Preschool Teacher Associate Degree Programs

Two associate degree programs are available to get you started in a job as a preschool teacher. Learn about these programs, licensure requirements and salary potential for preschool teachers. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Associate's Degree Do I Need to Become a Preschool Teacher?

If you're interested in becoming a preschool teacher, you may consider an associate's degree in early childhood education or early childhood development. These programs are offered from a number of schools in online and campus-based formats, and they typically require a high school diploma or its equivalent for admission.

Degree Programs Associate's degree in early childhood education or early child development
Common Courses Early childhood curricula planning, classroom observation and assessment, child wellness, early childhood literacy
Licensure Most states require teachers to be licensed
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% growth (for a preschool teacher)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

Preschool teachers provide early childhood care and help children develop using a variety of teaching methods and creative activities. Associate's degree programs in early childhood education and early childhood development include courses that examine theories of learning, family and community relationships, instructional planning and different types of learning environments. In addition to completing coursework, you may also be required to work as a student teacher to gain hands-on experience. Some of the course subjects you can expect to study include the following:

  • Early childhood literacy
  • Child wellness
  • Early childhood curricula planning
  • Classroom observation and assessment

Will I Need a License?

Every state has different requirements for preschool teachers, although most do require a license. As of 2011, teachers working in Head Start programs must hold at least an associate's degree in early childhood education or a similar area, according to the Office of Head Start, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( Some states also have a minimum grade point average (GPA) requirement for licensure. You may also choose to pursue a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, which is a nationally recognized credential offered by the Council for Professional Recognition.

What Is the Job Outlook for This Field?

Job openings for preschool teachers were expected to grow quickly, at a rate of 10% between 2016-2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( The demand for preschool teachers was expected to continue growing as more programs were developed and a greater importance was placed on early childhood education. As of May, 2018, salaries for preschool teachers just starting out ranged from $24,040 at the 25th percentile to $39,060 at the 75th percentile, according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Indiana University

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Fort Wayne
  • University of Cincinnati

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Batavia, Blue Ash, Cincinnati
  • Western New Mexico University

    Campus Locations:

    • New Mexico: Silver City
  • Tyler Junior College

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Tyler
  • Truckee Meadows Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Nevada: Reno
  • Terra State Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Fremont
  • Southern University at Shreveport

    Campus Locations:

    • Louisiana: Shreveport
  • Southern State Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Hillsboro
  • Sinclair Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Dayton
  • Shawnee State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Portsmouth