9 Common Questions Answered by Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator

When you’re considering a degree in early childhood education, it’s only natural to have questions. Whether you’re interested in the Associate in Early Childhood Care & Education program or Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education program, you want to ensure you select a program that will help you achieve your goals.

To help you determine if the University of Cincinnati Online is right for you, we asked Program Coordinator, Kathleen Bryan, to answer common questions about our Early Childhood Education programs.

I’m considering an online program, but I’m worried I’m not computer savvy enough.

Kathleen’s response:

This is a very real but common concern! The first course in the Early Childhood Education program at the University of Cincinnati Online is called Learning ECE Online. This course is designed to help students gain confidence with technology while learning strategies and techniques to be successful college students.

This course has NAEYC’s Developmentally Appropriate Practice as its core objective while learning about academic integrity, how to write a college-level paper, and how to engage in an online environment. In addition, students learn study skills and time management strategies.


I currently work with infants. Are there classes that focus on this age group?

Kathleen’s response:

Yes!  The Early Childhood Education program at the University of Cincinnati Online has an Infant/Toddler focus area that specializes in the unique development of very young children, as well as the unique needs of a teacher or caregiver of this age group.

One of the courses called Social and Emotional Development is especially popular because it deals with a critical building block of early childhood mental health, which is attachment theory.

It is all about having strong connections when working with very young children and understanding their needs.

Are there any courses that could help me set up my area for infants?

Kathleen’s response:

Oh!  One of my favorite Infant/Toddler courses is Responsive Environments.

I think this is one of my favorite courses because of the textbook we use.  It is Jim Greenman’s book, Caring Spaces, Learning Places.  I leave it out on my coffee table at home so others can see how beautiful an Infant classroom can be!

This course demonstrates how to create beautiful, developmentally appropriate environments that support all domains, such as large and fine motor, social and emotional, and of course, cognitive and language development.

I’ve been in the field for a while. What course would help me be a better teacher?

Kathleen’s response:

I believe we all can learn something new every day! The course Classroom Organization and Guidance is one of the best courses for new or experienced teachers as it focuses on being an Intentional Teacher.

When an activity or a whole day does not go as planned, we must reflect on how the classroom and materials were organized and presented. We must also consider the factors that impact preschool children’s behavior.

This course is one of the first courses in the ECE Online program that lays the foundation for how to be the best teacher you could be!

I am not very confident in teaching math. Is there a course that can help me?

Kathleen’s response:

One of the methods courses in the Preschool focus of the Early Childhood Education program is Math, Science, and Social Studies for Preschoolers.  This is a very project-based course where you will actually develop math activities that you can use immediately with your preschoolers. This alone will build confidence in your understanding of math.

All of the Preschool methods courses are application-oriented and focus on developing materials that can be used immediately.

I am a director and don’t have time for student teaching. Is this program for me?

Kathleen’s response:

Absolutely!  UC Online understands that administrators cannot leave their job to complete student teaching. There are courses with a specific focus for directors, such as Administration, Operations, and Supervision of Staff, to highlight a few.

The Administration course focuses on the mission and vision for a center, as well as developing a philosophy for curriculum. The Operations course provides practical information, from starting a business plan to how to develop a budget.

Teacher retention is critical in a high-quality program. With proper supervision and development, teachers are more likely to stay at a center, which is the focus of the Supervision course.

Is there a license for an Early Childhood Administrator?

Kathleen’s response:

You do not need a license to become a childcare Administrator or Director; however, the center must have a license, and the administrator must meet certain criteria to have their name on the license.

That being said, in Ohio, there is an Administrator Credential.  If you complete the following three courses, Administration and Leadership, Operations of an ECE Program, and Supervision of Staff, which equal 9 credit hours, you qualify for the Ohio Administrator Credential Level 2.

This credential will add points to your Ohio Professional Registry Profile and is recognized by NAEYC.

I would like to start a nature-based preschool. Do you have any classes that would apply to this?

Kathleen’s response:

Starting a nature-based preschool is very cutting-edge! Families are realizing the benefits of children spending more time outside than inside and are looking for programs like this. The University of Cincinnati has just added a nature-based focus to the online Early Childhood degree.

Courses like Inquiry & Early STEM Learning, and Becoming an ECE Teacher Naturalist utilize a play-based curriculum grounded in outdoor environments.

Also, the Leadership in Nature-Based Early Learning Programs is the course that would help with the development of your own preschool.

I teach in a traditional classroom but want to incorporate more nature. Are there classes that could help?

Kathleen’s response:

If you are interested in “greening up” your playground or including more nature-based experiences into your existing program, perhaps adding nature-based early learning courses to your current academic plan would help.

Since there is room for electives in the Early Childhood Education bachelor’s degree, starting with ECE 1060 called Nature-Based Early Learning, could provide a solid understanding of how to incorporate nature.  Also, Movement, Storytelling & Arts in Nature could enhance your existing traditional curriculum.


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