Early Childhood Education (AAS)


Program Overview 

There are few periods more important to a child’s educational development than the early learning years (birth to 5). The Associate of Applied Science in early childhood education (AAS in ECE) provides graduates with the professional skills necessary to deliver a positive early learning environment. UAFS’s program is the perfect choice for preschool workers and P-4 teaching assistants and paraprofessionals who are not seeking admission into a teacher licensure program. Graduates of the early childhood education program will have met the educational component of the Arkansas Birth Through Prekindergarten Teaching Credential awarded by the Division of Childcare and Early Childhood Education (DCCECE). ECE graduates can also take advantage of other pathways to professionalism that are recognized by the DCCECE and the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE). 


The UAFS Difference 

     Our ECE program was designed to fit the needs of today’s working professional. The courses are 100 percent online, and field experiences can be completed in the childcare provider’s own classroom. Plus, you can earn stackable credentials on your way to your associate degree. 

  • Nationally recognized Child Development Associate (CDA) coursework in first two semesters 

  • Certificate of Proficiency (CP) after 13 hours of ECE coursework 

  • Technical Certificate (TC) after 26 hours of ECE coursework 

  • Degree completion after four semesters 

  • Ages 3-4, Pre-K Endorsement for K-6 teachers 

Career Opportunities  

Earning your A.A.S. in ECE opens a wide variety of career opportunities and can lead to increased pay. This ECE degree is recognized in the Arkansas quality initiative Better Beginnings, which provides a star rating for licensed childcare centers that pursue quality through additional training of instructors. It is also recognized on the DCCECE Arkansas Professional Development Registry’s Career Ladder. Many of our graduates start fulfilling careers in positions such as: 

  • Arkansas Better Chance preschool lead teachers and assistants 

  • Headstart early care teachers 

  • faith-based childcare providers 

  • family home childcare providers 

  • center-based childcare providers 

  • and many more  

A.A.S. in ECE graduates who wish to pursue their K-6 licensure will have the coursework necessary to add the Pre-K endorsement to their teaching license. 


Explore our online degrees


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These degrees are associate or bachelor degree level programs. All of these can be completed online.

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