Schools and Education
- A high school diploma is required for most early childhood education positions.
- In preschools and early childhood education facilities teachers may be required to obtain an associate or bachelor degree in the field of education.
- Some schools may require extensive coursework in early childhood education in order to obtain full teaching positions.
- Programs offered by public school systems typically require a four-year degree in education or a related field of study.
What courses you’ll take
Below are examples of courses that you’ll likely take as an early childhood education student preparing for a career in preschool teaching.
|Introduction to Early Childhood Education||History and theory of educating young children; skills important for a teacher of young children; techniques for communicating with and understanding the needs of young children; appropriate practices in a classroom of children at an early developmental level.||Provide foundational knowledge on the early-childhood education field.|
|Early Childhood Curriculum||Methods and materials used to promote learning in young children with an emphasis on the theory practice and facilitation of play; uses of indoor and outdoor spaces music props and various play activities to enhance the fun and memorability of lessons.||Give an understanding of educational techniques specific to a classroom of young children.|
|Child Development and Psychology||Theory and principles of children’s mind and body development in infancy and early childhood as well as current research in these areas; differences in physical and mental growth among individual children; application of child developmental theory to classroom learning approaches.||Ready students to recognize and work within the stages of development of preschool-age children.|
|Instruction and Classroom Management||Designing and managing the classroom environment in a way that optimizes early-childhood learning; observing young children’s behavior and providing behavioral guidance when necessary; group dynamics in the classroom; techniques for effective communication with parents and other community members.||Prepare students to properly oversee a preschool classroom.|
|Technology in Early Childhood Education||Uses of technology both as a tool for classroom learning (e.g. for multimedia presentations and creative activities) and in class management (e.g. for tracking student progress organizing lessons and identifying potential concerns); impacts of technology on early-childhood students and on the learning environment.||Enable students to use current technological tools in and around the classroom.|
A brief introduction to preschool teaching careers. Produced for the US Dept. of Labor.
Certifications and Licensing
In order to teach in some states preschool teachers must meet certain educational requirements and must obtain certification from an accepted authority in the field. The National Early Childhood Program Accreditation organization offers a Child Care Professional certification for experienced and qualified preschool teachers. Another route to certification is through the Council for Professional Recognition which offers a Child Development Associate certificate that may open doors of opportunity for some preschool teachers.
Full-time versus part-time: Preschool teachers may work part-time or full-time. In most cases the work schedule is an extended version of the school day and is designed to provide the most convenient hours for working parents. Some preschool programs may be morning or afternoon only.
Preschools are required to maintain a certain proportion of teachers to students in order to comply with state laws. As a result preschool teachers may be required to work flexible hours in order to fill in for others on staff during illnesses vacations or other absences from the workplace.
These sites offer a wide range of informational topics and resources for those considering a career in the field of early childhood education.
- U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Handbook –This authoritative website offers in-depth information on the job prospects typical salaries and working conditions preschool teachers can expect in the current employment climate. It also outlines the educational requirements and typical career paths for those in the preschool teaching field.
- National Association for the Education of Young Children — One of the oldest and most respected organizations in the field of early childhood education the website of the National Association for the Education of Young Children provides up-to-date information on industry news new developments in education recent and upcoming publications and continuing education opportunities for preschool teachers.
- National Head Start Association — Founded in 1973 the National Head Start Association is more commonly known as Head Start and focuses on helping parents and teachers work together to provide young children with the best possible start in their educational careers. Resources for preschool teachers include job listings professional development opportunities and access to a variety of research findings and other informational materials.
- Association for Childhood Education International — This website offers a true global perspective on the issues facing preschool teachers in the U.S. and around the world. It offers advice and guidance on how to engage even the youngest children in the educational process and suggests topics for discussion appropriate for the age level of the children involved.
- Association Montessori Internationale — Montessori preschools comprise a large percentage of the early childhood education centers in the U.S. and approach the task of educating these young minds by providing the tools and information appropriate for the age group. This website offers a great deal of insight into the Montessori approach and its focus on play and self-determination in the preschool environment.
- National Education Association — The National Education Association offers information on trends issues and current events that may affect the education field as a whole. While not confined strictly to topics of interest to preschool teachers the website is a valuable resource for educators and provides ideas and strategies to manage the classroom environment and provide the most beneficial learning experiences for children.
Salaries by City
See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.
|State||City / Region||Typical Salary||Salary Range||Job Count||% of All Jobs|
|AL||Anniston – Oxford||$19640||90||0.20%|
|AL||Auburn – Opelika||$18730||N/A||N/A|
|AL||Birmingham – Hoover||$24400||450||0.09%|
|AR||Fayetteville – Springdale – Rogers||$26610||470||0.23%|
|AR||Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway||$23750||870||0.26%|
|AZ||Lake Havasu City $ Kingman||$23230||70||0.16%|
|AZ||Phoenix – Mesa – Glendale||$23410||5030||0.29%|
|CA||Bakersfield – Delano||$28610||970||0.35%|
|CA||Hanford – Corcoran||$23740||50||0.13%|
|CA||Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area)||$29360||11640||0.30%|
|CA||Madera – Chowchilla||N/A||150||0.40%|
|CA||Oakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area)||$31150||4800||0.49%|
|CA||Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura||$32490||1100||0.38%|
|CA||Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario||$30060||3150||0.27%|
|CA||Sacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville||$26970||3050||0.37%|
|CA||San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos||$31230||4390||0.35%|
|CA||San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area)||$35870||4090||0.41%|
|CA||San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara||$36290||3000||0.33%|
|CA||San Luis Obispo – Paso Robles||$29130||280||0.28%|
|CA||Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area)||$30780||4700||0.33%|
|CA||Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Goleta||$35390||320||0.19%|
|CA||Santa Cruz – Watsonville||$28510||330||0.39%|
|CA||Santa Rosa – Petaluma||$33840||600||0.35%|
|CA||Vallejo – Fairfield||$28680||N/A||N/A|
|CA||Visalia – Porterville||$31570||260||0.20%|
|CO||Denver – Aurora – Broomfield||$28200||2930||0.24%|
|CO||Fort Collins – Loveland||$24460||270||0.20%|
|CT||Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk||$26460||2220||0.54%|
|CT||Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford||$30070||1680||0.30%|
|CT||Norwich – New London||$34200||230||0.18%|
|DC||Washington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area)||$30250||6100||0.26%|
|DE||Wilmington (Metro Area)||$22760||1640||0.51%|
|FL||Cape Coral – Fort Myers||$23080||540||0.26%|
|FL||Crestview – Fort Walton Beach – Destin||$28050||N/A||N/A|
|FL||Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach||$18770||200||0.13%|
|FL||Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)||$23840||2590||0.36%|
|FL||Lakeland – Winter Haven||$27580||330||0.17%|
|FL||Miami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area)||$25530||2250||0.23%|
|FL||Naples – Marco Island||$27440||260||0.22%|
|FL||North Port – Bradenton – Sarasota||$25870||480||0.20%|
|FL||Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford||$26730||2280||0.22%|
|FL||Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville||$22000||510||0.27%|
|FL||Panama City – Lynn Haven – Panama City Beach||$19650||130||0.19%|
|FL||Pensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent||$21020||410||0.27%|
|FL||Port St. Lucie||$24110||230||0.19%|
|FL||Sebastian – Vero Beach||$22710||180||0.41%|
|FL||Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater||$22430||3420||0.30%|
|FL||West Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area)||$28110||990||0.20%|
|GA||Athens – Clarke County||$27210||90||0.12%|
|GA||Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta||$27220||6500||0.29%|
|GA||Augusta – Richmond County||$22530||450||0.22%|
|GA||Hinesville – Fort Stewart||$36650||120||0.69%|
|IA||Davenport – Moline – Rock Island||$21770||580||0.33%|
|IA||Des Moines – West Des Moines||$23770||650||0.20%|
|IA||Waterloo – Cedar Falls||$21940||300||0.34%|
|ID||Boise City – Nampa||$22430||360||0.14%|
|ID||Coeur d’Alene ID||$22080||N/A||N/A|
|IL||Bloomington – Normal||$25250||320||0.37%|
|IL||Champaign – Urbana||$22670||420||0.44%|
|IL||Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area)||$24440|