Requirements for Early Childhood Education Jobs in North Dakota

According to the North Dakota Child Care Resource and Referral (ND CCR&R), about 60 percent of all private preschool programs are organized as an independent preschool, while 34 percent are part of another early childhood program, and just 5 percent are affiliated with a school. Private preschool programs in North Dakota are licensed by the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

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

Complete an Approved Educator Preparation Program
Pass the Required PRAXIS Examinations
Apply for Initial Licensure to Teach Preschool in North Dakota
Apply for a Regular License in North Dakota

The North Dakota State Legislature authorizes school districts to use federal funds for preschool programming. School districts that offer additional services to preschool-aged students using Title 1 funds must hire teachers who possess at least one of the following:

  • A Birth-Grade 3 (B3) teaching license
  • A K-8 License (no longer issued)
  • A K-6 license (no longer issued) with an elementary major and an early childhood endorsement
  • Elementary education major and a minor in early childhood education

It is the goal of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) to ensure the above standards are followed in multiple educational-based pre-kindergarten programs, including public pre-k programs, private and licensed preschool programs, and Head Start programs. A list of school districts in North Dakota that have received approval for pre-k programs can be found here.



Step 1. Complete an Approved Educator Preparation Program

To become a preschool teacher in North Dakota, you must first complete an approved educator preparation program, which includes a bachelor’s degree program and all necessary pedagogy and student teaching requirements for licensure. There are currently several approved programs in North Dakota in early childhood education.

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An educator preparation program in early childhood education focuses on the study of typical and atypical child development, which includes the emotional, social, physical, language, cognitive, and aesthetic development of children from birth through age 8. It also focuses on the study of how to establish and maintain collaborative partnerships with families, communities, and other professionals.

All programs in early childhood education must include at least 16 semester hours of study in the developmentally appropriate practices and the development and implementation of curriculum instruction based on knowledge of individual children and the community, as well as at least 3 supervised field experiences and two student teaching experiences for a minimum of 10 weeks. At least one student teaching experience must be in an approved pre-k or kindergarten setting and the other experience must be in grades 1, 2, or 3, and must include the opportunity to work with children with special needs.

The professional education component, including student teaching, must be completed under the supervision of a teacher training institution approved by the Education Standards and Practices Board in North Dakota. You must be able to complete the program with a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be eligible for licensure.



Step 2. Pass the Required PRAXIS Examinations

To qualify for initial licensure, you must take and pass the following examinations:

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators, Reading: Qualifying score of 156
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators, Writing: Qualifying score of 160
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators, Mathematics: Qualifying score of 150


  • Early Childhood: Content Knowledge: Qualifying score of 158
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching: Early Childhood: Qualifying score of 157

You can learn more about preparing for, scheduling, and taking the above examinations here.



Step 3. Apply for Initial Licensure to Teach Preschool in North Dakota

To apply for an initial license in early childhood education (B3 license) in North Dakota, you must contact the Education Standards and Practice Board at 701-328-9641 and request an initial application form. The cost of this form is $30. Upon receipt of the Application for Initial Licensure from the Board, you must complete and sign it and return it to the Board, along with the application fee of $75.

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You will also be required to complete a fingerprint screening for initial licensure. You can obtain the necessary materials to begin the fingerprinting process through your college or university or by contacting the Board at 701-328-9641. Fingerprinting instructions can be found here.

Initial teacher licenses in North Dakota are valid for a period of 2 years, during which time you must complete a North Dakota Native American Studies course that is at least 2 semester hours in length and offered through a college or university.

Ready to start your preschool teaching career with a bachelor’s degree in ECE or advance your career with a Master’s degree in ECE? Check out our comprehensive list of ECE degrees by State at various levels to determine what program is right for you.


Step 4. Apply for a Regular License in North Dakota

After you have completed at least 18 months of full-time professional experience teaching preschool in North Dakota, you may apply for a Regular License, which is valid for a period of 5 years. If you have not achieved at least 18 months of teaching experience, you may apply for a two-year renewal.

Applying for a Regular License and renewing it every 5 years can be accomplished through ND Teach, North Dakota’s portal system for educators. You are expected to complete at least 4 semester hours of professional development to keep your Regular License current.

Approved online professional development providers can be found here. All other professional development course providers can be found here.

North Dakota Preschool Teacher Salaries

Per-student spending in North Dakota has increased significantly since 2012, including the funding of early childhood education programs. There are currently 18 Title I public preschools associated with elementary schools in the state, while the State Department of Human Services monitors and licenses all other child day-care services.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 460 preschool teachers who are employed in North Dakota were earning an annual mean salary of $26,880 and an hourly mean wage of $12.83 in 2013.

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Salaries differ depending upon education, experience and location. The number of preschool teachers and their salaries in different North Dakota cities are:

North Dakota City
Mean Annual
Top 10%
Grand Fork

The mean salaries in non-metropolitan areas of North Dakota in 2013 were:

Far Western region $43,170
Far Eastern region $24,960
West Central region $22,140
The table below provides an extensive breakdown by percentile group of 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary information for preschool teachers in North Dakota:

Area name
Annual mean wage
Fargo ND-MN
Not Available
Grand Forks ND-MN
Far Western North Dakota nonmetropolitan area
Not Available
West Central North Dakota nonmetropolitan area
Not Available
Far Eastern North Dakota nonmetropolitan area

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