Requirements for Early Childhood Education Jobs in Maryland

According to the 2012 Child Care Aware in America report, Maryland has 298,567 children under the age of six who would potentially need child care, to include preschool or pre-kindergarten.

Maryland currently offers pre-kindergarten, or Pre-K, through its public school system, but this is not offered within every school district. Some candidates for governor of the state are running on the platform of offering free Pre-K for all children of Maryland. If passed, this will increase the need for trained preschool and early childhood certified teachers in the state.

If you would like to learn how to become a preschool teacher in Maryland, follow these steps:

Complete a Degree and Teacher Preparation Program
Pass the Necessary Examinations
Apply for Your Maryland Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood Education
Maintain and Upgrade Your Maryland Teaching Certificate

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Degree and Teacher Preparation Program in Maryland

Certified preschool teachers in Maryland are referred to as being certified in Early Childhood Education. The first step in your quest to become a certified Maryland preschool teacher is to complete a degree and approved teacher preparation program. A list of programs approved by the Maryland State Department of Education may be found here.

If you do not attend a Maryland-approved teacher preparation program, you may still be eligible to become a certified preschool teacher in Maryland. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree must be earned from an out of state school, a non-approved Maryland school, or online school.

In earning this degree, you must meet certain coursework requirements to become an Early Childhood Education certified teacher in Maryland.

Degree Options for Preschool Teachers in Maryland

You must complete one of the following:

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree with a major in either interdisciplinary studies or an academic field taught in early childhood education, including:
    • 12 semester hours of courses in science and math
    • 9 semester hours of courses in social studies and English

OR

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree and 48 hours of course work in a content field including:
    • 12 semester hours of courses in science and math
    • 9 semester hours of courses in social studies and English

All early childhood teachers in Maryland must also complete 12 semester hours in approved reading courses. A list of such courses may be found here. (You may test out of this requirement if you wish by passing the Praxis II Teaching Reading: Elementary Education exam with a score of 162).

Additionally, you must complete 27 hours of coursework in each of these areas at the early childhood (birth through age 3) level:

  • Human learning
  • Child development
  • Inclusion of special needs students
  • Teaching methodology
  • Processes and acquiring reading skills
  • Assessing students
  • Materials for teaching reading to perform a task, read for information, and gain literary experience
  • Use of reading assessment data to improve teaching
  • Best practices in reading instruction including the cuing systems of syntactic, semantics and graphophonics

*At least 50 percent of the coursework listed above must be taken at the same college or university

Experience Required for Preschool Teachers in Maryland

Additionally, under Maryland law, in order to become a certified preschool teacher in Maryland you must complete a teaching experience. This experience may meet either of the following qualifications:

  • A supervised experience (student teaching) in public/private school at the prekindergarten/kindergarten age level

OR

  • One year of full-time teaching experience in a public/private school at the prekindergarten/kindergarten age level

 


 

Step 2. Pass the Necessary Examinations for Preschool Teachers in Maryland

In addition to completing the educational and experiential requirements Maryland has set forth for its preschool teachers, you must also pass certain examinations. These consist of basic skills and content-area examinations. Both tests are offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Basic Skills Tests

All teacher candidates, regardless of their desired certification area, must pass basic skills examinations before becoming certified to teach in Maryland. The three tests that must be passed are:

In lieu of passing the above Core tests, Maryland will accept the following examinations that you may already have passed:

  • GRE revised General Test (taken after Sept 2011)– composite score of verbal and quantitative of 297
  • GRE test before Sept 2011 – composite score of 1000
  • ACT – composite score of 24
  • SAT Reasoning Test before April 1995 – combined math and verbal score of 1000
  • SAT Reasoning Test between April 1995 and January 2005 – combined math and verbal score of 1100
  • SAT Reasoning Test after 2005 – combined math and critical reading score of 1100

Content Area Exams

Additionally, in order to become a certified preschool teacher in Maryland, you must pass content-area exams. These are:

 


 

Step 3. Apply for Your Maryland Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood Education

When you are ready to apply for your Maryland teaching certificate, you must create an account and do so online. You will also pay application fees online. You will be told what documentation you must mail to the Maryland State Department of Education, such as:

  • An official, sealed transcript from your Maryland teacher preparation program, verifying that you have completed all requirements
  • Score reports from your ETS exams
  • A cover letter with your name, address, social security number, date of birth, email address, and area of certification you desire

Mail the information to Maryland State Department of Education Certification Branch, 200 W Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201.

It will take up to 18 weeks for your application and materials to be evaluated. Your Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC) will be mailed to you.

 


 

Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your Maryland Teaching Certificate

Now that you are a Maryland preschool teacher, you must make sure that you maintain your teaching Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC). This is done through professional development.

Continuing Education for Maryland Preschool Teachers

In order to renew your PEC, you must complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD). A minimum of six hours of course credits must be completed every five years. You will develop an individualized professional development plan along with your school district, which will offer CPD courses to staff.

If you are working at a Maryland school system, they handle the renewal of your PEC. If you are not currently working for a Maryland school system but wish to renew your PEC, you must submit a cover letter (containing your name, address and social security number), sealed official transcripts showing that you have completed 6 CPD credits in the past five years, and a $10 check or money order payable to MDSE. This must be mailed to Maryland State Department of Education, Certification Branch, 200 W Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201.

Your renewal request will be processed by the Certification Branch, and they will mail your renewed PEC to your address.

Maryland Child Care Credentialing Program

Maryland also has a credentialing program for those who work at or operate child care and preschool centers that are not affiliated with the public school system. The Maryland Child Care Credential Program recognizes levels of training and experience and offers credentials based upon these levels. They include:

Level 1:

    • Education: Meet national CDA (Child Development Associate) licensing/registration requirements which includes:
      • 120 hours of professional education
      • 480 hours of professional experience
      • A professional portfolio

 

  • Experience: None required
  • In order to maintain this credential, you must complete no additional hours of training per year (except what may be required to maintain your CDA credential)

Level 2:

  • Education: 45 clock hours of Core of Knowledge training including 20 hours in child development
  • Experience: none required
  • In order to maintain this credential, you must complete 12 hours of continuing training per year

Level 3:

  • Education: 90 clock hours of Core of Knowledge training including 20 hours in child development and 20 hours in curriculum methods
  • Experience: 1 year of experience (one year of college may be substituted for one year of experience)
  • In order to maintain this credential you must complete 18 hours of continuing training each year

Level 4:

    • Education: 135 clock hours of Core of Knowledge training including:
      • 45 hours of child development
      • 20 hours of health, safety and nutrition
      • 30 hours of curriculum methods
      • 10 hours of community
      • 15 hours of professionalism course
      • 15 hours of special needs courses

 

  • Experience: 2 years
  • In order to maintain this credential you must complete 24 hours of continuing training per year

Higher levels of certification are available to those who hold bachelor, master or doctoral degrees and over two years of experience.


Maryland Preschool Teacher Salaries

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation projects a job growth rate of 7.4% in the field of early childhood education during the current ten-year period ending 2022. This represents 3,083 preschool teacher jobs that are expected to become available in the state over this ten-year period. Of these new jobs, 79% will come from the need to replace preschool teachers who will leave the workforce.

The average 2014 preschool teacher salary in Maryland was $32,485. Experienced professionals made $38,148 on average, while those entering the workforce averaged $21,159 a year. Maryland preschool teacher salaries varied greatly throughout the state with average and experienced salaries being highest in Western Maryland.

Salaries for entry-level preschool teachers were highest in Mid-Maryland:

Maryland City
Entry-level
Experienced
Baltimore City
$22835
$40032
Baltimore County
$19870
$34601
Frederick County
$27282
$33024
Lower Shore
$22422
$37354
Mid-Maryland
$25777
$38589
Montgomery County
$24414
$41008
Prince George’s County
$17194
$30149
Southern Maryland
$20266
$37388
Susquehanna
$20602
$37926
Western Maryland
$21887
$44259

In 2013, some 6,790 preschool teachers were employed in Maryland. Nearly half were located in Baltimore (1,840) and Montgomery Counties (1,300). The area with the third highest level of preschool teacher employment was Southern Maryland with 820 early childhood educators as of 2013.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides additional information on 2013 employment levels and Pre-K teacher salaries throughout Maryland:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Baltimore-Towson MD
2990
31010
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick MD Metropolitan Division
1940
34860
Cumberland MD-WV
110
30690
Hagerstown-Martinsburg MD-WV
360
32560
Salisbury MD
160
31950
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
6650
34470
Wilmington DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division
1480
25630
Upper Eastern Shore nonmetropolitan area
80
28100
St. Marys County Maryland nonmetropolitan area
190
31480

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