able to competently put your theories into practice, as you teach “individuals” and not “subjects.”
  • The COMMUNITY will benefit: When you become an educator who understands and can address the needs of a diverse urban community, and advocate effectively for young children’s needs.

What will the program look like?

From the very beginning, you will be in early childhood settings observing and working with teachers and children, having authentic experiences in the field.


Certification is from Birth – 3rd grade, so you will experience the full range of development, from practicum with infants and toddlers to learning how to teach reading in primary settings.


In this nationally accredited, hands-on, learner-centered, constructivist program, you will experience diverse populations, family & community, networking, theory & practice, advocacy, planning, implementation and assessment for individual learners, and learn to appreciate the uniqueness of each child.


This range of experience will truly exemplify the slogan: Learn here. Serve anywhere.