How to Become an Early Childhood Teacher in Kansas

An ECE Kansas Degree & Career Guide

Requirements for ECE Teacher Certification in Kansas

The state of Kansas is an agricultural state and has, for the most part, ranked poorly in its public education. Based on some rankings it places around 37th in the country. Even so, it ranks much higher in categories such as children's well-being. The state has been working very hard over the last several years to improve its overall standing with public education.

Kansas Steps to Follow for Teachers

As in every state in the country, there are certain minimum requirements you must obtain in order to qualify as a preschool teacher in Kansas. If you are high school student considering this as a career path, then you should speak with a counselor to see what classes you may want to take in your junior and senior years to best prepare for college in this area of study. You might also look for opportunities to work as a teacher's assistant, as this will help you greatly as you pursue this career.

Step 1. Get Your Degree and Complete an Educator Prep Program

As in most states in the US, the Kansas Department of Education requires public-school teachers to have at least a four-year bachelor's degree. This includes preschool teachers. Your degree should be in early childhood education. It should include general requirements as well as your professional studies. Some examples of these would include language development, assessment of young children, human development, behavior management, and exceptional development in early childhood. You will also need a teaching practicum to be included in your degree.

Additionally, it will also be necessary to complete a state-approved educator preparation program. Approved education degree programs in the state will include the teacher preparation program, so that you will be ready to apply for licensure as soon as you graduate. It is possible for a teacher coming from out-of-state, who has passed an educator preparation program approved in the state they came from, to have those credentials accepted in Kansas.

It will also be necessary to meet other specific requirements. If you have not just graduated from an approved program, you will need at least eight hours of education coursework or a full year of teaching experience within the last 6 years when you apply for licensure. The two different types of licensure you can apply for include birth-kindergarten and birth-third grade.

The state requires that you complete and pass training for dealing with blood-borne pathogens and that you receive a certificate. You'll be giving a TB skin test before you begin teaching. It will also be necessary for you to submit to a criminal background check and go through an approval process with the educator preparation program and the school you apply to teach at.

The teaching practicum will often be two semesters and will be in a classroom that is age-appropriate for your degree. Some of the activities you will perform during this training include assisting the teacher, preparing lesson plans, and you may even be given the responsibility of taking over the classroom. The senior teacher will mentor you. They will also monitor and evaluate your overall performance.

Step 2. Pass the Teacher Certification Exams

Very similar to other states, Kansas has a number of tests that preschool teacher candidates must pass to demonstrate their preparedness to be an effective teacher in the state. Kansas uses the PRAXIS exams, which include pedagogy and content assessments. The Kansas educational testing service delivers these assessments. They test your level of basic skills that you have learned in your educator preparation program.

When taking the pedagogy assessment, you will be required to get a score of 160 or better. The test for education of young children will require a score of 160 or better as well. These tests are offered in a number of locations throughout Kansas. Please check the ETS website for where their facilities are found in Kansas.

Step 3. Apply for Your Teaching License in Kansas

Once you have successfully finished your degree and taken all of your required exams, you will be eligible to apply for your teacher's license in Kansas. Presuming you went through an educator preparation program in the state, it is from your college or university that you will obtain this application. A licensure officer will be able to assist you with the process. They will work with you to begin the process. Both the application process and the payment of fees can be completed online.

Those who have completed an educator preparation program in another state will be required to do an initial out-of-state application. A fingerprint card will also be necessary. Any teacher who received their credentials from another country will use an out-of-country application and a fingerprint card. Generally speaking, the majority of information and documents can be submitted online.

Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your License

The initial license you receive will be good for two years. During those two years you will need to enter and complete the induction and mentoring program for the state at the school you're teaching at. You will need to have the completion of your induction/mentoring program verified by the administrator of your school in order for you to be able to upgrade your license to a professional license.

A professional license must be renewed every five years. During these five years the state requires you to receive continuing education, which is what will allow you to renew your teaching license. Those with a four-year undergraduate degree will need to complete 160 PDP (Professional Development Points). These will be taken within an individual professional development plan and must be by an approved local development council. A minimum of 80 PDP's has to come from college courses. The school district you work in will help you develop your plan. Those with a graduate degree will need 120 PDP.

Popular Career Choices

  • Preschool Teacher
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher

Accredited Kansas Programs

All of the requirements listed above are for those who plan on working in the public-school system. Those who plan on working in other venues, such as child care facilities will be regulated by the Department of Health and Environment for the state of Kansas.

Group Day Care –
To work in one of these facilities the state requires you to be at least 18 years old. It will also be necessary to be certified in first aid and CPR and have some childcare training. Anyone wanting to work in a group daycare will need to submit to a KBI criminal history as well as a background check for child neglect and child abuse.

Licensed Day Care –
To work in a licensed daycare the state requires that you are a minimum of 18 years old. It is also necessary to have training in CPR and first aid, along with childcare training. You will need to submit to a criminal history as well as a background check to make sure you've never been charged with child neglect or child abuse.

Preschools –
This type of facility will have a program director that has met the state required qualifications and this director must be on staff full-time. The director will have to meet all of the background checks and training and the staff will as well. The facility itself will provide education for children ages 30 months to kindergarten. Sessions cannot last more than 3 hours.

Child Care Centers –
This type of facility requires a full-time program director and the qualifications the director must meet is dependent on how many children are in the facility. The state sets the requirements for both the director and its staff based on their criteria that will include all appropriate background checks. This facility-type can take children as young as two weeks old and sessions can range between 3 hours and up.

Approved Institutions for Getting Your Early Childhood Education Degree in Kansas

  • Kansas State University

    This university has earned a reputation for having an exceptionally safe campus. Here you can get the level of education that you want. They offer a bachelor's degree in elementary education that is good for K-6. They also offer postgraduate and doctoral degree options.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bilingual and Multilingual Education; Post-grad Certificate
    • School Counseling and Guidance Services; MS. & Dr.
    • Curriculum and Instruction; MS. & Dr.
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism; Post-grad Certificate
    • Educational Leadership and Administration; MS. & Dr.
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; BS. & MS.
    • Special Education and Teaching; MS. & Dr.
    • Student Counseling and Personnel Services: MS.

    Accreditation By: Regional Accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission; Education Program Accreditation by NCATE

  • The University of Saint Mary

    This is a liberal arts school. You can get a quality bachelor's degree in elementary education and those that want to go on to complete a postgraduate degree in education can do so on campus or they can choose the online option. For some, completing their postgraduate degree online is a convenient way to add to their credentials while working a full-time job.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Curriculum and Instruction; MS.
    • Education, General; BS. & MS.
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Orthopedic and Other Physical Health Impairments; MS.
    • Education/Teaching of the Gifted and Talented; MS.
    • Educational Leadership and Administration; MS.
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; BS. & MS.
    • Special Education and Teaching; MS.

    Accreditation By: Regional Accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission; Education Program Accreditation by NCATE

  • The University of Kansas

    This is the biggest of all the universities in the state. Here you can get a bachelor's degree in early childhood education that is good for birth through grade 3 as well as elementary education that is good for K-6. In addition, you can also take a choice of postgraduate and doctoral degrees.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Curriculum and Instruction; MS. & Dr.
    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; BS.
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism; Post-grad Certificate
    • Educational Administration and Supervision; MS.
    • Educational Leadership and Administration; Dr.
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; BS.
    • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching; BS., MS., & Dr.
    • Reading Teacher Education; Post-grad Certificate
    • Special Education and Teaching; MS., Dr., & Post-grad Certificate

    Accreditation By: Regional Accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission; Education Program Accreditation by NCATE

  • Fort Hays State University

    This is a school that has earned a reputation for offering a solid education for a very affordable price. You can earn a BS in early childhood education. The programs here are good for teaching children from birth to 8 years old. The school also offers the ability to complete the program completely online.

    Degrees Offered:

    • School Counseling and Guidance Services; MS.
    • Education, General; MS.
    • Educational Leadership and Administration; MS.
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; BS.
    • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching; BS. & MS.
    • Special Education and Teaching; BS. & MS.

    Accreditation By: Regional Accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission; Education Program Accreditation by CAEP

Career Options and Salary Info for Teachers

The state is pushing to improve its overall performance in public education and they are putting an emphasis on early childhood. For this reason, it is projected by some experts that the position will have a solid 10% growth over the next several years. The salary offered depends on several factors and they include qualifications, where in the state you are teaching, and length of time that you've been teaching. On the low end, a preschool teacher might earn in the low $20,000 a year range and a bit over $40,000 a year on the high end. On average, a preschools teacher in the state typically earns around $30,000 a year.

Kansas is serious about improving its overall reputation for public education and it recognizes the importance of teaching children at a young age to get them off to a good start. For this reason, they are seeking highly motivated preschool teachers, and this means it's a great opportunity for those who would like to enter this career path. With the job growth projections being solid and the salaries for the areas cost-of-living being reasonable, it is a great choice for those who really want to play a role in helping children get off to a great start in school.

Occupations/Salaries

OccupationEntry-LevelMid-CareerLate-Career
Preschool Teacher$28,500$30,900$34,200
Elementary School Principle$48,700$51,500$58,600
Special Education Teacher, ECE$47,900$42,800$58,000
Postsecondary Professor$80,600$92,200$99,400

Videos To Help You Find The Right Career Choices

  • Early Childhood Education (ECE) - Durham College

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhu8Ykf4LtI

  • Early Childhood Education Program

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCpObBmLZjQ

  • Meaningful Inclusion in Early Childhood

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2wJqDw9B68

  • What Makes Great Teachers Great?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXaLGt460e4

  • Why Become a Teacher?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqe8C7dwViE

  • Elementary School Teacher Career Information : Elementary School Teacher Pros & Cons

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2izH5QBpyIc

Kansas Is Collaborating with Other Organizations to Improve Education

The state already ranks well in the category of childhood well-being. Because the state recognizes the importance of early childhood education it is now collaborating with organizations that specialize in this area. Some of the organizations include the Kansas Preschool Program and the Foundations for School Success.

Numerous studies across the nation have demonstrated that students that enter pre-kindergarten programs consistently do better throughout their school years than those who did not attend those programs. This has led most states to implement these to a greater degree and this includes Kansas. For this reason, the state is seeking passionate educators to play a major role in this pursuit.

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