Requirements for Early Childhood Education Jobs in Michigan

To teach preschool in Michigan’s public schools, you must be prepared to complete the following steps:

Complete an Approved Teacher Preparation Program
Take and Pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC)
Apply for and Renew a Provisional (Initial) Teaching License
Apply for a Professional Education Certificate

According to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, there were 7,270 licensed early education teachers in Michigan as of 2012. By 2020, the Department projects there will be 8,260 such teachers, or an increase of 13.5 percent. On average, there are 287 job openings for preschool teachers in Michigan every year.

The Office of Professional Preparation Services (OPPS) and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) have teamed up to ensure that Michigan’s youth, from pre-k through 12th grade, achieve their educational goals through quality early childhood development programs. These two organizations also ensure that all education programs in the State meet the standards that were established the Michigan Legislature and the State Board of Education.

In 1986, the Michigan State Board of Education approved the Standards of Quality and Curriculum Guidelines for Preschool Programs for Four Year Olds. The purpose of the program was to provide a framework for a high-quality preschool program for preschoolers who were considered at-risk for school failure. In 1992, the Board of Education appointment a committee that developed Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten through Second Grade and in 2002, the Board of Education adopted a task force for Ensuring Early Childhood Literacy.

 


 

Step 1. Complete an Approved Teacher Preparation Program

To teach preschool in a Michigan public school, you must first complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. There are currently 26 schools that offer teacher preparation programs in early childhood education. A teacher preparation program includes, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree program, along with pedagogy coursework and a student teaching experience.

Coursework that you will encounter in your educator preparation program in early childhood education will include:

  • Family Systems
  • Foundations of Early Intervention and Education
  • Positive Learning Environment for Children With and Without Disabilities
  • Science and Mathematics for All Young Children
  • Language Development and Literacy in Early Childhood
  • Instructional Strategies for All Young Children
  • Planning for Meaningful Early Childhood Curriculum

Michigan’s Childcare Provider Requirements

Michigan’s Office of Great Start is responsible for ensuring that all children in Michigan, birth to age 8, particularly those with the highest need, have access to quality learning and development programs.

A quality program, as recognized by the Office of Great Start, requires caregivers in a center-based program to possess the following:

Lead Caregivers

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in early childhood education, child development, nursing, or another child-related field; preferred caregivers will possess an endorsement (Level 2 or higher) of the Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health

Other Caregivers

  • An associate’s degree or higher in early childhood education, child development, nursing, or another child-related field; OR
  • A Child Development Associate (CDA) credential; preferred caregivers will possess an endorsement (Level 1 or higher) of the Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health

 


 

Step 2. Take and Pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC)

Upon completion of an approved teacher preparation program in Michigan (or an out-of-state program approved by the Board of Education), you must then take and pass the Early Childhood Education (General and Special Education) Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC).

This examination, which includes 100 multiple-choice questions, requires a passing score of at least 220.

Test sites, dates, and locations vary, so applicants are best served by reviewing the requirements to take this exam.

The Early Childhood Education exam consists of the following assessment areas:

  • Child development learning: 25 percent
  • Communication, language, and literacy development: 19 percent
  • Learning in the content areas: 37 percent
  • Professional development: 19 percent

 


 

Step 3. Apply for and Renew a Provisional (Initial) Teaching License

An initial teaching license, which is valid for a period of 6 years, can only be achieved upon completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program and passing the MTTC exam.

If you meet the above requirements but have not yet taken and passed the MTTC exam, you may apply for TEA2 provisional temporary teacher employment authorization, which is valid for up to one year while you prepare to take the MTTC exam. The T2EA is issued upon evaluation of your application for initial certification. It is not renewable.

First Renewal – You must renew your provisional certificate every 3 years. Your first renewal requires the completion of at least ONE of the following:

  • 6 semester hours in a planned course of study at an approved EPI; OR
  • 6 semester credit hours of academic credit in early childhood education at a regionally accredited college or university; OR
  • 150 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) in early childhood education
  • A combination of semester credit hours and SCECHs; OR
  • The completion of an approved master’s degree or higher

Second Renewal – Your second renewal requires the completion of at least ONE of the following:

  • 6 semester hours in a planned course of study at an approved EPI; OR
  • 6 semester credits hours of academic credit in early childhood education at a regionally accredited college or university since the first provisional certificate renewal took place; OR
  • 150 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) in early childhood education since the first provisional certificate renewal took place; OR
  • A combination of semester credit hours and SCECHs since the provisional certificate renewal took place; OR
  • A master’s degree or higher

Third Renewal – A third renewal requires the following:

  • Sponsorship by a local school district or private school
  • The completion of all academic requirements for the Professional Education Certificate
  • Approval by the Michigan Department of Education

 


 

Step 4. Apply for a Professional Education Certificate

A professional education certificate in Michigan, which is valid for a period of 5 years, is reserved for Michigan educators who hold a valid Michigan provisional certificate. To qualify for a professional education certificate, you must:

  • Possess at least 3 years of satisfactory teaching experience in early childhood education; AND
  • Possess at least 3 semester credit hours of reading methods for secondary certified teachers and at least 6 semester credit hours of reading methods for elementary certified teachers and; AND
  • Possess at least 3 semester credit hours in the reading disabilities and differentiated instruction, which also includes a field experience; AND
  • Possess at least 3 semester credit hours in reading diagnostic and remediation (You can find more information on these requirements here.)

You must also possess ONE (or the combination of) the following:

  • 6 semester hours in a planned course of study at an approved EPI; OR
  • 6 semester credits hours of academic credit in early childhood education at a regionally accredited college or university since the first provisional certificate renewal took place; OR
  • 150 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) in early childhood education since the first provisional certificate renewal took place; OR
  • 150 District provided Professional Development (PDDP) clock hours; OR
  • A master’s degree or higher

Interim Teaching Certificate (Alternate Route)

An interim teaching certificate in Michigan, which is valid for up to 5 years, is designed as an alternative to a teaching certificate, as it allows individuals to be employed in a public school. To qualify for an interim teaching certificate, you must:

  • Be currently enrolled in a state-approved alternative route teaching program
  • Possess a bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, or professional degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a GPA of at least 3.0
  • Pass the MTTC Professional Readiness examination AND the Early Childhood Education (General and Special Education) examination (see step 2)

While working under an interim teaching certificate, you must complete the following before you can be recommended for a provisional certificate in Michigan:

  • Pass a criminal history check, including FBI fingerprinting, before being employed by a Michigan school district; AND
  • Receive intensive coaching and observation; AND
  • Complete at least three years of satisfactory teaching experience


Michigan Preschool Teacher Salaries

The 2013 average preschool teacher salary in Michigan was $31,950 a year, according to the state’s Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Those earning in the 10th percentile earned $18,510 on average, while experienced preschool teachers in the 90th percentile earned an average of $48,100 a year.

Pre-K teacher salaries varied widely throughout Michigan with the average salary being the highest in the Monroe area. 90th percentile salaries in the Muskegon area were 41% higher than those in the state as a whole, while the 10th percentile salary in Monroe was more than 50% higher than the state’s average for this category.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget furnished the salary data shown here:

Michigan City
10th Percentile
90th Percentile
Ann Arbor
$19910
$46490
Battle Creek
$21010
$51440
Bay City
$17830
$39570
Flint
$17860
$47060
Grand Rapids
$20370
$44950
Holland
$17120
$38400
Jackson
$16290
$42350
Kalamazoo
$18220
$47490
Lansing
$16800
$44480
Monroe
$28160
$47520
Muskegon
$18330
$67820
Niles
$19420
$39480
Saginaw
$16550
$38470

As a comparison, the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed analysis of 2013 Michigan preschool teacher salaries by city:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Ann Arbor MI
390
33030
Battle Creek MI
90
30660
Bay City MI
40
26630
Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn MI Metropolitan Division
890
32680
Detroit-Warren-Livonia MI
3340
32050
Flint MI
180
29380
Grand Rapids-Wyoming MI
610
31000
Holland-Grand Haven MI
Estimate not released
24150
Jackson MI
80
26920
Kalamazoo-Portage MI
390
29950
Lansing-East Lansing MI
440
26830
Monroe MI
80
36810
Muskegon-Norton Shores MI
120
36040
Niles-Benton Harbor MI
70
34000
Saginaw-Saginaw Township North MI
80
24250
South Bend-Mishawaka IN-MI
230
27520
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills MI Metropolitan Division
2440
31820
Upper Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area
130
38210
Northeast Lower Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area
160
35330
Northwest Lower Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area
190
32960
Balance of Lower Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area
310
39630

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