Requirements for Early Childhood Education Jobs in Maryland

Maryland public pre-kindergarten programs are highly inclusive, welcoming children from families that are disadvantaged or even homeless, as the state makes every effort to ensure developmental parity with other children. Local school systems are required to enroll all eligible children who apply.

Maryland also offers eligible working class families with children under 5 financial assistance through the Child Care Scholarship Program.

The long-term effects of the program have consistently shown that it has a positive effect on school performance up through at least middle school. It’s a testament to the qualified and dedicated preschool teachers and administrators who execute the DOE curriculum and participate in the Maryland EXCELS Rating & Improvement System.

Joining the ranks of those teachers and administrators takes hard work, but the rewards are high. As the DOE data indicate, teachers with the right training and the right motivation can make a world of difference in the life of a four-year-old, a difference that will last for a lifetime.

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

Maryland’s Department of Labor expects the number of positions available for teachers and administrators in prekindergarten positions to grow at about 7.9 percent between 2016 and 2026. That will lead to nearly 1,000 openings annually for teachers, and almost 100 for administrators, a combination of new job creation and attrition in previous positions.

According to 2018 numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Maryland pre-kindergarten professionals earn median salaries comparable to the national median. Where the state really offers advantages over other states in terms of higher pay is for those closer to the top of the profession. Salaries in the upper 25 and upper 10 percent for both administrators and teachers are more than $10,000 above the national average at these levels:

Preschool Administrators: $47,140 – $75,820 – $102,140

Preschool Teacher: $31,680 – $44,880 – $66,820

Preschool Special Educator: $57,810 – $69,900 – $86,690

A $10.6 million federal grant from the Preschool Development Birth through Five program was awarded to the Maryland state Department of Education in 2019 to enhance and improve services. This is expected to have a positive impact on salaries for early childhood education professionals across the state.

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria

The outskirts of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area are the sixth-highest paying in the nation for preschool teachers according to 2018 BLS data.

  • Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Bright Horizons
  • One World Preschool
  • The Goddard School
  • Silver Spring Day School
  • Evergreen Montessori
  • Francis International School
  • Wesley Nursery School
  • Cedar Lane Nursery School
  • Bethesda Co-Op Nursery School
  • Beth El Preschool

Schools and learning centers in the area surrounding DC offer preschool teachers, early childhood special educators, and administrators salaries in these ranges:

Preschool Administrators

  • Median – $57,490
  • 75th Percentile – $82,080
  • 90th Percentile – $115,440

Preschool Teachers

  • Median – $34,390
  • 75th Percentile – $45,390
  • 90th Percentile – $69,420

Special Education Preschool Teachers

  • Median – $74,200
  • 75th Percentile – $96,050
  • 90th Percentile – $122,540

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson

Baltimore offers a wide range of both public and private preschool employment opportunities with competitive compensation.

  • Baltimore City Schools
  • Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School
  • Grace Preschool
  • Y Preschool
  • Redeemer Parish Day School
  • Ner Damit Montessori Preschool
  • La Petite Academy
  • A Child’s Place
  • The Goddard School
  • Bolton Hill Nursery

Public schools and private learning centers in the greater Baltimore area offer salaries to preschool teachers, early childhood special educators, and administrators that fall within these ranges:

Preschool Administrators

  • Median – $42,280
  • 75th Percentile – $50,330
  • 90th Percentile – $72,990

Preschool Teachers

  • Median – $30,410
  • 75th Percentile – $44,120
  • 90th Percentile – $62,330

Special Education Preschool Teachers

  • Median – $58,120
  • 75th Percentile – $69,240
  • 90th Percentile – $87,980

Salisbury

These are some of the largest employers for teachers and administrators of prekindergarten programs in the Salisbury area:

  • Wicomico County Public Schools
  • Asbury Child Development Center
  • Faith Baptist School
  • Parkway Preschool
  • Wicomico Day School

Schools in the Salisbury area offer preschool teachers and administrators salaries that fall within these ranges:

Preschool Administrators

  • Median – $34,980
  • 75th Percentile – $52,410
  • 90th Percentile – $60,640

Preschool Teachers

  • Median – $25,350
  • 75th Percentile – $31,450
  • 90th Percentile – $68,900

Hagerstown

Some of the major employers for prekindergarten professionals in the Hagerstown area are listed below:

  • Washington County Public Schools
  • Hagerstown Children’s School
  • John Wesley Preschool
  • Lifehouse Learning Center
  • Head Start of Washington County
  • Bright Eyes Learning Center

At preschools and learning centers in Hagerstown, teachers and administrators can expect to earn salaries within these ranges:

Preschool Teachers

  • Median – $30,650
  • 75th Percentile – $39,610
  • 90th Percentile – $49,910

 

Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2018 for preschool teachers, preschool special education teachers and preschool administrators – https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_md.htm#11-9111. The BLS salary data shown here represents median – 90th percentile salary ranges for the state and its MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries.

 Job growth projections sourced from the Maryland Department of Labor and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

All salary and job growth data accessed in September 2019.

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