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 Curry School, 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, Curry School 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 Curry School'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.
Early Childhood Add-On Endorsement Course Series (Online)
The Early Childhood Add-On Endorsement online course series is designed to equip licensed elementary teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to address the distinct learning needs of early childhood students. This course series will provide teachers with research-based strategies to support these students in the general curriculum setting.
BIS - Early Childhood Concentration
Offered at UVA's School of Continuing and Professional Studies in partnership with the Curry School, 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.
News & Media
New Undergraduate Major: Early Childhood Education
In a major restructuring of its Teacher Education program, the Curry School is proud to launch 3 new undergraduate teaching majors, including Early Childhood Education.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
Let’s Go to the Tape
How can preschool teachers curb disruptive behavior before it hinders learning? A new study uses classroom video to improve preschool behavior.Read More
Researchers Pilot New Curriculum in Virginia
The Curry 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. Curry 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
Abigail Amoako Kayser Postdoctoral Research AssociateRobert Q. Berry, III Samuel Braley Gray Professor of EducationJulia Jackson Cohen Assistant Professor of EducationLysandra Cook Associate Professor of EducationPatrice Preston Grimes Associate Professor of EducationLatisha Hayes Associate Professor of Education, Director, McGuffey Reading CenterJennifer LoCasale-Crouch Research Associate ProfessorJudy Paulick Assistant Professor of EducationStephen P. Plaskon Associate Professor of Education, Director of Studies, Brown Residential CollegeRobert H. Tai Associate Professor