How Do I Become a Preschool Teacher?

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The specific steps to become a preschool teacher vary based upon state requirements and regulations. The process also varies depending on the whether a preschool is public or private, and on district requirements

  1. Research state regulations

    Contact a state's department of education to find out how it regulates licensure of preschool teachers. Specifically, look for requirements for the level of education, state-granted or third-party certifications and work experience needed.

  2. Obtain necessary degrees and certifications

    After determining the state's requirements, obtain the necessary distinctions through a local university or college's school of education. Since requirements vary dramatically by state, use a school in the state in which you plan to teach that is aware of the state's processes.

  3. Apply to a state's education department to obtain a license

    While the application for a preschool teaching license varies by state, all states use a base application that includes documentation of completed coursework and acquired certifications. States also require fingerprinting and background checks. Some states require additional testing and proof of vaccinations. Each step in the application typically includes a fee payable by the applicant or potential employer. Some states have additional testing and residency requirements. The majority of states use online portals for applications.