How do I Become a Preschool Teacher?

Dan Cavallari

Preschool is one of the fastest growing facets of education in the United States because of the growing population of young children. Therefore, openings for preschool teachers are likely to increase over the course of the next several years. If you enjoy working with very young children and have the patience, understanding, and energy to commit to a young child's education, this is a job might be right for you.

Fingerprinting is a mandatory procedure for preschool teacher certification.
Fingerprinting is a mandatory procedure for preschool teacher certification.

In the US, most states require candidates who want to become preschool teachers to hold at least an associate's degree, but some states require a bachelor's degree. Either way, you will need to take some higher education classes, particularly in psychology, education, curriculum, child development, and classroom management. These classes and more will be instrumental in helping you understand proven methods for teaching young children to appropriately interact in social settings and to begin to develop the fundamentals of learning.

After completing their degree, most new preschool teachers work as assistants.
After completing their degree, most new preschool teachers work as assistants.

Many preschool teachers begin their careers as assistant teachers, thereby allowing them the opportunity to shadow other, more experienced teachers and to gain their own experience working with a young population of students. By starting at the assistant teacher level, a preschool teacher can work his or her way up to being a regular or lead teacher. In addition to experience and education, a teacher will often be expected to get CPR and first-aid certified to ensure safety in the classroom should an emergency arise. He or she will also be responsible for getting fingerprinted and submitting those fingerprints to the local school district, as well as submitting to a criminal background check.

A preschool teacher may be responsible for helping the children to create art projects.
A preschool teacher may be responsible for helping the children to create art projects.

If you are considering a career as a preschool teacher, be sure to consider several factors that will affect your performance: first, the pay scale may be somewhat low. The pay is often less than $20 US Dollars an hour, which is why some people only teach part time. Further, you must be excited to work with young children. High energy and patience are key to becoming a successful teacher, and without these attributes, you may become tired, stressed, or frustrated working with such a young population.

Several colleges offer coursework and degree programs to become a preschool teacher. Online schools and community colleges are also a good option for earning the college credits you will need, and these institutions will often work around your schedule to allow you flexible options for completing the coursework.

A preschool teacher may be expected to follow a set curriculum while teaching children.
A preschool teacher may be expected to follow a set curriculum while teaching children.

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Discussion Comments


I am 15 and in form 3. I was thinking about what subjects do I need to become a preschool teacher? I like to be around children. I used to be at a preschool and that is when I said I want to be a preschool teacher. I love to be in the baby part and take care of them. Can someone help me by telling me how can I become a preschool teacher?


I am 16 years old, and i am currently a student in high school. I am currently looking to become a preschool teacher, and I was just wondering if anybody knows if I could be a teacher assistant at the age of 16, or how old i would need to be. I am aware that it probably varies on where but I am just curious of ages that teacher assistance could possibly be.


Crispety-This is a very rewarding field that can be very challenging at times and it is not for everyone.

People that can adapt to change usually do well in this profession because you often have to work with interruptions and children learning to behave in a classroom.

It is not like other grades where children are expected to behave. In preschool, children begin to learn about classroom rules and social etiquette in school. So a high degree of patience and compassion is necessary, in order to succeed.

The best thing to do if you are interested in a career as a preschool teacher is to try to work as a preschool assistant at a daycare so that you can get a feel for what the day to day work is like.


Bhutan-I know that at my kid's school when they were in pre-K and in kindergarten, they had two preschool teacher assistants in each classroom.

Each classroom had a maximum of 20 children and the assistent preschool teacher work with groups of students in reading and math.

Anyone interested in becoming a preschool teacher should really look at a preschool teacher job description and see if this is something they can do.


Latte31- I wanted to say that a preschool teacher's salary varies depending on the school.

Many preschool teachers that work in a preschool actually receive the lowest salaries.

These preschool teachers earn about $25,000 a year, while those working in an elementary school will earn higher wages.

Those teaching prekindergarten in a public school can earn an average of $36,000 to start.


Comfyshoes-Preschool teacher qualifications should also include someone that is patient and enjoys working with children.

In a unpredictable and when they're young they really need some form of structure in a friendly and loving environment.

Many community colleges offer courses to obtain a CDA license which usually requires 40 hours of classroom section along with passing the certification exam.

Many of these courses are available online, so you don't have to have your work schedule interrupted if you're changing jobs.


Learning how to become a preschool teacher is easy. You first have to seek a CDA license, which allows you to work in a preschool or in a regular school working with preschool children.

Preschool teacher qualifications may include an associate of arts degree in early childhood education along with the CDA license. However, to take advantage of preschool teacher job openings in most public and private schools you would need a four year degree in early childhood education.

If you have a four year degree in early childhood education you don't need the CDA license. The reason for this is that the four year degree in early childhood education degree requires an internship in which you actually gain experience working with the children.

These are the main preschool teacher requirements.

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