How to Become an Early Childhood Teacher in Ohio

An ECE Ohio Degree & Career Guide

Requirements for ECE Teacher Certification in Ohio

The state of education in Ohio will provide a high level of early childhood education opportunities. Ohio has a mid-western mix of farmland, industrial hubs, and large urban centers in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, and Columbus. Overall Ohio’s state education system ranks above the national averages in key indicators. Some surveys rate it in about the top 20% of state systems. The state got a top rating for its educational standards, accountability, and assessments. The same surveys point to strengths and weaknesses, and Ohio is working to improve in creating a strong corps of teaching professionals by carrying out a program to increase the numbers of teachers and incentives.

Read More

Ohio Steps to Follow for Teachers

Ohio has several methods for becoming a preschool teacher including out-of-state licenses, out-of-state graduates, and temporary licenses. The primary method is to attend colleges or universities that have Ohio State Department of Education authority to offer a teacher preparation curriculum. Those that do not attend Ohio approved teacher preparation schools can sit for the Intensive Pedagogical Training Institute curriculum and qualify for the licensing procedure.

Ohio’s Department of Education has an extensive set of rules and requirements for the various ways to get a teaching license. The categories of applicants include graduates of non-state approved Ohio programs, graduates of state-approved programs from other states, and two-year degrees for preschool only.

Step 1. Earn Your Degree

You’ll need to earn a degree at an Ohio Department of Education approved teacher preparation program. Teacher preparation programs equip graduates for the licensure exams. The approved schools provide coursework that enables new teachers with knowledge and teaching techniques. Ohio-approved curricula also have practice teaching and observed practice work built-in.

Step 2. Complete Your Exams

The state requires each teacher to take and pass an Assessment and Proof of Knowledge test. The state requires this exam once in each teaching career. Teachers may have to take it for each new area of licensure. The below-listed items describe the required exams.

  • Ohio Assessment for Educators administered by the Pearson Company.
  • The Praxis II subject assessments for subject area certification when required (audiology, speech pathology, school psychology).
  • Tests for world language instruction include the ACTFL/LTI tests for foreign language proficiency, the written proficiency tests, and the oral proficiency interview.

Step 3. Standards and Qualifications

The Ohio licensure for Early Childhood Education is the Early Childhood (PK-3) license. The Early Childhood (PK-3) license requires the Ohio Assessment for Educators, the 090 Foundations of Reading, and the Pedagogy Institute Assessment of Professional Knowledge, Early Childhood PK-3.

Popular Career Choices

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

Accredited Ohio Programs

The primary teaching credential is the Ohio Teacher License. Applicants must complete a state-approved teacher preparation course and standardized tests. Applicants that have completed out-of-state approved teacher preparation may still be able to get an Ohio license. Ohio can accept out-of-state credentials if the two states have a reciprocity agreement.

Ohio’s licensing system has several parts with four levels of licensing that start with the new graduate.

  • Four-year Resident Educator License is the initial license for graduates of an in-system approved teacher preparation course of study.

  • The Four-Year Alternative Resident License applies to applicants that use one of the alternative licensing routes. The alternatives include persons with a non-education degree that must complete teacher readiness coursework and testing, and applicants educated or licensed out-of-state. They must meet specific requirements for licensing.

  • The Professional Educator license is a five-year license that teachers can renew. Teachers with Resident or Alternative Resident licenses must complete their programs of teaching and continuing education to obtain this.

  • The Senior Professional Educator license is a five-year renewable credential. The Senior Professional License requires an advanced degree; this can be either a master’s or doctoral level degree. The advanced status requires five years of teaching experience at the professional educator license level and four additional years for an overall total of nine years of teaching experience. The third requirement for the Senior Professional Educator is a Master Teacher Portfolio.

The master teacher portfolio is a peer-reviewed assessment of five vital areas of teaching. The applicant must show that they have performed all the activities. The portfolio must show that the applicant exceeded the standards in all sectors; the balance of the portfolio consists of documents that make proof and evidence of the achievements in all five areas.

Accredited Early Childhood Educator Teacher Preparation Programs

There are two types of accreditation, and both are important to the value of your degree. Regional accreditation covers the entire college or university; Regional Accreditation ensures that employers and other schools will accept the credit hours. The state of Ohio has a regional accreditation agency appointed by the US Department of Education. The Higher Learning Commission is the designated regional accreditation agency. Institutional accreditation from a regional accreditor is a powerful endorsement of the quality of education at that institution. In addition, the education and early education programs can have specialized accreditation.

Specialized or programmatic accreditors include the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), NAEYC, and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

  • Ohio State University

    Degrees Offered:

    • Education, General; Master’s & Dr.
    • Elementary and Middle School Administration/Principalship; Bachelor’s
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s
    • Special Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s
    • ESL Teaching; Bachelor’s

    Accreditation By:

    • Higher Learning Commission
  • University of Akron

    Degrees Offered:

    • School Counseling and Guidance Services; Master’s, Dr., & Post-grad Certificate
    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Undergraduate Certificate
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Master’s & Dr.
    • Reading Teacher Instruction; Master’s
    • Special Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • ESL Teaching; Undergraduate and Post-grad Certificate

    Accreditation By:

    • Higher Learning Commission
    • CAEP - Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Bowling Green State University

    Degrees Offered:

    • School Counseling and Guidance Services; Master’s
    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; Undergraduate and Post-grad Certificate
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs; Bachelor’s
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism; Post-grad Certificate
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments Including Deafness; Bachelor’s
    • Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s
    • Multi-cultural Education; Master’s
    • Reading Teacher Education; Master’s, Undergraduate, and Post-grad Certificate
    • Special Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s, Master’s, & Post-grad Certificate
    • ESL Teaching; Post-grad Certificate

    Accreditation By:

    • The Higher Learning Commission
    • NCATE - The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • University of Dayton

    Degrees Offered:

    • School Counseling and Guidance Services; Master’s, Dr., & Post-grad Certificate
    • School Counseling and Guidance Services; Master’s
    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • Educational Leadership and Administration; Master’s & Dr.
    • Reading Teacher Education; Master’s
    • Special Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s

    Accreditation By:

    • Higher Learning Commission
    • CAEP - Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • University of Toledo

    Degrees Offered:

    • School Counseling and Guidance Services; Post-grad Certificate
    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Post-grad Certificate
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs; Master’s & Post-grad Certificate
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities; Bachelor’s
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • Education/Teaching of the Gifted and Talented; Dr.
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • Reading Teacher Education; Post-grad Certificate
    • Special Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s, Master’s, & Post-grad Certificate
    • ESL Teaching; Master’s

    Accreditation By:

    • Higher Learning Commission
    • CAEP - Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Specialization Additional Certifications

Ohio’s highest level of licensing is the Lead Professional Educator License. To qualify for this license, teachers must both meet the requirements for a senior license and have earned a Teacher Leader Endorsement. The Teacher Leader Endorsement requires completion of a leadership curriculum, maintaining a current Master teacher designation, and meeting all requirements for renewal. Alternatively, applicants can submit National Board Certification instead of the portfolio and endorsement.

The Ohio Department of Education Office of Educator Licensure has links to help applicants with out-of-state credentials. Ohio can accept out-of-state licenses and teacher preparation from some states.

Career Options and Salary Info for Teachers

Public schools - require a bachelor’s degree and completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program. For early childhood education, the rule requires specific testing and qualification for the pre-K through age 3 student group. The state issues several types of licenses including temporary appointments and substitute teacher credentials. Public schools can accept qualified teachers with out-of-state credentials through the alternative licensing procedures.

Private childcare - has the most flexible teaching standard. Private employers can set the terms that they wish. The strong trend is towards bachelor’s degrees and higher levels of education, specialization, and experience.

Private schools - can also set their standards for teacher qualification. Because private schools must compete for students, they tend to ask for significant qualifications and experience in teacher hires. Many private schools use standards similar to public schools, but private schools have a wider range of discretion than public schools, and a teaching license may not be required if the applicant has education, experience, degrees, and certificates that prove competence.

Head Start programs - are federal and state government partnerships that attempt to ensure that all children will have an opportunity for early childhood education. The Head Start program is a national program which also operates in Ohio. Some teachers may find positions with an associate degree, experience in child care, and a CDA certificate.
Head Start may be an excellent vehicle for getting into the early education field.

Community - based programs hire preschool teachers to work at local facilities that mix childcare and early education. Community organizations can be hubs for bringing parents and families into the education of the young learners.

Faith - based programs provide a valuable source of education and early childhood education. The teacher qualification standards may vary and largely depend on decisions by each institution or larger organization. The trend is that employers seek to gain the benefits of training, experience, and leadership that comes with hiring experienced bachelor’s degree level teachers or higher. Faith-based schools may also be a likely place for experienced teachers with an associate degree and preschool licensure in Ohio

Military programs - provide early childhood education for children connected to serving or veteran military personnel. The military seeks to apply the highest area standards to the services that they provide to military families. Military programs typically require experience in the field and at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited and state-approved program. Depending on the nature of the facility, the managers could decide to use lead teachers with bachelor’s degrees or higher with assistant teachers that would be bachelor’s degree holders, or associate degree holders with national certifications and experience.

Early Childhood Education Teaching Salaries in Ohio

OccupationEntry-LevelMid-CareerLate-Career
Preschool Teacher$23,000$25,400$28,600
Elementary School Teacher$35,300$44,300$48,000
Professor of Education$54,900$58,800$114,700
Special Education Teacher$43,200$43,700$47,400
ESL Teacher$39,300$40,400$50,900
School Psychologist$54,200$61,000$73,100

Videos To Help You Find The Right Career Choices

  • A Day in the Life - Preschool Teacher

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOuvns_664c

  • Reality PD | Pre-School | Explain content clearly

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD-aiOeZc84

  • Occupational Video - Early Childhood Educator

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DJzMTQjsOA

  • Careers in Early Childhood Education

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1bUO3YFyPo

  • Early Childhood Education (ECE) - Durham College

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

  • What Makes Great Teachers Great?

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

Ohio Needs Early Educators

The state has a high level of concern for the education and well-being of its youngest learners. This policy reflects the view of nearly every state; most strive to have much higher rates of early childhood participation. Ohio has embarked on an effort to raise participation in Head Start and all other types of early education. Students interested in teaching in Ohio will likely find ample opportunities in public schools, private institutions, and pre-k facilities.

Read More

Get The Steps to Become a Teacher Start You Career Path Today

If you have a passion for working with young children and want to become an educator, check out the steps necessary to advance your teaching career.

View Steps