Preschool Certification Requirements in Alabama

Aug 17, 2021

Alabama offers the Teacher Education And Compensation Helps (TEACH) program to early childhood educators. This scholarship program makes teacher education more affordable for those who want to teach preschool in Alabama.

Requirements for Alabama Preschool Teachers

Average Salary for Alabama Preschool Teachers (2019)* $24,470 (Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Degree Field Early Childhood Education or Child Development
Testing Requirements Core Academic Skills for Educators;
Teaching Reading;
Early Childhood Education

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Pass Entry Exam

The Alabama State Department of Education requires anyone trying to enter into an early childhood development program to first pass the Core Academic Skills for Educators test. This test actually consists of three subtests. The reading subtest and math subtest both include multiple-choice questions. The writing subtest is also multiple-choice, but also has short-answer questions. When someone takes all three subtests at once, it costs $150 and will take about five hours. In Alabama, teacher candidates must receive a 156 on the reading portion, a 162 on the writing section, and a 150 on the math part.

Step 2: Complete an Early Childhood Education Program

Alabama preschool teachers pursuing a class B bachelor's degree program can major in early childhood education or child development, as this brings together a teacher preparation program with other subject area classes. When completing an early childhood education program in Alabama, teacher candidates are exposed to courses in child development, parent and family development, and working with young children who have disabilities. An internship at a preschool may also be part of the program offerings. Many universities require at least a 2.0 GPA for major courses, but internships may require as high as a 2.5.

Those in a childhood development program may take courses in human growth and development, language development in young children, pediatric nutrition, and methods for teaching young children. This program may also require a practicum, which consists of an observation opportunity in a preschool.

Step 3: Pass Childhood Education Tests

To become licensed to teach preschool in Alabama, candidates leaving an early childhood education program first have to pass the Teaching Reading Praxis test, which costs $146. With 90 multiple-choice questions and three short-answer questions, this test takes two hours to complete. It tests knowledge regarding oral language development, the alphabetic principle, and vocabulary development. To pass, Alabama requires a 155 on this test.

Candidates for licensing are also obliged to take the Early Childhood Education exam. The 120 multiple-choice questions on this test are meant to test a future teacher's knowledge about various content areas, such as literacy, math, social studies, science, and health. It also takes two hours and costs $120. A 150 is the required score to pass this test for Alabama licensing.

Step 4: Submit to Background Check

To be licensed to teach, applicants have to submit their fingerprints for background testing. Besides the FBI, the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation will also use the fingerprints to check for any criminal records.

Links for Future Alabama Preschool Teachers

With a bit of practice, teacher candidates can be ready for all three tests required for Alabama preschool educators, and the links provided here can help with that.

  • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators - Combined Test: Study Guide & Test Prep
  • Praxis Early Childhood Education Test: Practice & Study Guide
  • Praxis Teaching Reading Test: Practice & Study Guide
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