9 Best Online Colleges with Online Degrees in Child Development

Written by College Cliffs Team At, our team, comprising seasoned educators and counselors, is committed to supporting students on their journey through graduate studies. Our advisors, holding advanced degrees in diverse fields, provide tailored guidance, current program details, and pragmatic tips on navigating application procedures.

Reviewed by Linda Weems I got started researching colleges and universities about 10 years ago while exploring a second career. While my second career ended up being exactly what I’m doing now, and I didn’t end up going to college, I try to put myself in your shoes every step of the way as I build out College Cliffs as a user-friendly resource for prospective students.

Updated: April 8, 2024, Reading time: 19 minutes

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Do you love kids? Are you passionate about shaping a bright future for them? One of the best decisions you can make is to become part of the Child Development industry!

Online Degrees in Child Development - fact

Empathetic and futuristic students are best suited for an online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Development program. As they progress through the program, they acquire the theoretical understanding and practical communication skills to excel in Child Development and help children thrive.

An online Child Development degree examines not only the developmental stages of a child but also the vital aspects of their lives, including their families, cultures, friends, and environment affect their development. Learners gain an in-depth understanding of social and behavioral science.

Child Development bachelor’s degree programs can be completed in four years of full-time study, with a 120-credit requirement. Typically, students specialize in Counseling, Early Childhood Education, and Juvenile Delinquency, often with practicum, internship, or fieldwork opportunities in Child Development. 

Did you know that 22.2% of the American population are kids? Consequently, Child Development professionals—professionals capable of working with children in all stages of their development—are in high demand, including preschool teachers, special education teachers,

The Lowdown

An online Bachelor’s in Child Development program explains how children grow and develop their skills and personalities the way they do. This online degree explores how to support children as they grow into responsible adults who contribute to society. After all, the early development stages directly impact children’s long-term health outcomes, educational achievement, and earnings.


Child Development degree programs are available as on-campus and online programs. We put together today’s excellent colleges and programs to help you find the degree that meets your academic and professional goals!

These factors were considered in our selection of the best online bachelor programs for Child Development majors:

Head over to our Methodology page to learn more about our ranking process.  

College Cliffs is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

9 Best Online Colleges with Online Degrees in Child Development

West Virginia University

West Virginia University - Online

Online Bachelor of Science in Child Development & Family Studies

The BS in Child Development & Family Studies program is offered at West Virginia University. This online degree aims to prepare students for providing care to children, adolescents, and families in various settings and to encourage children to become competent learners. Child Development and Family Studies features an extensive discussion on the conditions and factors affecting children’s growth. 

In addition to careers as a developmental specialist, parent educator, or early childhood resiliency specialist, the CDFS degree can prepare students to work with young children and their families.

Some of the courses in this program are the following:

What Makes this Program Unique:

One of the things that sets this program apart from the rest is that there is no field experience requirement. This means that online students can complete it conveniently. It is a non-certification online course that covers development from birth through age eight, emphasizing teaching young children and families.

Students will explore Early Childhood settings, including preschools, hospitals, after-school programs, and childcare centers.

Did You Know?

Opportunities to help kids, families, and communities reach their full potential exist in Child Development and Family Studies. People with this type of employment can collaborate with others to improve communities.

University of Arizona Global Campus

The University of Arizona Global Campus

Online Bachelor of Arts in Child Development

A Bachelor of Arts in Child Development program is also available and offered by the University of Arizona Global Campus. This hones your expertise and capability when it comes to working with children.

The topics you will study in your Child Development online classes are language acquisition, behavior, and play, which play is vital for children’s development.

The study of Child Development is still a priority for many organizations due to the growing attention paid to the variables that affect children’s development. In this era of technology and external factors affecting youth growth, children need to be guided by professionals.

Be a champion for children while influencing their future growth.

What Makes this Program Unique:

By earning your online Child Development degree, you will focus on how kids develop biologically and psychologically from infancy through adolescence. Graduates with a degree in Child Development will be able to analyze how context influences family, culture, individual child or adolescent needs, and the interconnectedness of developmental domains.

You’ll learn to create partnerships that support healthy child/adolescent development and positive interactions with diverse families and communities. You will also be exposed to all the Child Development theories and cornerstones in this field. 

Did You Know?

Become an expert in Child Development with this online bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona Global Campus. An emphasis enhances and broadens your education by providing additional opportunities for broadening and enriching your studies.

It can be taken as a means of expanding career options, preparing for graduate school, or simply exploring an area outside of your major in greater depth. 

University of La Verne

University of La Verne

Online Bachelor of Science in Child Development

The LaFetra College of Education is part of the University of La Verne, and they’re the one that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Child Development program. The program prepares students to work effectively with infants to age eight and their families during a child’s most critical development stage.

The Child Development major’s study of children’s growth and development in connection to their families, schools, and communities is a key component.

There are several advantages to earning a degree in Child Development, including a strong emphasis on the importance of the first eight years of life concerning social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development, as well as the importance of building a respectful relationship with families during that time.

Students in our program will be prepared for careers such as teaching infants and toddlers, joining preschool or kindergarten institutions, becoming a counselor, or joining social work services.  

What Makes this Program Unique:

As a foundation of healthy human development, caring and responsive relationships are essential components of the curriculum and program. In this program, you’ll use reflective practice to learn throughout your life. You can be culturally aware to strengthen and enrich individuals, families, communities, and society.

Did You Know?

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University

Online Bachelor’s in Child Development

The concentration in Child Development at Jacksonville State University prepares students to understand children and their families through academics and fieldwork.

During the program, students will be prepared for various careers in Child Development. You can learn how to facilitate children’s healthy development as you finish this online degree.

This online program teaches students how to guide children and teachers to develop positive behaviors. The course also teaches students to develop a curriculum based on healthy and effective developmental strategies for children’s growth and maturity. 

What Makes this Program Unique:

With a concentration in Child Development, students will be prepared for careers working with children and families. Their qualified professors are well-versed in educating students about the factors that affect human growth and development.

This online degree will assist students in furthering their understanding of families as systems that interact, influence, and are influenced by one another. There are many research opportunities, so you will nurture the research skills necessary to evaluate children and observe them.

Did You Know?

This concentration does not meet the prerequisites for teacher certification. A special background check is necessary before enrolling in any course that involves dealing with children. Finally, after graduation, you can become a parent educator, child and family advocate, recreation manager, family service coordinator, or social worker.

Concordia University St. Paul

Concordia University St. Paul - Global

Online Bachelor of Arts in Child Development

The BA in Child Development at Concordia University St. Paul features a liberal arts foundation and 42 credit hours in the degree program in Child Development.

You will study a career-related curriculum that examines ideas in development, growth, literacy development, ethics, and the education of children with special needs. The necessary fieldwork will solidify your knowledge while enhancing your leadership abilities.

In this online degree, you can explain the theories supporting best practices in early education. The program aims to turn graduates into well-rounded Child Development specialists.

You will create an environment where young children can learn effectively and inclusively. You’ll also learn how to make ethical decisions as a professional in childhood development. 

What Makes this Program Unique:

You will learn to interact with infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children outside of the classroom through the adaptable, online format CSP Global offers. This online degree will emphasize learning language, children’s growth, and ethics.

Finally, Child Development positions will be available to graduates who completed fieldwork in a child care center.

Did You Know?

Their mission at CSP Global is to make education affordable for students in the Twin Cities. The school offers convenient payment options and $2,000 partnership scholarships to make your education even more affordable.

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University

Online Bachelor’s in Child Development

Become a Child Development expert by enrolling in the Bachelor of Science in Child Development – from Birth through Kindergarten from Appalachian State University. You’ll learn how to guide today’s children from infancy through kindergarten with this flexible, online degree program.

Become a Child Development professional in the booming field of Child Development today. In this program, online students and professors will examine together how birth through kindergarten professionals foster and engage in learning and their roles and responsibilities.

What Makes this Program Unique:

All teacher preparation programs at App State that result in an initial license or a comparable credential require multiple student teaching placements in North Carolina public schools over the course of the program and a full-time internship during the final semester. The department and you will decide where the student teaching will occur.

Did You Know?

At Appalachian State, students prepare for licensing and certification in North Carolina through professional licensing and certificate programs.

Asynchronous and synchronous learning styles are combined in this program. In this program, you will attend classes on a part-time basis.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Online Bachelor’s in Child Development

Contribute to young people’s lives with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology – concentration in Child and Adolescent Development at SNHU. To help you better grasp the human experience, this program will walk you through significant developmental stages from conception through adolescence.

You will acquire the information, abilities, and methods required to work with children of different ages in various contexts.

You’ll be equipped with the tools to embark on a rewarding career path when earning your bachelor’s degree in child psychology at SNHU. Among the fields you could work in with a BA in child psychology are social services, education, and health care.

Child Psychology courses online help individuals gain a thorough understanding of the particular needs of children. You’ll learn how to encourage sound growth from infancy through adolescence. Whether it’s diseases that could affect a child’s life or normal development, each course delves deeper into a range of subjects.

What Makes this Program Unique:

Many points make SNHU’s Child Development degree stand out. In their curriculum, you will experience an application of research methods.

You can nurture your research, observation, and communication skills. You’ll be aware culturally and socially. You will also understand how children and adolescents develop through their growth. 

Studying children’s psychology makes it possible to gain personal and professional satisfaction. People engage in relationships at work and in various settings through the many concentrations available in this field.

Did You Know?

With a BA in child and adolescent development, you may turn your love of helping people into a rewarding job that enhances the lives of children. This program is made to assist you in maximizing your prospects, whether you want to advance your current profession or are considering a change.

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University

Online Bachelor’s in Child Development

Fort Hays State University offers an online format for their Bachelor of General Studies, Concentration in Child Development program. Designed specifically for degree seekers, parents, and daycare workers, this program is tailored to meet the needs of early childhood educators.

Some of the courses to learn in this program are:

It is possible to choose courses in your major related to Child Development, the sociology of families, or the psychology of human development, thanks to Fort Hays State University’s Bachelor of General Studies degree.

What Makes this Program Unique:

Students who complete this online degree are prepared for employment in various sectors, particularly in the child education industry. At Fort Hays, you will go through an individualized general studies curriculum with a major in Child Development, and there will be an academic advisor who can help you structure your courses and schedules.

Did You Know?

You will join the ranks of their outstanding alums employed across various sectors when you earn a degree in Child Development. After finishing the general studies program, you will be prepared to pursue your fulfilling profession thanks to your concentration and alumni network.

Parkersburg West Virginia University

Parkersburg West Virginia University

Online Bachelor’s in Child Development

Parkersburg West Virginia University offers an online Bachelor’s in Child Development program. This has numerous entry and exit points and is intended to be a career ladder. To earn a Bachelor of Applied Science – Child Development, you can finish it in four years or shorter if you’ve already taken a certificate or associate degree. 

The program uses a meticulous but strict methodology to comprehend the subject’s complexities. It is a great opportunity for graduates who want to give back to their society by providing social services and educational opportunities.

Together with financing from Head Start, the curriculum contains every subject that the West Virginia Department of Education has mandated.

What Makes this Program Unique:

Within the first five years of life, children learn and encounter various things that might affect how they view themselves, see the world, and how successful they are later in school, at work, and in their personal lives.

Learn about early childhood education with their well-structured curriculum, which equips graduates to oversee and evaluate engaging, dynamic learning settings that support young children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.

Did You Know?

You can use your transfer credits from an accredited institution when you enroll in Parkersburg West Virginia University’s online bachelor’s in Child Development.

Benefits of Working with Children

If you are calling to do more and contribute to society, Child Development is a great industry. You can give back to your community by choosing a career that allows you to work with kids. Educating children improves the lives of the community and future generations.

You can also benefit from working with kids because of their impact on your life. At the same time, you will provide academic and emotional support to children, which will teach you the importance of being a good role model.

As a final point, regularly interfacing with children can lead to you gaining a new perspective on the world by seeing their extraordinary imaginations and different ways of viewing it.

Courses Taken in an Online Bachelor’s in Child Development

Children Literature

In this course, future teachers will learn how to construct a curriculum of age-appropriate children’s literature resources. This course includes an examination of various children’s writers and literature.

Effective Classroom

Students in this class will learn to plan, implement, and set up effective teaching and discipline strategies so that students will be able to spend as much time-on-task as possible.

When running an effective classroom, teachers are responsible and accountable. Regardless of the setting or grade level, effective classroom principles need to be maintained and learned.

Introduction to Marriage and Families

In this course, students will learn about important topics in families and relationships, emphasizing sociological viewpoints and policy consequences.

Infant Development

During the early years of life, early childhood experiences significantly impact how the brain develops. In this infant development course, students will be trained to create a solid foundation for children to grow into adulthood with the necessary abilities.

Stress in Families

Stress in Families course prepares students to learn how to deal with the stresses within families. Conflicting expectations and misunderstandings can stress families with diverse dynamics. Even when the family members get along well, tension might still exist.

Stress can impact the entire family, regardless of whether they have financial issues, are adjusting to new environments, or have personality differences.

Procedures in Special Education

The pre-referral procedure, personalized education program plans for placement, parent conferences, peer consultations, and collaborations on special education are all covered in this course.

Possible Jobs for Child Development Graduates

Possible Jobs for Child Development Graduates

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts are in demand among businesses and other organizations today. These professionals help businesses better grasp what items customers want and research market conditions. With the analytical skills you’ve developed during your study, you’ll be able to offer wise advice as a market research analyst.

Kindergarten Teacher

If you love handling kids, it’s worth applying for a job in the kindergarten. As a kindergarten teacher, you’ll prepare lesson plans that give pupils the fundamental knowledge and abilities they need throughout elementary school. A state-issued teaching license is required for kindergarten instructors who work in public schools.

Community Service Manager

A community service manager promotes the community’s welfare by organizing and managing helpful initiatives and organizations. Lead initiatives using your in-depth understanding of community wellness.

Special Education Teacher

Teaching kids with special needs is the main role of a special education teacher. For pupils who struggle with learning, emotional, and mental impairments, you need to design special lessons especially fit for them.

Public school special educators must hold a teaching license the state has awarded. An appropriate bachelor’s degree is also required.

Human Resources Manager

Another in-demand job is a human resource manager. This work allows you to coordinate, direct, and plan an organization’s administrative functions and inform the company’s strategic planning. Your degree will give you the communication skills you need to work across the organization effectively.

Preschool Director

These experts oversee everyday operations at childcare facilities and preschools. Preschool directors require more than just a bachelor’s degree. Often, you need to climb the career ladder for this top leadership role. Possible responsibilities include supervising employees, developing programming, and managing finances.

What can you do with an online Bachelor's in Child Development?

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with an online Bachelor’s in Child Development?

People with degrees in Child Development can seek employment in elementary schools, kindergartens, childcare facilities, and community service centers. They can also pursue jobs as child welfare social workers with extra education and certification.

Child Development bachelor’s degree holders can also pursue master’s or doctoral degrees in Education or Child Development. These degrees may lead to academic, social science, and research professions and teaching careers.

Most of these jobs have incomes greater than those people with bachelor’s degrees in Child Development can work.

What should you know about the online Bachelor’s in Child Development degree?

An online bachelor’s degree in Child Development opens up various job options. You must decide what you want to do with your degree because there isn’t a single, well-defined path for those with a degree in Child Development.

To qualify for professional licenses and most jobs, you’ll need more schooling in some professions, such as psychology, counseling, or teaching.

In general, you need to obtain an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college to apply to a regionally accredited school for your master’s.

What is the employment outlook for Child Development degree majors?

Recent US Labor Statistics data show a 3% growth in preschool teacher employment and a 1% rise in the demand for kindergarten and elementary school teachers.

Most occupations involving working with children demand background checks and clearances for child abuse. If you have any incidents on your record that would make it difficult to pass a background check, you should talk to a program advisor as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

Summary Points

Additional Resources: