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Preschool/daycare jobs


april in tx

I was in college pursuing my Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education, but was just miserable. I was doing horribly in my classes(like math, science, and other core) yet made A's in all the early childhood classes I took. Since I couldn't get through the core classes that I needed I dropped out of college. This is my first semester out of college. It would have been too long until I graduated because of struggling with math and other core subjects. So right now I am working as a full-time nanny. I love the kids I take care of, but being a nanny is no career. However, financially being a nanny is good, especially since I work for a very wealthy family.

So I am wondering what can I do now that I have dropped out of college. I worked during the summer during college as a preschool teacher and I believe I made $11. It was only a summer job, so I don't know if thats enough to live on. My community college offers a certificate program to become a preschool/daycare director. After a few years of teaching preschool that could be an option and I assume directors get paid more than preschool teachers. I love kids and want to continue working with children, but am not sure what to do since I won't be a public school teacher like I always planned on being. Any ideas about jobs in childcare/education without a Bachelors degree that I can actually live on?


Preschool Teacher

Hi April in TX:

I can give you my perspective from out here in California. I have taught preschool for 3 years and worked in various schools with young children for 5 years.

The pay as a preschool teacher out here is around $9-10 an hour. Not really liveble. Directors make at most $5 more. To become a director, there are list of mandatory classes you need (administration, supervision) and here in CA, you must attend a training session put on by the state. Most preschool teachers I know work another job or have husband's that make quite a bit so that this job is almost like a hobby. I for one had to get another job to make ends meet.

One idea is that you can teach preschoolers by day and you can work as a private tutor in the evenings or weekends. Just an idea.

Ray tx

I did the same thing. I am currently an Assistant director at a well know daycare in my area. You made a lot being a preschool teacher in a daycare center. When looking for a postion in center around my area they told me that $9.50 was a lot to ask for that most of their teachers make $7.oo hr. Finding my job was a blessing. My sister was a co-op student and told me about the position and some how I got it. I am now looking for a Director's position and they are hard to find. Today I post my resume online. I need all the help I can get. I love working with children and I love being the boss. I have considered opening my own center but I don't have the start up money.

Stacy in Fl

Go to School!!

Hi April,
If you want to work in a preschool and make more money then quite honestly, you need the education. At our preschool, the pay depends on experience and the amount of education you have. The age level you teach will also reflect in your salary. A Pre-K teacher will probably (and should in my opinion) earn more than a 2 year old teacher. There are more responsibilities as far as academics. Definitely not knocking 2 year old teachers--been there done that one!! We have 9 Pre-K Teachers at our school and none of them earn less than 12.00 an hour. For the amount of work we do, I don't think I would accept less! I am paid for 28 hours a week but easily work 40!

You can also obtain your CDA (Child Development Associate certfication). From my understanding, most preschool teachers are going to need this in the near future. In Florida, Pre-K teachers must have at least a CDA and they are moving towards requiring all preschool teachers. A CDA is relatively easy to obtain and will take you anywhere from a few months to a year to get. You'll have to take a series of tests and go through observations and parent assessments, CPR and First Aid Training, etc. If you go to this website, you can get a bit more information about a CDA (http://www.carecourses.com/cdaccp.htm).

My suggestion to you is to at least get your CDA. Even then you will be struggling to make a living with it. Since you are asking about if you can live on it I can only assume that you are either living with parents or roommates and don't have the joy of TONS OF BILLS!! I, personally, cannot live on $12.50 an hour and I have an online business that earns more than my teaching.

Teaching has to be a passion for you---it can not be about the money or you are in the wrong field! Teachers, especially preschool teachers are setting the foundation for learning for these little kids and a positive classroom experience for them can make such a huge difference when they venture off to elementary schools. I know everytime I feel like I want to pull my hair out I have to step back and ask myself why I do what I do. Then I look at the kids in my class, listen to their conversations, get a hug from one of them, hear them laugh or watch their eyes when I am telling a story--then I know exactly why I am there and the money hardly seems important any longer. At least until I get the next month's tuition bill for my own 2 kids---hahaha!! Then we just start the process over again!!

Best of luck to you. Follow your heart and you will make the right choices. You will be hard to find a more supportive group than teachers though. I am still amazed at all the amazing people I work with!

Take care!
Stacy in Fl


hard to find directors for preschool program

I read your message about having a hard time finding a job as a director. I am currently seeking to hire a director/teacher for my preschool program and have not been successful. I've advertised for over two months and only one qualified person has applied. Anyone out there in Northern Califiornia who would like to apply? Please call me at 510-848-4800.



New Member
salaries in my town in Texas .. private church school range from 8-11 an hour if you are lucky. I know of lots of programs full time that pay 7.00 for a CDA teacher.. All in where you live and supply and demand.


I live in New York which is considered an expensive place to reside. A preschool teacher and director salary depends on education and experience. I own a preschool and I am the director and I teach the kindergarten class and the Saturday morning Mom and Me expolration classes.
After paying taxes and my teachers and assitants and everything else I make a little over $100 thousand per year in my pocket. That is great but again I have been doing this a while and I am very reptutable and recieved countless awards, certificates in education, and an award for teacher of the year, so I have a huge enrollment. Many parents are impressed by that.
I pay my other teachers based on their ecucation in which they all have a master degree in education and they have been working as teachers from 5-12 years. I pay my 12th year teacher 28,000 a year which is a great salary for a preschool teacher who works Sept-June and 5 days per week from 8 til 4 pm. My school operates by the school district calendar so all the teachers have those days off. We are open for the Summer and that is a seperate salary because classes are different and enrollment is different. I pay all my assitants any where from $8-10 per hour. I do pay one assiatnt $10 because she has been in my school for 5 years and is excepional and she almost has a master degree.
Most preschools on Long Island pay teacher assitants minimal wage because they are young and inexperienced and have so little education and qualified and educated teachers usually get $10 - 15 depending on years of teaching and degrees. So you will not make a lot of money in this field unless you are a public school teacher or own a very reptable school. When I taught public school for 12 years I made $63 thousand.