If you want to teach kindergarten or preschool, it is important to understand the different educational requirements. Becoming qualified to teach preschool is a different matter then meeting the necessary qualifications to teach kindergarten or middle school, for example. Each of these have their own separate requirements.
You need a four-year college degree to teach kindergarten. Many colleges offer a teaching program that provides potential students with a list of specific requirements they must meet to teach in specific grades, such as elementary education courses. As a part of your degree path, you generally must complete an internship at a school before you can get your degree. You additionally need to pass the Praxis I and II exams. To become a preschool teacher you may have to complete courses running several weeks that prepare you to teach preschool age children.
You must meet state requirements to get licensed as a teacher for both kindergarten and preschool. States generally require that preschool teachers complete a CPR training course, for instance, that includes proper procedures to provide emergency assistance to both children and infants.
Lateral Entry Options
If you already have a four-year degree in a subject, like history or mathematics, you may be able to begin teaching kindergarten sooner than you expected. Some states offer lateral entry programs that allow those with college degrees to begin teaching after taking the Praxis I examination while they complete courses (either on campus or online) that lead to a full teaching credential.
Choosing a Teaching Career
Choosing a teaching career may mean making certain sacrifices. For example, the pay is often insufficient for the work involved. It can also get stressful. For this reason, you should have confidence in your plan before you decide to become a kindergarten or preschool teacher. You might find that another career in academia, such as at a library, is more suitable.