Preschool Teacher Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Preschool Teacher, or Early Childhood Teacher, is a childcare professional who takes care of and educates students around three to four years old. Their main duties include teaching children about basic fundamentals, like numbers, color and shapes, helping children build their social skills and keeping the classroom clean and safe for all of the students and Teachers.

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Preschool Teacher Duties and Responsibilities

Preschool teachers are responsible for the early education of children in their care. Duties and responsibilities of Preschool Teachers include developing and delivering interactive learning programs designed to engage and educate young children. Examples of Preschool Teacher duties and responsibilities include:

  • Establish and enforce rules of behavior for children in their classrooms
  • Provide basic needs for children
  • Provide tools and resources for children to use and explore during learning and play activities
  • Adapt teaching methods and materials to meet the interests and learning styles of children
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with children and parents
  • Manage classroom activities including lessons, play, breaks and meals
  • Track childrens’ progress and report to parents
  • Maintain a clean and tidy classroom
  • Help children reach developmental milestones
  • Collaborate with others to implement lesson plans
  • Encourage children to interact with each other to develop social skills
  • Provide appropriate supervision for children at all times
  • Maintain inventory system for classroom materials and supplies
  • Facilitate various activities for children including songs, games and storytelling
  • Adhere to health/safety and sanitation procedures
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Preschool Teacher Job Description Examples

What Does a Preschool Teacher Do?

Preschool Teachers work for educational institutions, like private or public schools, teaching and preparing children for kindergarten. They’ll use various teaching methods and techniques like storytelling, games, music and art to teach kids basic social skills and learning concepts. Preschool teachers are also responsible for demonstrating how students should follow rules and respect others. 

They coordinate the children’s schedules to ensure they have a proper balance of education, play time and rest. Preschool Teachers also educate students on how to follow daily routines and how to practice proper hygiene.

Preschool Teacher Skills and Qualifications

A successful Preschool Teacher candidate will have various skills and qualifications to perform the required duties, including the ability to effectively instruct young children, patience and communication skills with young children and the ability to adjust teaching methods to meet different learning styles. Examples of Preschool Teacher skills and qualifications include:

  • Ability to develop activities that are fun and educational for young children
  • Ability to instruct young children in rules of conduct and learning new tasks
  • Ability to select the appropriate teaching method and adapt to children’s learning styles
  • Ability to effectively communicate with children and parents
  • Proficient active listening skills to understand and adapt to the various needs of children and parents
  • Patience and compassion suitable for working with young children

Preschool Teacher Salary Expectations

The average salary for a Preschool Teacher in the United States is $12.41 per hour. The salary distribution range for these professionals in the United States is from $7.25 to $24.90 per hour. The average salary and salary distribution ranges vary by state with some states falling below the national average and others offering salaries significantly above the national average. When estimating the salary for a Preschool Teacher in your organization, it is important to consider the average salary for similar positions in your state and metropolitan area.

Preschool Teacher Education and Training Requirements

In the United States, Preschool Teacher education requirements may vary by state. In most cases, they should have graduated from a four-year college or university with a degree in early childhood education or a related discipline. Additionally, Preschool Teacher candidates may be required to complete teacher preparation programs, pass national or state examinations and earn appropriate teaching certifications and licensure in accordance with applicable state regulations. Additionally, a good Preschool Teacher candidate may also possess non-degree credentials such as the Preschool Child Development Associate or Child Care Professional credentials. 

Preschool Teacher Experience Requirements

Preschool teachers should have prior experience working with children. Experience including work in teacher preparation programs, student teaching assignments and at a daycare facility caring for small children may indicate a good Preschool Teacher candidate. 

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions

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Frequently asked questions about Preschool Teachers


Who does a Preschool Teacher report to?

The person a Preschool Teacher may report to depends on the type of institution they work for. If they operate in an elementary school, they’ll typically report to the Principal, who will evaluate them on their work performance and ensure they’re following a proper curriculum when teaching students. Other Preschool Teachers may work for private preschools, where the person they report to may be the owner of the establishment. 


What settings do Preschool Teachers typically work in?

Most Preschool Teachers will work at elementary schools, where they’ll collaborate closely with the Kindergarten Teachers to come up with a curriculum that prepares the preschoolers for kindergarten. Others may work for private preschools, following the curriculum and education plans laid out by the owner or Manager in charge of the school. Preschool Teachers may also own their own private preschools as well. 

There are also some Preschool Teachers who operate in recreational centers that have preschools inside of them. Some of them may work for federal programs, offering affordable education to low-income families.


What's the difference between a Preschool Teacher and a Daycare Teacher?

Though they both have job responsibilities that center on educating and teaching younger children, there are a few key differences between Preschool and Daycare Teachers. Preschool Teachers usually educate students on basic subjects, like numbers, letters, shapes and colors to children around the ages of three or four years old to prepare them for kindergarten. Daycare Teachers usually take care of children ranging from infants to five-year-olds. 

Some Daycare Teachers may educate the children with similar subjects as Preschool Teachers, but they usually focus more on providing care to their students, rather than preparing them for kindergarten. 


What makes a good Preschool Teacher?

Preschool Teachers should have effective communication and interpersonal skills to properly listen to the needs of both parents and students and to provide clear verbal reports on the children’s performance. They should also work well with children and possess patience and understanding when taking care of children and addressing their needs. 

Creativity is also an important quality for the ideal Preschool Teacher candidate to have, as they must brainstorm unique and engaging ways to teach subjects to students. They should also adapt well to fast-paced environments, since children contain such high energy levels and are constantly moving. Preschool Teachers may also regularly deal with complex situations and must use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to quickly come up with logical solutions to issues that may arise. 

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