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Become A Head Start Teacher

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Working As A Head Start Teacher

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • $41,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Head Start Teacher Do

Preschool teachers educate and care for children younger than age 5 who have not yet entered kindergarten. They teach reading, writing, science, and other subjects in a way that young children can understand.

Duties

Preschool teachers typically do the following:

  • Teach children basic skills such as color, shape, number, and letter recognition
  • Work with children in groups or one on one, depending on the needs of children and the subject matter
  • Plan and carry out a curriculum that targets different areas of child development, such as language, motor, and social skills
  • Organize activities so children can learn about the world, explore interests, and develop skills
  • Develop schedules and routines to ensure children have enough physical activity, rest, and playtime
  • Watch for signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring them to the attention of the parents
  • Keep records of the students’ progress, routines, and interests, and inform parents about their child’s development

Young children learn from playing, problem solving, questioning, and experimenting. Preschool teachers use play and other instructional techniques to teach children about the world. For example, they use storytelling and rhyming games to teach language and vocabulary. They may help improve children’s social skills by having them work together to build a neighborhood in a sandbox or teach math by having children count when building with blocks.

Preschool teachers work with children from different ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Teachers include topics in their lessons to teach children to respect people of different backgrounds and cultures.

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How To Become A Head Start Teacher

Education and training requirements vary based on settings and state regulations. They range from a high school diploma and certification to a college degree.

Education

In childcare centers, preschool teachers generally are required to have a least a high school diploma and a certification in early childhood education. However, employers may prefer to hire workers with at least some postsecondary education in early childhood education.

Preschool teachers in Head Start programs are required to have at least an associate’s degree. However, at least 50 percent of all preschool teachers in Head Start programs nationwide must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Those with a degree in a related field must have experience teaching preschool-age children.

In public schools, preschool teachers are generally required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Bachelor’s degree programs teach students about children’s development, strategies to teach young children, and how to observe and document children’s progress.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require preschool teachers to obtain the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential offered by the Council for Professional Recognition. Obtaining the CDA credential requires coursework, experience in the field, a written exam, and observation of the candidate working with children. The CDA credential is valid for three years and requires renewal.

Some states recognize the Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) designation offered by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation. Some of the requirements needed to obtain the CCP include that the candidate must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma, have experience in the field, take courses in early childhood education, and pass an exam. The CCP accreditation requires renewal every two years through the CCP maintenance process.

In public schools, preschool teachers must be licensed to teach early childhood education, which covers preschool through third grade. Requirements vary by state, but they generally require a bachelor’s degree and passing an exam to demonstrate competency. Most states require teachers to complete continuing education credits to maintain their license.

Other Experience

A few states require preschool teachers to have some work experience in a childcare setting. The amount of experience necessary varies by state. In these cases, preschool teachers often start out as childcare workers or teacher assistants.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Preschool teachers need good communication skills to talk to parents and colleagues about students’ progress. They need good writing and speaking skills to convey this information effectively. They must also be able to communicate well with small children.

Creativity. Preschool teachers must plan lessons that engage young students. In addition, they need to adapt their lessons to suit different learning styles.

Interpersonal skills. Preschool teachers must understand children’s emotional needs and be able to develop good relationships with parents, children, and colleagues.

Organizational skills. Teachers need to be organized to plan lessons and keep records of their students.

Patience. Working with children can be frustrating, and preschool teachers should be able to respond calmly to overwhelming and difficult situations.

Physical stamina. Working with children can be physically taxing, so preschool teachers should have a lot of energy.

Advancement

Experienced preschool teachers can advance to become the director of a preschool or childcare center or a lead teacher, who may be responsible for the instruction of several classes. Those with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education frequently are qualified to teach kindergarten through grade 3, in addition to preschool. Teaching positions at these higher grades typically pay more. For more information, see the profiles on preschool and childcare center directors and kindergarten and elementary school teachers.

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Head Start Teacher Career Paths

Head Start Teacher
Kindergarten Teacher Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Kindergarten Teacher Lead Teacher Assistant Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Kindergarten Teacher Lead Teacher Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Instructor Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Team Leader Training Manager
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Student Teacher Team Leader Program Manager
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Tutor Instructor Adjunct Professor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Tutor Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
Vice Principal
8 Yearsyrs
Tutor Team Leader Assistant Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Administrator Assistant Principal
Director Of Special Education
11 Yearsyrs
Nanny Preschool Lead Teacher
Lead Pre-K Teacher
5 Yearsyrs
Family Support Specialist Program Coordinator Education Consultant
Educational Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Educator Education Consultant Assistant Principal
Curriculum Director
8 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Program Coordinator Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Nanny Lead Toddler Teacher Preschool Lead Teacher
Child Care Director
5 Yearsyrs
Educator Special Education Teacher Early Childhood Special Educator
Early Childhood Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Nanny Preschool Lead Teacher Center Director
Early Childhood Services Director
8 Yearsyrs
Infant And Toddler Teacher Lead Toddler Teacher Center Director
Early Head Start Director
7 Yearsyrs
Infant And Toddler Teacher Lead Toddler Teacher Child Care Director
Child Care Center Director
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Group Teacher 3.9 years
Teacher 3.9 years
Headstart Teacher 3.7 years
Master Teacher 3.6 years
Head Teacher 3.4 years
Head Start Teacher 3.0 years
Lead Teacher 2.8 years
Preschool Teacher 2.7 years
Pre-K Teacher 2.7 years
Teacher Associate 2.4 years
Toddler Teacher 1.8 years
Co-Teacher 1.7 years
Infant Teacher 1.7 years
Floater Teacher 1.3 years
Top Careers Before Head Start Teacher
Teacher 15.0%
Cashier 6.3%
Internship 4.4%
Volunteer 3.5%
Top Careers After Head Start Teacher
Teacher 19.3%
Director 4.1%
Cashier 4.1%
Internship 4.0%
Volunteer 3.9%
Educator 2.3%

Do you work as a Head Start Teacher?

Average Yearly Salary
$41,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$23,000
Min 10%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Upbring
Highest Paying City
Salinas, CA
Highest Paying State
Delaware
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does a Head Start Teacher make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Head Start Teacher in the United States is $41,497 per year or $20 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $23,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $73,000.

Real Head Start Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Head Start Teacher Prince George's County Public Schools Capitol Heights, MD Jul 01, 2011 $53,581
Head Start Teacher Brackett Independent School District Brackettville, TX Jul 11, 2013 $46,510
Head Start Teacher Prince George's County Public Schools Upper Marlboro, MD May 02, 2011 $44,799 -
$91,752
Head Start Teacher Crossroads Youth & Family Services, Inc. Norman, OK Apr 18, 2016 $33,571
Head Start Teacher/Supervisor Lulac Head Start Inc. New Haven, CT Dec 20, 2009 $33,392 -
$20
Head Start Teacher Paradise Christian School & Development Center, In Hialeah, FL Sep 28, 2014 $26,060
Head Start Teacher Paradise Christian School & Development Center, In Hialeah, FL Sep 28, 2011 $26,000

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Top Skills for A Head Start Teacher

  1. Classroom Management
  2. OLD Children
  3. Lesson Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Arranged classroom according to ECERS standards and implemented an effective classroom management strategy that positively impacted students' behaviors.
  • Served as lead teacher to create a quality learning experience to a classroom of 14-17 three to five year old children.
  • Provide developmentally appropriate lesson plans for young children.
  • Plan and implement age and developmentally appropriate curriculum for infants and toddlers and make behavioral and social-emotional referrals as needed.
  • Created/implemented lesson plans that successfully accommodated special needs children.

Head Start Teacher Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,950 Head Start Teacher resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Head Start Teacher Resume

View Resume Examples

Head Start Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

80.0%

Unknown

11.9%

Male

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

12.1%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

80.0%

Chinese

3.2%

French

3.2%

Mandarin

2.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Portuguese

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Swedish

0.5%

German

0.5%

Russian

0.5%

Hmong

0.5%

Greek

0.5%

Dari

0.5%

Turkish

0.5%

Malayalam

0.5%

Cantonese

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Thai

0.5%

Italian

0.5%
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Head Start Teacher Education

Schools

Ashford University

22.5%

University of Phoenix

13.2%

Grand Canyon University

9.2%

Walden University

7.2%

Capella University

5.4%

National Louis University

4.2%

Liberty University

4.0%

Kaplan University

3.7%

Strayer University

3.6%

Central Michigan University

3.0%

Pacific Oaks College

2.8%

Chicago State University

2.7%

Arizona State University

2.7%

Kendall College

2.6%

Temple University

2.3%

Northern Illinois University

2.3%

Stephen F Austin State University

2.2%

Jackson State University

2.2%

Eastern Michigan University

2.2%

University of Cincinnati

2.1%
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Majors

Early Childhood Education

26.1%

Human Development

12.5%

Elementary Education

11.0%

Education

9.8%

Psychology

6.5%

Business

5.6%

Special Education

4.8%

Social Work

3.3%

Human Services

2.8%

Educational Leadership

2.5%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

General Studies

1.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.7%

Nursing

1.6%

Curriculum And Instruction

1.5%

Criminal Justice

1.5%

Sociology

1.4%

Medical Assisting Services

1.3%

Interdisciplinary Studies

1.3%

School Counseling

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.0%

Masters

25.3%

Other

15.6%

Associate

13.8%

Certificate

3.5%

Doctorate

0.8%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.3%
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