Education and Training Requirements for Teaching Preschool

Posted On March 31,2021

You have a passion for working with children and you feel called to turn this passion into becoming a teacher, but you’re worried that a career in education requires years of training and you don’t have time or money to commit to this path. Does this sound familiar? If so, it may surprise you to learn that becoming a preschool teacher isn’t as hard as you think.


Step 1: Find an Accredited Program

The most important step in your journey towards becoming a teacher is to ensure that the early childhood education (ECE) program you find is accredited. Why does this matter? Attending an accredited program is reassurance to future employees and your community that the program you attended is of the highest quality and it also demonstrates your commitment to the profession of education.

Attending an accredited program also means that it must adhere to certain quality standards in order to maintain its accreditation, so you can feel confident in knowing that you’re investing in a quality education program from a credible school. It’s also important if you plan on applying for financial aid as unaccredited schools will not give you that option.

Step 2: Enroll In a Program That Meets Your Needs

In addition to asking if the program is accredited, you’ll want to ask some additional questions to ensure that the ECE program you’re choosing is the right fit for you before enrolling.

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  • Do They Offer Day and Evening Classes?

While going back to school requires some amount of accommodation to your personal and work life, finding out if they offer both day and evening class options is always a good idea because you’ll want the program to fit into your life, not completely disrupt it.

  • How Long Will it Take to Complete the Program?

Many ECE programs can be completed in two years. At Athena Career Academy, for example, it takes just two short years to earn an Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS)-Majoring in Early Childhood Education. Our established and reputable ECE program runs on quarters, totaling 92 quarter credit hours, and includes four quarter start dates a year:  fall, winter, spring and summer, giving students more opportunities to get started quickly, versus having to wait until fall quarter to begin like with some programs.

  • What Types of Student Services do They Provide?

Whether it’s financial aid or assistance, or career placement services you’re after, make sure they have the proper resources you need in order to be successful.

Get on the Fast track to a rewarding teaching career in early Childhood Education

Step 3: Earn a Degree in Early Childhood Education

In order to be taken seriously as a professional educator you must earn a degree in early childhood education. While this may seem daunting at first, the good news is, many ECE programs are designed to be completed within two years, allowing you to get started in your new career sooner than you likely anticipated when you first started thinking of becoming a teacher.

Step 4: Get Certified

Each state has their own set of requirements for teacher licensure, but a nationally recognized certification is usually required for child care center teachers. While guidelines may vary per state, the requirements for obtaining your certificate include having a high school diploma or equivalency, completing a certain number of hours working with children, and completing additional hours of formal childcare education.

Step 5: Maintain Certification

Obtaining your certification is exciting, but it doesn’t mean that your work is done. Certification is an ongoing process, requiring continuing education in order to renew. Preschool teachers must also be first aid certified, be able to show active teaching practice, and obtain membership in an approved organization for ECE professionals.

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The Next Step

There’s only one step left, and that’s calling Athena Career Academy today to get started. Our admissions team is standing by to answer any questions you have, and we’d love to show you around campus. Contact us today for more information about this exciting career opportunity.