What qualifications are needed to become a nursery teacher?

Updated March 23, 2017

Some nursery schools are little more than day care centres, and they only require that you like children and get along nicely with them. Others are more like real school, so if you don't have the qualifications they require, you need not apply. Some ways to qualify for the most professional nursery schools in your locale may include taking community college courses, acquiring references, and learning skills such as a second language or CPR.

Develop A List Of Schools

Let's say you would like to find a college or community college you could attend after you graduate from high school that would provide you with the education necessary to find a job in a local nursery school. First, if your high school has a Guidance Office, tell them your decision and enlist their help in developing a list of schools to which you can apply. If your high school is lacking that resource, check your community for the nursery schools where you would like to work, and ask them for their recommendations. Also, find out what they require of a teacher that is beyond what is required by your state. Furthermore, if you impress them enough, they might even make a call or two on your behalf. Finally, based on your discussions, make a list of schools to which you might apply.

Cull The List

Find out what your state requires for you to receive certification. For example, several states require you be trained to handle disabled children and that you learn CPR as part of that training. Also, if your community has a large Hispanic population or others whose primary language is not English, it may make sense for you to take college courses in their language. Finally, it is important that you choose a school that allows for a lot of hands-on training in actual classrooms. With those criteria in mind, winnow your list of colleges down to about 3 to 4, and begin making application to them. By the way, in most cases, if you choose a two-year curriculum at a community college, often those credits will transfer to a four-year college where you can continue your education.

Don't Rush Your Decision

While many colleges will respond to your application immediately, most accept incoming freshmen in the early spring. Before you commit to one school, wait until a few days before the deadline before you make your decision so that all of them have a chance to reply. Then match the acceptances with your criteria, like curriculum, cost, location, or whatever you consider important before making your final choice.

Lay The Groundwork

During your summers off from college, make as many contacts as you can in preparation for your job search. Visit the best nursery schools in your area and ask them if you can be a volunteer or simply observe in the classroom. Then, when the time arrives for you to apply for a job, you will already be known by those administrators and teachers.

Continue Your Education

If you want to be a success in child education, you will need to keep abreast of the latest developments. There is no better way to do that, while at the same time impressing your employers, than by getting an advanced degree. You can do that at most local colleges or universities, and there are some that offer those degrees online which you can do at your own pace.

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About the Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.