Requirements for Early Childhood Education Jobs in New York

Early childhood educators in New York are certified through the New York State Department of Education to teach children from birth through second grade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2013 New York had the second-highest number of preschool teachers working in the United States (with early childhood educators in the state numbering 27,930).

Even better, New York pays the highest annual salary to preschool teachers of any state in the union. In May 2013, preschool teachers in New York earned an average annual salary of $43,650, about $11,000 higher than the national average for early childhood educators.

If you wish to become a preschool teacher in New York, follow the steps shown here:

Complete a Degree and Teacher Preparation Program in Early Childhood Education
Pass the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations
Apply for Your New York Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood Education
Maintain and Upgrade Your New York Teaching Certificate

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Degree and Teacher Preparation Program in Early Childhood Education

The New York State Department of Education provides a variety of ways in which you can become a preschool teacher, depending upon your education and experience:

  • First Pathway: Complete a New York State registered teacher preparation program in Early Childhood Education (search this database to find one) and a bachelor’s degree (minimum).

 

  • Second Pathway: Complete an alternative teacher certification program in Early Childhood while teaching under a Transitional B certificate.

 

  • Third Pathway: Intended for those who are already certified to teach one subject/grade in New York and seek additional certification in Early Childhood – they may either:
    • Complete a New York approved teacher preparation program

OR

    • Complete the following college coursework:
      • 6 semester hours in Concepts in Historical and Social Sciences
      • 6 semester hours in Scientific Processes
      • 6 semester hours in Mathematical Processes
      • 6 semester hours in Student Developmental Level – Birth to Grade 2
      • 3 semester hours in Teaching Literacy Skills Methods

 

 

  • Fourth Pathway: Complete a comparable, approved teacher preparation program in Early Childhood education in another state and hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA (undergraduate) of 2.5. If you are unsure about whether New York will accept your credentials from another state, you may request an individual evaluation of those credentials here.

 

  • Fifth Pathway: If you already hold a valid, comparable teaching certificate in another state or county, have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum GPA of 2.5 (undergraduate), you also must have three years of paid, full-time early childhood education classroom teaching experience

 

Experience for Prospective Preschool Teachers in New York

If you choose to become a preschool teacher by enrolling in a traditional New York teacher preparation program, you will have the opportunity to gain much experience. First will be your practicum, in which you will observe teachers in the classroom and learn things such as classroom management strategies.

Second will be your student teaching, also referred to as a field experience or internship. You will be placed in an early childhood-level classroom and you will take over as the teacher, leading instruction, assessing students, and preparing lesson plans. A mentor teacher as well as an official from your college program will watch and grade your performance. You must work as a student teacher for at least 40 days in order to become certified as an early childhood educator in New York.

 


 

Step 2. Pass the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations

Before you may teach as a preschool teacher in New York, you must also pass the appropriate New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTE). The ones that you will need to pass depends upon your pathway:

 

    • Educating All Students Test (EAS) – Pathway 1, 4 and 5 candidates
        • Tests the following competencies:
          • Diverse Student Populations
          • Teacher Responsibilities
          • English Language Learners
          • School-Home Relationships
          • Students with Disabilities and Other Special Learning Needs

       

      • Must receive a passing score of 520

 

 

  • edTPA-Early Childhood – Pathway 1, 2, 4 and 5 candidates
    • Assesses your readiness to lead a classroom as a preschool teacher

The NYSTEs are given at Pearson VUE test centers. Some of New York’s testing locations include:

  • Brooklyn
  • New York City
  • Rego Park
  • Elmhurst
  • Flushing
  • Forest Hills
  • Bronx
  • Albany
  • Latham
  • Utica
  • Monticello
  • New Paltz

 


 

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

Regardless of the pathway you have chosen to become a preschool teacher in New York, you must apply for your certificate online. You will also pay the $100 application fee online. Still – the following documents must be submitted via postal mail:

Mail the above information to the Office of Teaching Initiatives, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Ave, 5N EB, Albany, New York 12234.

You may check the status of your application online anytime here.

 


 

Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your New York Teaching Certificate

Congratulations! You are now a certified preschool teacher in New York! Your Initial Certificate is valid for five years, during which time you must fulfill certain responsibilities. You must be mentored during your first year of teaching and attain a minimum of three years of full-time teaching experience. When you are ready, your school district will instruct you to apply for your Professional Certificate.

Maintaining Your Professional Certificate through Professional Development

Your Professional Certificate is considered continuously valid. However, you must complete 175 hours of professional development hours every five years to maintain it. Your school district will approve your Professional Development hours and report them to the New York State Education Department. It will also maintain your Professional Development records. More information on approved activities may be found here.

Child Care Provider Requirements in New York

If you wish to become a childcare provider or preschool teacher at a non-public school level in New York, you must meet certain requirements established by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services – Division of Child Care Services. Training requirements vary depending upon the type of childcare center in which you work:

  • Registered Family Day Care – provide care for 3 to 6 children in a residence
    • Staff must complete 15 hours of training in their first six months of employment, and 30 hours of training during each year the center is registered, on the following topics:
      • Principles of childhood development
      • Record management
      • Nutrition and health needs of children
      • Safety and security procedures
      • Child abuse identification and prevention
      • Child day care program development
      • Child day care statutes/regulations
      • Child abuse statutes/regulations
      • Identifying, diagnosing and preventing shaken baby syndrome
  • Group Family Day Care – provide care for 7 to 12 children in a residence
    • Training requirements are the same as for Registered Family Day Care above
  • School Age Child Care – provide care for more than 6 children ages kindergarten through 12
    • All staff who work 20 or more hours per week must complete 30 hours of training every two years (15 hours in the first six months of employment)
    • Training must be in the nine subjects listed above

 

  • Small Day Care Center – provide care for up to 6 children but not in a residence
    • All providers, regardless of hours worked, must complete the same training requirements as for School Age Child Care above

 

  • Day Care Center – centers that provide care for six or more children but not in a residence
    • All directors and employees must complete 30 hours of training every two years, with 15 hours in the first six months of employment, in the nine subjects listed above


New York Preschool Teacher Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary among early childhood educators in New York State was $65,520 ($31.50 hourly) as of 2012.

Preschool teachers in the Empire State are required to hold an Early Childhood Educator Certificate issued by the New York State Education Department. With 9,580 actively employed (2012) preschool teachers, New York State has the fourth most educators serving in this specialty of any state in the nation. In addition, the 3,510 preschool teachers who work in the greater New York City Metropolitan Area represent the second highest contingent of early childhood educators of any US metropolitan areas.

Salaries vary considerably in different cities. Unsurprisingly, New York City’s preschool teachers earn the highest salaries in the state. According to U.S. News and World Report, preschool teachers in Manhattan earn an annual median salary of $46,750, which is almost $20,000 more than the national average.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides 2013 early childhood educator salary data in New York’s major cities by percentile, as shown in the this table:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Albany-Schenectady-Troy NY
980
30190
Binghamton NY
250
26790
Buffalo-Niagara Falls NY
1760
29320
Elmira NY
70
34480
Glens Falls NY
140
23660
Ithaca NY
180
31300
Kingston NY
130
31900
Nassau-Suffolk NY Metropolitan Division
4080
32760
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island NY-NJ-PA
30170
44650
New York-White Plains-Wayne NY-NJ Metropolitan Division
18880
50320
Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown NY
1050
30070
Rochester NY
920
33340
Syracuse NY
720
30080
Utica-Rome NY
340
33090
Capital/Northern New York nonmetropolitan area
420
32410
East Central New York nonmetropolitan area
Estimate not released
24940
Central New York nonmetropolitan area
290
35670
Southwest New York nonmetropolitan area
570
36950

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