Preschool teachers are required to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. The education hopeful teachers need depends on where they work. For example, preschool teachers at Head Start programs can get a job after completing an associate’s degree, while those who want to work at public schools are required to earn a bachelor’s. During their degree programs, prospective preschool teachers take coursework in children’s literature, early childhood education theory, children and families, issues in education, and the psychological and physical development of children.
Experiential learning is an important part of becoming an educator, so preschool teachers are required to get experience in the classroom in order to get a job. To obtain this experience, students participate in internships where they work as assistant teachers under the supervision of a licensed educator. The number of hours of classroom experience teachers need depends on the state they work in.
Early childhood education graduates who want to work for public schools must obtain a license in order to get a preschool teacher position. Each state has its own specific requirements for licensure, however, preschool teachers are typically required to complete a bachelor’s degree and a competency examination.
Depending on where they live, preschool teachers may be required to obtain a Child Development Associate (CDA) certification issued by the Council for Professional Recognition. In order to receive this designation, people are required to complete a written examination and demonstrate education and experience. CDA credentials must be renewed every three years.
Preschool teachers who are required to obtain a state license in order to work may have to complete continuing education classes to keep their credentials current. State requirements differ, so professionals should verify the continuing education rules in their state.
Although preschool teachers are not required to earn a graduate degree for their job, pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree can help them advance into administrative education positions. Those who want to move up the career ladder may be required to have graduate degrees in order to achieve those goals.
Yes. How often they have to renew their license depends on the state they work in.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that as of May 2017, the median annual salary of preschool teachers is $28,990. The exact earnings of these educators depends on where they teach. For example, the agency reports that those who work for public and private elementary schools earn $46,600; preschool teachers who work at child day care services centers make $26,870; and those who work for religious schools can earn $30,320.
Preschool teachers will see higher growth in job opportunities than many other professions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 10 percent increase in jobs for preschool teachers between 2016 and 2026, which is attributed to the growing population driving the need for additional early childhood educators.
Just as parents go through great pains to find the right school to educate their children, preschool teachers also need to find the best options to prepare them to become educators. This section can help future preschool teachers find the school that best suits their needs and goals.
There are several factors to consider when looking for early childhood education programs, including the way courses are delivered, how much the program costs, and how long it takes to complete a degree. In order to sort through the numerous options and make the right decision, use the search tool below.
Those who teach should be lifelong learners who are frequently looking for ways to improve their skills in the classroom. One way preschool teachers can continue learning pedagogical techniques is to join trade associations like the ones listed below.
Organization that supports teachers who work with young children with disabilities up to eight years old. Members receive professional development, training programs, discussion groups and forums, and evidence-based research publications.
For over a century, this association has been committed to innovation in the classroom and the support of early childhood educators. The group provides information about education grants, professional development classes, and networking opportunities. In addition, the association publishes the Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Childhood Education: Innovations, and Childhood Explorer.
Provides services to the early childhood community, such as webinars, training, and professional development. The association also organizes an annual conference and publishes books and periodicals.
This group provides a network of teachers so members can learn about the latest research and classroom practices, discuss the issues that affect their work, and network with each other. The association also promotes excellence in the field by providing grants and awards.
Works to advance the profession for educators on all levels, from preschool to university graduate degree programs. The association provides classroom management tools, conferences and other events, and publications.
Provides teacher preparation programs to help educators enhance their performance in the classroom. Members can participate in webinars, receive magazines and newsletters, and receive discounts on insurance.
Provides resources to help early educators succeed, including an article library and online videos.
Provides services for educators who teach military-connected children.
This group has been dedicated to ensuring that at-risk children have access to Head Start education programs since 1974. To help guarantee that these students receive a quality education, early childhood teachers can receive news, advocacy services, and classroom resources.
There are many resources that can help preschool teachers to continue sharpening their skills and providing the best classroom experience for their students.
Helps early childhood educators by conducting academic research. It provides journals articles, policy briefs, webinars, and newsletters.
Provides news from the National Education Association, as well as blogs, a podcast, and webinars.
This site from the U.S. Department of Education provides resources for early childhood educators, including learning programs, newsletters, fact sheets, assessment information, and policy statements.
Preschool teachers can benefit from the teaching strategies and resources designed to help early childhood educators.
Provides early childhood education resources, such as an activity bank, teaching themes, activities, and lesson plans. Also includes information on education technologies.
Provides teaching tips, assessments, and themes for preschool teachers.
Podcast for preschool educators.
In this podcast, teachers, authors, parents, and researchers discuss classroom strategies for early education teachers.
The official journal of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.
Two early childhood professionals share insights about the field in this podcast.
Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.