Becoming a Preschool Teacher in Florida: Requirements & Certification

Discover all the necessary requirements to become a certified preschool teacher in Florida. Learn about the different types of certificates offered, tests and examinations, and alternative pathways to the role. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Information for Preschool Teachers in Florida

Aspiring preschool teachers in Florida will find a couple pathways to get certified for the role. Individuals most often earn a professional teaching certificate, but a temporary certificate is also available. See the information below regarding requirements for a professional certificate as well as salary and job growth statistics.

Education Required Bachelor's degree or higher in preschool education
Exam Requirements Subject Area Examination
Florida General Knowledge Test
Florida Professional Education Test
Certification Renewal Period 5 years
Credits Required for Renewal 6 hours of college credits
Average Annual Salary (2018)* $27,990 for Florida preschool teachers
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 10% for preschool teachers nationwide

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Professional Certificates Vs. Temporary Certificates

To become a practicing preschool teacher in Florida, one can apply for a professional or temporary certificate. Professional certificates are the highest-level educator certificates in the state, are renewable, and require completion of all educational and experiential requirements. Temporary certificates are issued to individuals who wish to teach full-time, yet still need to complete the full requirements for obtaining a professional certificate. Applicants need to provide evidence of a bachelor's degree and a passing examination score in the appropriate subject area examination.

Acquiring Your Professional Certificate

To obtain a professional teaching certificate in preschool education, one must complete the following exam requirements: demonstrated mastery of subject area knowledge, demonstrated mastery of general knowledge, and mastery of professional preparation and education competence.

Demonstrating mastery in subject area knowledge involves achieving a passing score in the appropriate subject area examination, administered by the Bureau of Postsecondary Assessment. As a preschool teacher, you will select the Prekindergarten/Primary Education (Age 3-Gr 3) test or the Preschool Education (Birth through Age 4) test, depending on the ages you would like to teach.

Demonstrating your mastery of general knowledge can be achieved through a variety of requirements, including a passing score on the Florida General Knowledge Test, a valid teaching certificate, or completion of full-time or part-time college teaching experience.

Finally, mastery of professional preparation and education competence entails completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program and a passing score on the Florida Professional Education Test, designed to prepare students with the appropriate social and instructional practices for teaching children ages 3 to 8.

Renewing Your License

Renewal requirements are only applicable to those who hold a professional teaching certificate. Within your 5-year validity period, a total of 6 semester hours of college credit must be completed, including 1 semester hour in teaching students with disabilities. These requirements must be completed, along with submission of the appropriate application and fees, prior to the expiration of your certificate. College credits must be granted through a state-approved educational institution. Acceptable college credits can fall under content specific to preschool education, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), classroom strategies, and methods of teaching literacy skills.

Alternative Pathways

Applicants can also gain eligibility through a bachelor's degree or higher, with a set number of accumulative semester hours in various subjects under preschool education.These can include completing semester hours in courses dedicated to child growth and development, early childhood education, and health and nutrition. Individuals can also apply with a bachelor's degree or higher, completed professional preparation for teaching in early childhood or primary education, and a completed set of semester hours in teaching field experience. Such experience can include hours in the diagnosis and evaluation of pre-schoolers, child guidance and management, and serving special needs of all toddlers, infants, and pre-schoolers.

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:

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