If the idea of thoughtfully guiding little children through life’s basic yet essential lessons – like taking turns, tying shoelaces, sharing toys, washing hands, and listening to others – feeds your soul, you’re definitely cut out to be a preschool teacher or preschool teacher assistant. When you’re meant to be an early childhood educator, you know it in your heart. It’s all about finding just the right teaching position.
Great news! At Cross Country Education, we have jobs for an array of early childhood educators from California to the Northeast and plenty of exciting places in between…and our list of positions is extensive. We have opportunities for:
Here’s a look at what it’s like to work in early childhood education – the daily activities, education requirements, salary, work environment, and job outlook for preschool teachers and other early childhood educators – along with information on how you can start your journey toward landing your ideal, preschool or ECE job today.
Early childhood educators work with three- to five-year-old children and focus on English-language development, literacy, early mathematics, and social-emotional development. At preschool, teachers, associates, and assistants will typically ensure the children have lessons built around a routine structure that encompasses arrival, playtime, naptime, art activities, music and songs, reading, outdoor activities, field trips, circle time, snack time, and departure. A day at preschool can be challenging, exciting, unpredictable, and even exhausting. But any good early childhood educator will tell you, it can be the most rewarding and impactful job you’ll ever have.
The training and education required to become an early childhood educator vary by state. In some states, you need a high school diploma, while in others, you must have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. However, there are different levels of certification you can pursue to teach preschoolers. In California, for example, the state credentialing organization issues Child Development Permits for early childhood educators at the assistant, associate, teacher, and master teacher levels. Again, each state varies, so you’ll want to research the requirements in your location. To work with children, you’ll need not only the proper training and certification but also the necessary clearance, so be prepared to get fingerprinted and undergo a criminal background check.
Preschool teachers and preschool assistant teacher pay vary based on location, qualifications, and other factors. However, preschool teachers had a median annual wage of $29,780 or $14.32/hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). One of the perks of working at a preschool is the schedule! Preschools can range from 3 to 7 hours per day and 2 to 4 days a week, although some do mirror the elementary school schedule. This is a great career for those who have children of their own or wish to work a lighter schedule.
Preschool teachers, assistants, and associates work as a team. Preschool vacillates from being fast-paced and noisy during playtime to feeling calm and quiet during naptime. It can feel challenging to keep up with the needs of so many children – especially when they need help dealing with emotions, communicating with peers, and learning to follow rules. However, preschool can be immensely rewarding, as children are loving, funny, energetic, and vastly creative at this stage. The best early childhood educators are patient, resilient, organized, confident, kind, and compassionate.
Demand is expected to grow 7 percent faster than average careers for preschool teachers over the next decade (BLS). This is an exciting and challenging field with an array of opportunities in all sorts of settings from child daycare environments to private schools to religious organizations to government programs, so the career outlook is bright!
When you’re certified to teach preschool, you’ll have a world of options as to where you can take your skills. You’ll have the opportunity to travel to cities and towns that most people will never get to experience. The talented recruiters at Cross Country Education will get to know you and help you find the ideal assignment that meets all of your expectations.
Let Cross Country Education help you meet your goals as an early childhood education professional.