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Earning an early childhood education degree will take four to five years. The last two years can be taken at an faster rate if you are enrolled in an accelerated program (online or traditional). The prerequisites will take the first couple of years (again, may be taken at a faster rate if classes are taken online) followed by the specific classes in elementary education. Talk to your college or university of choice and ask them about their accelerated programs if you are interested in finishing sooner than four years.