Maine Preschool Teacher Certification

Jan 02, 2019

Preschool teachers in Maine need a bachelor's degree with specific general education and early childhood courses. They also must take 2-3 Praxis exams and submit an application packet to the state to get their first license.

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Preschool teachers do more than just teach academics - they foster the social, cognitive, physical, and intellectual growth of young children through rich learning environments and engaging activities. They can work at public schools, private schools, religious centers, daycares, and many other child development contexts. Here is everything you need to know about Maine's preschool teacher certification.

Maine Preschool Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Preschool Teachers in Maine (2017)* $33,590
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Early childhood education, or some early childhood coursework
Testing Requirements Praxis I and Praxis II. Praxis PLT exam is necessary if degree field is not early childhood

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Get Your Degree and Necessary Credits

To teach in a preschool within a public school system in Maine, you need a bachelor's degree. Maine preschool teachers also must take certain number of courses in specific subjects within their degree. Make sure that your courses align with the state requirements when you register for classes.

Your coursework must include at least 3 credit hours from each of the following general education subjects:

  • Social studies
  • Math
  • Science
  • English

Your degree must also include at least 9 credit hours total in any of the following topics:

  • Early childhood special education (3 semester hours)
  • Children's literature (3 semester hours)
  • Early literacy/development of language (3 semester hours)
  • Math and the young child (3 semester hours)
  • Science and the young child (3 semester hours)
  • Developmental psychology (3 semester hours)
  • Infant/toddler development (3 semester hours)
  • And at least 6 of these 9 credit hours must be in at least 2 of these subjects:
    • Creative arts
    • Early learning environments
    • Additional early literacy
    • Advanced child development
    • Social studies and the young child
    • Early childhood assessments
    • Observation of the young child
    • Family studies

Other important notes:

  • All classes must be at the 100 level or higher
  • All classes must be from an accredited university or college offering a 4-year bachelor's degree
    • However, there is one exception. Up to 6 of the general education credit hours listed above may come from a non-accredited higher education program. If you score at least a 60 on CLEP exams that correspond with the subjects of these classes, the state of Maine will accept your credits.

Starting on July 1, 2019, some changes will be made to Maine's preschool teacher education requirements. They're included below for your reference:

  • If you have a bachelor's degree in an approved early childhood education program, it must also include:
    • A course for 'Teaching Exceptional Students in the Regular Classroom'
  • If you have a bachelor's degree that is not in early childhood education, you must also take:
    • A course for 'Teaching Exceptional Students in the Regular Classroom'

(Other changes in required coursework may also apply.)

  • A student teaching program:
    • Full-time: 1 semester or at least 15 weeks
    • Combined full and part-time: any amount of time equal to 15 weeks
    • Note: the student teaching requirement can be waived if you teach for 1 full year under a transitional endorsement, a targeted need certificate, or a conditional certificate

Step 2: Pass Your Exams

Preschool teachers in Maine have to take an academic exam assessing core subjects, as well as a specific early childhood exam. If your bachelor's degree is not a teacher preparation program, you will need to take an additional third exam.

Here are the testing requirements for Maine licensure:

  • Praxis I ('Core Academic Skills for Educators') with a composite score of 468. This exam is made up of several subtests. You have to take each subtest. Below is each subtest title, the official Praxis exam number, and the minimum score you need to pass:
    • Mathematics (5732) with a score of 150
    • Writing (5722) with a score of 162
    • Reading (5712) with a score of 156
  • Praxis ll ('Education of Young Children'). You have to take one of the following tests:
    • Test 5024 with a score of 160
    • Test 0021/5021 with a score of 166

As mentioned previously, if you didn't major in a teacher education program, you must take the Praxis 'Principles of Learning and Teaching' exam for grades K-6:

  • Test 0621/5621 with a score of 157

Some changes to the testing requirements may take place in 2019. Please check the state website for details.

Step 3: Apply for Maine Preschool Teacher Licensure

Once you've finished your bachelor's degree and passed your exams, you can finally send in your application packet to the state of Maine. This application is for an initial early childhood teacher license.

Make sure to include:

  • Application packet, filled out and signed
  • Official transcripts
    • Copies are not acceptable. Must have both the signature and the embossed seal of the registrar.
  • $100.00 fee
  • If you answered 'yes' to question 1 on your application, include any necessary paperwork, such as explanations of your conviction(s) and court documentation
  • Official Praxis exam scores
    • Copies are acceptable

You can send your packet to:

Department of Education

Certification Office

23 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333-0023

Resources for Preschool Teachers in Maine

Anxious about studying for your Praxis exams? The resources listed below can give you peace of mind - you will have the tools you need to succeed on your tests and be teaching in Maine preschool classrooms before you know it:

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