Requirements for Early Childhood Education Jobs in Indiana

On March 27, 2014, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law a pre-kindergarten pilot program which, when implemented in 2015, will provide grants to eligible children for qualified education services. It will be overseen and administered by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.

Program providers for the pre-k programs will likely be public school districts, non-profit providers, and non-profit organizations. When implemented, Indiana’s pre-k program will mark the first time Indiana has designated state funds for pre-k education (joining the 40 states that already do so). It is estimated that the program may fund up to 4,000 children in quality preschool programs throughout the state. You can find the latest updates on Indiana’s pre-k pilot program here.

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

Complete an Approved Teacher Preparation Program
Complete the Required Pedagogy and Content Examinations
Complete Additional Training Courses for Licensure
Apply for an Initial Teacher License
Apply for and Renew a Proficient (Standard) Teacher License



Step 1. Complete an Approved Teacher Preparation Program

To become a licensed preschool teacher in Indiana, you must complete an approved teacher preparation program, which may consist of an undergraduate or graduate degree.

The minimum degree requirement to achieve licensure as a preschool teacher in Indiana is a bachelor’s degree, although candidates who already possess a bachelor’s degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program may complete a teacher preparation program that culminates in a master’s degree or post-baccalaureate (non-degree) certificate.

In addition to coursework in early childhood education and child development, all teacher preparation programs consist of pedagogy coursework and a student teaching experience. There are currently 14 teacher preparation programs in Indiana in early childhood education.

Standards for early childhood education programs in Indiana include the following:

  • Foundations of scientifically based reading instruction
  • Components of scientifically based reading instruction
  • English language arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social studies
  • Fine arts
  • Health, wellness, and physical education

Note: If you do not currently possess qualifying SAT, ACT, or GRE scores, you may need to take and pass the Indiana CORE Academic Skills Assessment (CASA) before you can be accepted into a teacher preparation program in Indiana. The CASA assesses candidates in three areas: reading, writing, and mathematics. Additional information on the CASA can be found here.



Step 2. Complete the Required Pedagogy and Content Examinations

Upon the successful completion of your teacher preparation program in early childhood education, you must take and pass two examinations:

Each examination requires a minimum score of 220 to pass, and both examinations can be taken by appointment, year-round at CBT sites across Indiana and nationwide. You can view registration and scheduling information through the examination administrator, Pearson Vue. There are testing centers located in Indianapolis, Carmel, and Kokomo.



Step 3. Complete Additional Training Courses for Licensure

All teachers in Indiana must complete training in the following to qualify for initial licensure:

  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Heimlich Maneuver

You can view a list of approved providers here. Note: If you already possess a valid certificate in any of the above life-saving techniques, you may be exempt from taking another training course.

You must also complete a training program in child suicide prevention and intervention to qualify for initial licensure. A list of training programs for suicide prevention can be found here.



Step 4. Apply for an Initial Teacher License

Upon satisfying all requirements for initial licensure, you must complete the application process through the Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE) Licensing Verification and Information System (LVIS).

This site also provides users with manuals and training seminars that explain how to create and update a profile and apply for licensure in Indiana.



Step 5. Apply for and Renew a Proficient (Standard) Teacher License

To renew your initial license, which is valid for a period of two years, you must successfully complete an Indiana Mentor and Assessment Program (IMAP), a two-year program designed for new teachers in Indiana. After you have successfully completed the IMAP, you may apply for your 5-year proficient practitioner license.

In addition to completing the renewal application through LVIS, you must ensure that your employer has completed and sent an IDOE the School IMAP Approval Form to the Department.

Renewing a proficient practitioner license involves the completion of at least 6 semester hours of coursework at an accredited college or university. It is typical for preschool teachers in Indiana to apply their continuing education coursework hours toward the completion of a master’s degree (M.Ed. or M.A.T.) in early childhood education.

Indiana Preschool Teacher Salaries

The increase in the number of preschool teacher jobs in Indiana is projected to be 42.5% higher than it will be nationally in the ten-year period leading up to 2020, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. It projects a 24.23% increase in preschool teacher jobs. 51.8% of these jobs will come from the need to replace teachers leaving the workforce, while the rest will come from growth in the field.

The department’s analyses of multi-county Economic Growth Regions frequently designate preschool teacher jobs as one of the top occupations in terms of growth. It is number three in Region 11—the southwest part of Indiana—and number two in Region 7, which comprises the west central part of the state.

The 2013 average preschool teacher salary in Indiana was $26,470. The highest average Pre-K teacher salaries were in the Lafayette and Terra Haute areas:

Columbus – $27,740
Evansville – $25,430
Fort Wayne – $25,940
Gary – $24,480
Indianapolis – $26,380
Lafayette – $29,480
Muncie – $22,490
South Bend – $27,520
Terra Haute – $29,030
The 4,560 preschool teachers employed in Indiana in 2013 were dispersed throughout the state. 11% were in Gary, while the Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and Evansville areas each had less than 7% of Indiana’s preschool teachers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed breakdown of the 2013 preschool teacher salaries by percentile throughout Indiana:

Area name
Annual mean wage
Anderson IN
Bloomington IN
Estimate not released
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN
Columbus IN
Elkhart-Goshen IN
Evansville IN-KY
Fort Wayne IN
Gary IN Metropolitan Division
Indianapolis-Carmel IN
Kokomo IN
Lafayette IN
Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN
Michigan City-La Porte IN
Estimate not released
Muncie IN
South Bend-Mishawaka IN-MI
Terre Haute IN
Estimate not released
Northern Indiana nonmetropolitan area
Central Indiana nonmetropolitan area
Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area

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