Your Lesson Plan for Becoming a Preschool Teacher

It’s no secret—kids can be incredibly fun to work with!

This is one of the reasons why teaching preschool is an exceptionally rewarding career. Children’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious and there’s a sense of pride knowing you’ve nurtured the development of a young person. 

You’re probably already aware of this information. But there is one thing you don’t know: how to become a preschool teacher. That’s where we come in. We created this handy guide to help you answer that very question.

Consider this your lesson plan containing everything you’ll need to know to get your career started.

Education & training for preschool teachers

Certification and licensing requirements for preschool teachers vary by state and school, though the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlights two common certifications: the CDA from the Council for Professional Recognition or the Child Care Professional (CCP) designation from the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation.

It’s true you may be able to find work at a pre-k center with just a high school diploma, however earning a child development associate (CDA) certificate demonstrates to employers your dedication to your career and the field.

However, if you’ve got your heart set on becoming a head teacher or even a center director, an early childhood education (ECE) degree can help give you a leg up on your competition.

Skills needed to be a preschool teacher

Your interest in becoming a preschool teacher indicates that you’ve probably worked with children in the past or young ones of your own. Experience working with kids is essential, but it takes more than a love of kiddos to make it in the ECE industry.

We analyzed 37,615 job postings to identify the skills employers are seeking most from preschool teaching candidates.* Here’s what we found:

How to become a preschool teacher

In addition to some skills you’d expect – like child care and first aid – there are some important administrative skills you’ll need to succeed as well. As a preschool teacher you’ll have to develop lesson plans for each day and maintain organized records on your pupils. You’ll also need to be mindful of budgets and be proactive about continuing to develop as a professional.

Daily duties of a preschool teacher

Now you know the child-related and administrative skills you’ll need as a preschool teacher, but how will you put those skills to use?

As we established already, it’s more than just playing with children all day. Some of your job duties will include:

  • Maintaining order in the classroom
  • Evaluating children’s performance on educational tasks
  • Developing lesson plans
  • Attending professional meetings & conferences
  • Leading children in educational activities
  • Identifying children with special needs & adapting lesson plans accordingly
  • Buying proper classroom materials at the start of the year & replenishing as necessary
  • Discussing children’s development with parents

Preschool teacher job outlook

There’s no shortage of ECE career opportunities for those with the right training and passion for working with kids. Preschool teachers can expect a stable career outlook, according to the BLS. It’s projected that employment of preschool teachers will grow at a steady rate of 10 percent through 2026. The BLS attributes this to an increasing 3-to-5-year-old population.

You should realize that although preschool teacher jobs are available, one’s not likely to simply fall into your lap. Be proactive about finding your own opportunities by networking, volunteering or joining professional ECE associations so you can finally land the career you want. And of course, don’t take your college support team for granted—career services advisors can help job-seekers in a myriad of ways, from ECE resume help to finding jobs that might be a good fit for you.

Ready to get in the classroom?

Does learning more how to become a preschool teacher affirm your desire to pursue this profession? Now that you’ve done your homework, it’s time to take the next step toward acquiring the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to succeed in the classroom.

A college education can be what sets you apart from others seeking a preschool teacher position. Rasmussen College's flexible, competency-based learning options can make earning your degree simpler than you might think—check out the Early Childhood Education degree page to learn more. 

*Source: (analysis of 37,615 preschool teacher job postings, Jun. 20, 2014 - Jun. 17, 2015)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in Feb. 2014. It has since been updated.

Will Erstad

Will is a Sr. Content Specialist at Collegis Education. He researches and writes student-focused articles on a variety of topics for Rasmussen College. He is passionate about learning and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.


Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation.

Add your comment


Please enter your name.


Please enter your email.


Please enter your comment.


Take the Next Step—Talk to Us!

There are some errors in the form. Please correct the errors and submit again.

Request More Information

Talk with a program manager today.

Fill out the form to receive information about:
  • Program Details and Applying for Classes 
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Customized Support Services
  • Detailed Program Plan

Step 1 of 3

What's Your Name?

Please enter your first name.

Please enter your last name.

Step 2 of 3

Contact Information

Please enter your email address.

Please enter your phone number.

Please enter your five digit zip code.

Step 3 of 3

Program Preferences

Please choose a school of study.

Please choose a program.

Please choose a degree.

The program you have selected is not available in your area. Please select another program of interest.

By requesting information, I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided. There is no obligation to enroll.

icon-colored-advance icon-colored-build icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-growth icon-colored-national icon-colored-prep icon-colored-regional icon-colored-state icon-colored-support logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x