Preschool Teacher Degree

In order to become a preschool teacher, you will need to meet certain requirements. The specific educational qualifications you need to have will depend on the state and setting in which you wish to work in. Generally, a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education is required. However, before you embark on this challenging journey, it is advised that you gather information on what is it that preschool teachers actually do on day-to-day basis.

 What do preschool teachers do?

Preschool teachers provide education and care for children 5 years old or younger. These children have not yet entered kindergarten and are entering their first ‘schooling’ experience at this stage. Typically, preschool teachers help these children learn how to start reading, writing, and exploring subjects such as science and math.

Some of the job duties of a pre-school teacher include:

  • Develop a schedule for the class which provides equal dose of activity, playtime, and rest for students
  • Teach children the alphabets and basic letters
  • Help children learn about colors and shapes
  • Plan a balanced curriculum which incorporates all the areas of child development such as motor skills, social skills, and language
  • Keep a detailed record on the progress of students and talk to parents about their child’s interest and development
  • Be vigilant for any indications of emotional or developmental problems in children and inform parents about them
  • Teach children about the world
  • Identify activities which interest students and may help to develop essential skills

At the preschool level, students are eager to explore the world and learn through playing. From seemingly simple activities, students can learn how to solve problems, ask questions, and experiment with trial and error.

In preschool, teachers use games and stories to help students develop their language and vocabulary. Students are also taught interpersonal skills by doing a wide range of group work which will require them to work, play, and collaborate with their peers.

How to become a preschool teacher

The specific education, training, and licensure requirements needed to be satisfied in order to become a preschool teacher will vary based on which state you intend to work and the specific setting in which you seek employment.

If you want to work in childcare settings, you may just need a high school diploma along with a certification in early childhood education. However, a postsecondary education will markedly improve your job prospects and, most early childhood education settings require higher education qualifications.

Steps to becoming a preschool teacher:

1. Identify the state and setting in which you wish to work and find out what the requirements are 

2. Enroll in an undergraduate degree program in early childhood education

4. Get relevant training and experience in the field teaching preschool-age children

Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education

Most employers require applicants to hold at least an undergraduate degree in early childhood education or a related field. This degree provides the essential foundation in early childhood education by teaching students all of the fundamentals about learning at this age. Students will be taught how to develop curriculums, plan lessons, monitor growth, and learn different teaching strategies. You will also learn how to establish positive relationships with the families of students in order to help convey their progress, strengths, and weaknesses.

Degree

      Duration      

        Some of the courses offered

Bachelor’s degree in early childhood

education or a related field

       4 years

  • Child development
  • Early childhood education assessment techniques
  • Classroom management
  • Teaching and learning strategies for children 

Licensure and Certification

In order to work as a pre-school teacher, you will need some form of licensure and certification.

In public school settings, preschool teachers must be licensed to teach early childhood education. This license qualifies you to teach preschool through third grade. In order to qualify for this licensure, you will need a bachelor’s degree and pass a state exam. The license has to be renewed every so often or may be maintained by completing continuing education credits.

Career Prospects and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has compiled a detailed array of statistics concerning this profession. For instance, as of May 2015, the annual median salary made by preschool teachers was $28,570 per year which translates to $13.74 per hour. In terms of job outlook, between 2014-24, the profession is expected to see a 7% growth rate. This rate is the average rate of growth for most professions and is expected to produce 29,600 new jobs within this time period.

Data from BLS also indicates that there are predominately four industries where preschool teacher sought employment. These include:

Industry

Annual Median Salary (May 2015)

Elementary and secondary schools; state, local, and private        

$42,880

Individual and family services    

$30,810

Religious, grant making, civic, professional, and similar organizations      

$29,530

Child day care services  

$26,210

In terms of working hours, much depends on where you seek employment. For many preschool teachers working in traditional school settings, their timings will be the school timings. In these settings, it is common for teachers to work 10-months of the year and have 2-months off in the summer which coincides with summer vacations.  If you seek employment in a day-care setting, you will likely work throughout the year and have longer working hours.

Ask your Question


* All Fields are Required
Call Now(877) 721-2529