Preschool Teaching Degree and Training Programs

Learn about the certificate or degree programs that can prepare you to become a preschool teacher. Explore online and campus-based options for certificates, associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees in early childhood education. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Preschool Teaching Programs Are There?

If you wish to work as a preschool teacher, you can enroll in an early childhood education undergraduate program, which usually trains you to teach preschool through third grade. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are available, along with certificate programs.

In an undergraduate program, you're trained to organize learning activities for younger children. You'll explore classroom discipline and one-on-one mentoring. You'll often get to complete a field experience, during which you can observe and aid a teacher in the classroom. Typical courses that an early childhood education program covers include:

  • Teaching fundamentals
  • Students with special needs
  • Child psychology
  • Classroom diversity
  • Student teaching practice
  • Lesson planning for young children
  • Positive behavior reinforcement

Degree Levels Certificate, associate's, bachelor's
Common Courses Child psychology, student teaching, lesson planning, classroom discipline
Online Availability Certificate programs available fully online; hybrid format for associate's and bachelor's
Licensure Varies by state and employer; many require CDA credential
Median Salary (2018)$29,780 (for preschool teachers, except special education)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)10% growth (for all preschool teachers, except special education)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Learn Online?

You can complete a certificate program in early childhood education entirely online. The curriculum is taught through online exercises and lesson plans. A broadband Internet connection is recommended, and you might need a DVD/CD drive to participate in the coursework.

You can also enroll in a partially online associate's or bachelor's degree program in early childhood education. You'll still need to conduct observations and fieldwork in a classroom. You might use discussion boards and social media tools to communicate with classmates and teachers.

How Do I Start Teaching?

To work as a preschool teacher, you'll need to research your state's requirements, which can vary. Licensure requirements can furthermore depend on your employer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that publicly funded programs, such as Head Start, require job applicants to hold an associate's degree, while other teaching jobs might only require some college-level child development classes or certification (www.bls.gov).

Many preschool teaching positions require the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. To gain the credential, you must hold a high school diploma, gain 120 hours of formal early childhood education training and 480 hours of professional experience, conduct classroom observation and undergo an in-person assessment (www.cdacouncil.org). The CDA credential must be renewed every three years.

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

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

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    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

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    • Master
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  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

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    • Master

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

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  • Liberty University

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    Popular programs at Liberty University:

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    • Master
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  • Walden University

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    • Master

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  • Concordia University Portland

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    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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  • Northcentral University

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