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Montana Preschool Teacher Requirements

If you are interested in early childhood education, consider becoming a preschool teacher. The state of Montana requires that you meet educational and certification requirements in order to become one.

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As a preschool teacher, you will work with students in their early developmental years. Montana offers an early childhood certification for preschool through third grade. Learn more about the steps you will need to take to serve as a preschool teacher.

Certification Requirements for Montana Preschool Teachers

Average Salary for Preschool Teachers in Montana (2016)* $27,500 (Except Special Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Early childhood education
Testing Requirements Praxis Early Childhood Education examination

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Step 1: Complete Educational Requirements

You will need to earn a bachelor's degree from an approved educator program in Montana. As a preschool teacher, you will want to pursue a degree in early childhood education, which will certify you to teach preschool through third grade (P-3).

During your bachelor's degree program, you may take courses like children's literature, early childhood methods, and educational psychology. You will also need to complete a student teaching assignment as part of your bachelor's degree program. You may need to become certified in children's first aid and CPR before beginning this assignment.

Step 2: Pass Content Area Examination

The state of Montana requires that all teaching candidates pass a Praxis content area examination. As an aspiring preschool teacher, you will need to take the early childhood education examination (P-3). Comprised of 120 selected-response questions, you will be tested on your knowledge of creative/performing arts, language/literacy, social studies, mathematics, science, and health/physical education. You will need to earn a minimum score of 156 on this examination.

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Step 3: Get Fingerprinted

As part of the Montana teaching license process, you will need to submit your fingerprints for a criminal background check, the results of which will be reported to the Office of Public Instruction. You have the choice of going to a law enforcement agency or a private company to have your fingerprints taken. You will then send the completed fingerprint card and a fee of $27.75 to the Montana Department of Justice.

It should be noted that you will need to complete another fingerprint card for a background check through your employing school district. Montana's Office of Public Instruction does not provide local school districts with the results of your criminal background check.

Step 4: Apply for Your Montana Teaching License

After completing a bachelor's degree and passing the Praxis examination, you have one more step before you can apply for your Class 2 Standard Educator License. You will need to take the online course: An Introduction to Indian Education for All in Montana.

Once this has been completed, you will need to fill out an online or physical application for the Class 2 license. The below verification documents must be mailed to the Office of Public Instruction:

  • College transcripts (alternatively, can be emailed to cert@mt.gov)
  • Proof of Praxis examination scores (alternatively, can be emailed to cert@mt.gov)
  • Certificate of completion for online course
  • Completed fingerprint card
  • Montana educator license notary page
  • University recommendation form

Certification Resources for Montana Preschool Teachers

You will need to take the Praxis Early Childhood Education test as part of your teacher certification. Check out this study guide to help ensure you earn the passing score of 156.

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