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How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher in New York

Learn more about the requirements to become a kindergarten teacher in the state of New York. Find out about the types of educational programs, examinations, and field experience involved in acquiring certification.

Information for Kindergarten Teachers in New York

Aspiring kindergarten teachers in New York will need to fulfill the requirements for a teaching certificate in the field of early childhood education. These requirements include a combination of teaching experience, educational training, and standardized tests for initial teacher certification in the state.

Education/Experience Required Completion of state-approved teacher preparation program in early childhood education (Birth-grade 2)
Dignity For All Students Act Workshop
Exam Requirements edTPA in early childhood
NYSTCE Multi-Subject: Teachers of Early Childhood test
Educating All Students (EAS) test
Certification Renewal Period Five years
Renewal Requirements Initial certificate holders advance to a professional certificate after acquiring 3 years of experience
Average Annual Salary (2018) $79,410*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 8* (nationwide)

Source: *U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics

Difference Between Initial and Professional Certificates

Both initial and professional teaching certificates are available in a wide range of subject areas and for various grade levels, including early childhood education.

An initial teaching certificate in the field is considered the entry-level certification for first-time kindergarten teachers. This certificate is valid for five years and can eventually lead to a professional certificate once the necessary experience requirements are met.

Information on Teacher Preparation Programs

All applicants for a teaching certificate in early childhood education must complete a state-approved teacher preparation program in an accredited college or university. These programs take on the form of undergraduate or graduate degrees and are designed to educate students on the social, emotional, intellectual, and creative development of children. Students also have the opportunity to undertake supervised fieldwork, putting their educator knowledge to practice in various childcare or public school settings across the state.

Once completed, graduates will be recommended by their educational institution for certification in early childhood education.

Exam Information

Students must pass three different tests when applying for an initial certificate in early childhood education: the NYSTCE Multi-Subject: Teachers of Early Childhood test, an edTPA assessment in early childhood education, and the Educating All Students (EAS) test.

The multi-subject test is designed to measure your knowledge in literacy and language arts, math, and the arts and sciences through a series of multiple-choice questions and written assignments. The EAS test examines your professional and pedagogical skillset as a teacher and whether you meet the necessary standards for teaching students across the state. Similarly, an edTPA in early childhood education tests your readiness as a teacher in your field, measuring your performance as a teacher and ability to cater to students' needs.

Advancing to the Professional Certificate

Kindergarten teachers holding a professional teaching certificate have had at least 3 years of paid, full-time teaching experience in early childhood education. Teachers can either progress into this certification after earning an initial certificate or apply after completing an approved teacher preparation program, provided they meet the experience requirement.

The experience needed for a professional certificate must typically be in the area of early childhood education. Acceptable examples include teaching experience at a licensed day care center, substitute teaching experience in the state of New York, or teaching experience in registered, non-public kindergartens or nursery schools. Unacceptable teaching experiences include teacher assistant experience, volunteer experience, and home-schooling. Additional eligibility requirements for the professional certificate include completion of a mentorship.