Since California is one of the states with its own teacher certification tests, it is important to check the states regulations for teachers when you decide to become a pre-school teacher. Teachers of pre-school generally work in private day care centers throughout the state and the usually belong to one of the following organizations once they obtain a position: National Association for the Education of Young Children, the California Teachers Association or the American Federation of Teachers.
To be a pre-school teacher in California at a private day care facility, you must have the proper training for the job. You must be at least eighteen years of age and have twelve semester courses from an approved Early Childhood training center. You can also teach in a pre-school if you have either six months of work experience in a day care licensed by the state or the combination of this work experience and a certificate from the Child Development Association.
The regulations are a bit different if you wish to work in a regular day care. In order to receive a per-school teacher permit for these locations, you must have completed 24 semester courses in Early Childhood Education, 16 semester hours in General Education and one of the following:
- Two different paid work experiences as an assistant in a child development facility
- Three different periods of volunteer work in a school or other instructional facility
- Experience working with a Limited Instructional Permit
- Two or three semester of field course work and a term working with children in a daycare.
- The periods of experience should each be more than 100days and to meet the requirements, they should occur within a three-year period.
You are required to pass the basic proficiency exam in reading writing and mathematics and the scores must be sent to the licensing board before you receive either your permit or teaching license. The initial teaching license for a pre-school teacher is for a five-year period and can be renewed every five years. The Limited Instructional Permit is issued for a two-year period, but you can only renew this permit for two three-year periods. After that time, if you haven’t completed the courses for the regular license, your permit will be revoked. There is plenty of room for advancement in this teaching area. You can advance to assistant teacher, teacher, head teacher and teacher-director all within the area of early childhood education.