College of Education

Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education


Early Childhood Lab

on campus



to serve children from birth through kindergarten


Rank Certification in Kentucky

upon graduation

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Do you love to work with young children?

Early childhood education lays the foundation for a child's lifelong learning experiences. In this program, you'll prepare to work in a variety of settings with children from birth through age five.


You'll get hands-on experience in our Early Childhood Lab located on campus and other field settings to prepare you to be an effective teacher from the start.


You will learn to develop age-appropriate lesson plans; assess child behavior; plan, implement, and monitor interventions, and assist families. You will learn to consider all aspects of the child's environment - home, school, and neighborhood.


Why choose Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education?

  • Our graduates are highly qualified and recruited by schools.
  • We partner with top teachers to offer student teaching experiences.
  • Learn and grow through travel with student teaching abroad.
  • Experience a diverse community with many opportunities to get involved.

To learn more about what you can do with a degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, please watch the short video below.









Option 9 Program

Through Kentucky's university-based alternative route to certification known as Option 9, students who are employed by a school district may complete an accelerated program of study to acquire their (a) Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and (b) teaching certification, in just three years. Individuals and school districts interested in the Option 9 pathway to certification should contact Dr. Sarah Hawkins-Lear.​


Grow Your Future

As an early childhood educator you have a part in building the foundation for a child's entire education.  Being a child's first teacher is a big responsibility and is both rewarding and impactful.  You can help mold the child and family's first impression of learning and education as a whole.


Career opportunities in Early Childhood Education:

  • Early interventionist
  • Pre-Primary Teacher (public or private school)
  • Preschool Teacher (public or private school)
  • Kindergarten Teacher (public or private school)
  • Head Start Teacher
  • Early Childhood Special Education Provider
  • Program Director
  • Day Care
  • Postitions in State and Local Government Agencies
  • Early Childhood Trainor & Technical Assistance Provider


Schedule a visit with the College of Education

"The Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program is preparing me to be a qualified educator that can create individualized, intentional, and inclusive instruction for children with and without disabilities. Through my classes, I have learned how to best serve all my students and how to truly practice inclusion in the classroom. I can't wait to spend my life helping the lives of children."

Meghan Harless

Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education Student

Admission and Certification

Complete an undergraduate admissions application and select Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education as your major. Be sure to keep your grades on track. After completing 60 credit hours, you will need a minimum 2.75 college GPA to apply to the Teacher Education Program. 


You will be eligible to apply for certification in Kentucky upon graduation. 


Interested in teaching outside of Kentucky? See our list of teacher certifications by state

Apply for College of Education Scholarships

In addition to automatic and competitive scholarships from the University of Kentucky, our students are also eligible for a variety of scholarship awards from the College of Education.

For incoming freshmen the scholarship application deadline is February 1. 

For transfer and current students the scholarship application deadline is April 5.


Student Organizations

Students can find many opportunities to join organizations. Many of our Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education students are involved in:


Early Childhood Student Organization

​The goal is to promote interaction among students who are pursing a career that focuses on the development of young children through community involvement.


Learn more about student organizations in our college.

State Authorization and Licensure

If you plan to complete a University of Kentucky online program while living outside of Kentucky, you should check the Out-of-State Students page to determine if the University of Kentucky is authorized to provide this program in your state of residence. If you plan to use the degree to seek licensure, you should also determine if the degree meets the educational requirements for licensure in your state.

Refund Policies

You can find tuition refund policies, deadlines, amounts, and other important information on the UK Student Account Services website.

Imagine Your Future

Preschool and Childcare Center Directors

Preschool and childcare center directors supervise and lead their staffs, design program plans, oversee daily activities, and prepare budgets.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2021

Number of Jobs


in 2021

Work Environment

Preschool and childcare center directors work primarily in child daycare services. Most work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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