Requirements for Early Childhood Education Jobs in Hawaii

As of 2013, there were 1,370 preschool teachers in Hawaii. Preschool teachers in the public school system are licensed through the Hawaii Teachers Standards Board, while preschool teachers outside of the public school system must meet specific educational and experiential requirements set forth by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

If you want to become a licensed preschool teacher in Hawaii, you must complete the following steps:

Complete a Teacher Preparation Program
Apply for a Standard License
Apply for an Advanced License
Requirements for Preschool Teachers Licensed through the Department of Human Services

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

Before you can apply for a license to become a preschool teacher in Hawaii’s public school system, you must complete an approved teacher preparation program. There are currently 13 universities and colleges in Hawaii that offer teacher preparation programs at the undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) level, at the graduate level (M.A.T., M.Ed.), and at the post-baccalaureate (post-bachelor’s certificate) level.

You may choose to complete one of two programs to become a preschool teacher in Hawaii:

  • Early Childhood Education PK‐K
  • Early Childhood Education PK‐3

Program content standards for preschool education programs in Hawaii must meet the NAEYC Standards for Initial and Advanced Early Childhood Professional Programs.

Note: Content examinations in Hawaii are NOT required if you have completed an educator preparation program or you can show proof of the completion of at least 30 semester hours in early childhood education or you have completed a master’s or doctoral degree in early childhood education.

Alternative Route to Licensure

The Hawaii Teachers Standards Board offers an alternative route to licensure using a pre-service performance assessment. If you are an experienced teacher who has not been previously licensed you may receive a recommendation after the Board has evaluated your preparation and experience. The Board notes that this route is the exception, rather than the rule and is reserved only for select candidates who meet specific requirements.

 


 

Step 2. Apply for a Standard License

If you have completed a teacher preparation program, you likely meet the requirements for a Standard License unless your employer or the jurisdiction in which you are applying for employment requires you to first hold a provisional license.

To apply for a Standard License, you must:

  • Complete and submit a paper application for the Standard Hawaii Teaching License or submit your license application online
  • Provide the Board with verification that you have completed a state-approved teacher education program (Your institution will verify you degree and send it directly to Teachers Standards Board.)

Standard licenses are valid for a period of 5 years. Initial application and renewal fees for standard licenses are $240, payable in annual payments.

 


 

Step 3. Apply for an Advanced License

You may apply for an Advanced License if you have at least 5 years of experience in Hawaii or another state in the last 8 years AND you hold a master’s degree or higher.

To apply for an Advanced License, you must:

Advanced licenses are valid for a period of 10 years. Initial application and renewal fees for advanced licenses are $480, payable in annual payments.

License renewals in Hawaii are completed by verifying your experience (HTSB Form Verification of Experience RA4010) and by verifying that you have satisfied Hawaii teacher performance standards (Renewal Activity Documentation HTSB Form 5010).

 


 

Step 4. Requirements for Preschool Teachers Licensed through the Department of Human Services

If you teach preschool outside of the public school system, you must meet the requirements set forth by the Department of Human Services (DHS), which licenses preschools, infant/toddler programs, and group childcare homes.

If you want to become a group childcare center teacher, you must be at least 18 years old and meet ONE of the following requirements:

  • Option 1: A degree in early childhood or child development from an accredited college or university and at least 6 months of experience working with children in an early care and education-related setting; OR
  • Option 2: A bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited college or university, at least 12 credits in early childhood and/or child development, and at least 6 months of experience working with children in an early care and education-related setting
  • Option 3: A bachelor’s degree in elementary education from an accredited college or university, with at least 6 credits in early childhood and/or child development, and at least 6 months of experience working with children in an early care and education-related setting
  • Option 4: At least 60 credits in a degree program, a certificate in early childhood (16 credits), and at least 1 year of supervised teaching experience in an early care and education-related setting
  • Option 5: A Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and at least one year of supervised teaching experience in an early care and education-related setting.

If you want to become an assistant teacher in a preschool program licensed by the DHS, you must be at least 18 years old and meet ONE of the following requirements:

  • Option 1: At least 2 years of college credit (60 credits), which must include at least 9 credits in early childhood and/or child development, and at least 6 months of experience working with children in an early care and education-related setting
  • Option 2: At least two years of college credit (60 credits), a college certificate of recognition in early childhood, and at least 6 months of experience working with children in an early care and education-related setting
  • A Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and at least 6 months of experience working with children in an early care and education-related setting


Hawaii Preschool Teacher Salaries

The need for preschool teachers is increasing throughout the U.S. as educators and policy makers become more aware of the benefits of providing a high quality preschool education to children.

The field of preschool teaching is growing at 0.3% a year in Hawaii, and is expected to for the duration of the 10-year period leading up to 2020 according to the state’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR). The total number of jobs for RTs in Hawaii is projected to be 1,330 in 2020.

The median 2012 preschool teacher salary in Hawaii was $32,210 a year. Entry-level preschool teachers make $22,290 a year on average, while experienced ones averaged $38,760 a year. The DLIR provides the median preschool teacher salaries for most of Hawaii’s counties:

Honolulu County – $31,250
Kaui County – $37,290
Maui County – $37,390
Ten schools in Hawaii offer college degrees in early childhood education and teaching. 75% of the people seeking jobs as preschool teachers on September 5, 2014, had at least an associate’s degree.

The Hawaii State Department of Education spends about $1.7 billion a year to educate the state’s students. The governor created the Executive Office on Early Learning to help ensure an early childhood development and learning system that is comprehensive and integrated statewide. In addition to providing a stronger future for the students, improving preschool education will help to improve Hawaii’s economic base.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a breakdown of 2013 Pre-K teacher salaries throughout Hawaii:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Honolulu HI
1260
32430
Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area
110
37810

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