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Is a Degree Required to Become a Preschool Teacher?

Posted On May 27, 2022

Becoming a preschool teacher is a rewarding and fulfilling career. You will be present at the starting line of education and will give students the best possible beginning to their educational future. Because this is such an important job, those wanting to become a preschool teacher will want to consider getting a degree before beginning their career.

Young preschool aged girl sitting in a classroom at a desk.

What Does a Preschool Teacher Do?

A preschool teacher differs from a childcare provider in that a preschool teacher can provide education, care, and nurturing in a school setting for children prior to kindergarten. Typically preschool classes are made up of students between 3 and 5 years old who are beginning to learn basic skills and socialization. Preschool teachers will help design and implement a curriculum that teaches shapes, colors, early literacy skills, numbers, and counting as well as social skills. Those who teach preschool need to understand the developmental stages of young children and how to best foster their growth. 

Benefits of Becoming a Preschool Teacher

As a preschool teacher, the biggest pro is having the opportunity to make a difference. You can impact children when they are young and set them on the right path to a successful academic future. Teaching preschool is never a dull job. Your days will always be fun and interactive and you will face new challenges and joys every day. You will learn to multi-task and solve problems creatively. In addition to teaching, you’ll need to be organized and skilled at classroom management and learn how to prioritize your day. Young children can be unpredictable, and preschool teachers develop the skills to handle every scenario they encounter. You will find that you will become more creative yourself!

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How to Become a Preschool Teacher

Although it is possible to work in an early childhood education center without a degree, these are typically not the roles that will lead to long-term career satisfaction with opportunities to advance. If you want to work in a high-quality preschool as a preschool teacher, you need a degree. When you look at programs offering a degree in Early Childhood Education, look for a program that works with the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) standards as well as your state standards for education for children from birth to age 5. These programs will help you learn developmental levels and how to design a preschool curriculum for optimal early childhood growth. 

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What is Involved in Getting an Associate’s Degree?

Early childhood degree programs are usually two-year programs. Most programs understand that students are entering ECE training from many walks of life, and will offer both day and evening classes to fit into your schedule. In general, a two year degree is a financial investment, but significantly less than a four year program. In addition, because it is a degree program, grants, scholarships, and financial aid are offered. At the end of the program, students will not only have their degree, but will be prepared to run their own preschool classroom.

While not a quick path to a new career, two years is a short period of time to invest to make a real difference in a child’s future and set yourself on a path toward a fulfilling career. Teaching is a big responsibility, but one with many benefits and rewards. If you’re ready to get started, contact Athena Career Academy today!

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Athena Career Academy is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. The school is registered with the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools; State of Ohio – School Registration Number – 10-09-1943T and operates under the authority of the Ohio Board of Nursing. Please contact the Student Operations Manager for more information.

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