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Old 09-11-2009, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
1,810 posts, read 2,532,498 times
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Default Pre-School Teacher requirements

I am going to also post this in the parenting forum as I would like to see what the parents of preschooler's think.

Are there any requirements that a preschool teacher HAS to have besides I would assume, having worked with children before?
Do they require them to have a degree or is it all based on what their work experience is?

I know that at my daughter's preschool,both the main teacher and the aide hold degrees in Elementary Education and had taught elementary school for many years, prior to running their preschool.
So, in this case, they obviously have both the educational background and the work experience.
However, I know several people who have children attending preschool's where the teacher's do not hold any type of teaching certificate or degree in Education,but they have worked with children in other capacities... such as a previous Physical Therapist who dealt mainly in pediatrics.

I am sure that each state has their own requirements as is with teachers in elementary,middle and high school levels.

Just curious to know what the requirements are in other areas and how parents feel about them. ?

Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:15 AM
 
196 posts, read 359,464 times
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Requirements are specific to the state when it comes to preschool and daycare teachers. Unfortunately, for most states, it is minimal training at best that is required.

The "universal standard" when looking for good care would be NAEYC accreditation (National Association for the Education of Young Children). Accreditation by NAEYC is voluntary - not required. This accreditation not only evaluates teacher training/education, but also how many children per adult, interactions between teachers and children and the physical environment.

If I were looking for preschool/daycare, I would start with the list of NAEYC accredited centers first. And from working in the field, I would spend time with the director before enrolling. Good directors tend to be able to hire and keep good teachers. Good directors usually make for a good center. On the other hand, a director that is hard to communicate with or is difficult to reach generally runs a center the same way... Teacher turn-over will be high and the center will be disorganized....

Also, in some states you can look up the center "licensing violations" on line. So you could see if the center was maintaining the proper teacher requirements for the state.

It would be nice if it was required that a teacher in preschool/child care have a 4-year degree in early childhood education, but at what teachers are paid (most likely $8 - $12/hr with few to no benefits) that just isn't realistic.

Last edited by littlefamily; 09-11-2009 at 11:26 AM..
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:02 PM
 
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It varies not only from state to state but also within the different types of preschool.

In Texas, any preschool is considered part of the Child Care division and therefore are subject to the state standards for Child Care, with the exception of any preschool/child care that is within a church. Church run preschools/child cares are not bound by state standards. To be an employee of any preschoo//center in Texas, the requirements are minimal. One must have graduated from high school or have a GED, must be at least 18, free of TB and complete certain training/certifications. A degree of any sort is not required by the state to be a teacher in a preschool/child care setting.

We have many variations of preschools here. There are some that are 'true' preschools where they run Sept-May only, 3-5 days a week for a few hours each day for ages 3-5. Many of those do indeed require their staff to be hold degrees because that is the standard to which they hold themselves.

Some are not just preschools. They may run Sept-May, but they take as young as 18 months, and may offer 1-2 day programs along with the older group. These are more akin to Mother's Day out programs.

Then there are preschool programs within year round child care. In some the kids attend preschool in the mornings and also offer before/after care in child care. In others they incorporate preschool as part of their child care program.

Some of those two types also require teachers to hold degrees, but again it's their desire to do so.

The problem with wanting degreed teachers is that the pay is so low that most who do have those degrees want to utilize it to make money, so they go elsewhere.

In my opinion, it doesn't take a person with college to be a great early childhood teacher. Some can be fully trained to be an excellent preschool teacher without having that degree.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:50 PM
 
Location: CA
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About 7 years ago, in order to take over as a preschool teacher from my former position as an aide I had to get an Early Childhood Ed credential. That was required for licensure of our program (a mental health program, but considered a "preschool" due to the age of the clients). We couldn't be licensed without a credentialed teacher in each classroom, despite the fact that the primary need of the children was mental health services, not academics.

This was beyond my BA, since my BA was in psychology, not education. However, a lot of the classes I'd taken as an undergraduate transfered over. I only needed another class or two, if I remember correctly. It was a pretty easy deal.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:07 PM
 
574 posts, read 1,243,131 times
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I totally agree with Littlefamilies. I would be much more inclined to go with a preschoo who had teachers with a Child Development Associate or an Early Childhood Degree or added certification to their regular teaching certificate. Elementary Ed. doesn't focus nearly enough on young children, whose developmental needs are much different than children older than 6.

Nancy
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:12 AM
 
Location: Middle America
17,186 posts, read 14,049,863 times
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Depending on your state, preschool teaching and daycare staffing can have very different degree requirements. Teaching credentials may be required by the former, and can be either two-year or four-year early childhood education degrees.
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:38 PM
 
Location: CA
830 posts, read 1,485,204 times
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Quote:
Elementary Ed. doesn't focus nearly enough on young children, whose developmental needs are much different than children older than 6.
In at least some states, an elementary credential wouldn't qualify you to teach preschool anyway.

My preschool credential expires this year (I have an elementary school credential now). Once that happens I won't be able to teach preschool.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Pearland
350 posts, read 593,757 times
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In Texas, we have an EC-4th grade teaching certification. This is ideal for teachers that love teaching Early Childhood. At many private schools in Texas it is required that you have a Bachelor's degree or higher. I currently work in a private school as a pre-school teacher. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in early childhood and I am a certfiied teacher for EC-4th grade. I also make comparable to what public school teacher's are making.

Do you have to have experience like this to be a pre-school teacher? No- but if you lower the standard to much you may as well just send your chiud to day-care. There are many good day care providers but there are also many more that are awful! Just like teachers. I would rather have someone teaching my child that has been educated in a least a 2 year EC program. Just my opinion!
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:34 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
249 posts, read 444,448 times
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In NJ there is a P3 certificate to teach preschool thru third grade.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:07 AM
 
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The more high end the daycare is, the more you should expect from the teachers. At basic daycares here in Texas where I live, teachers are only paid $7.50 an hour. Thats why the standards are lowered. Being a single mom with that salary and crapy benifits, I wouldn't be able to support us at all. Let alone if I had debts from student loans.
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