Pre-K Teaching Opportunities

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Apply to Teach

If you want to teach 3-K or pre-K in New York City, you must apply through one of the DOE teacher application systems. To find which application system to use, select the option below that best describes your certification status:

NY State-certified teacher

If you currently hold, or are on track to possessing, a New York State teacher certification by September 1, 2020, please apply through the Certified Teacher Application. Learn more at teachnyc.net.

Certified to teach in another state

You must be certified by New York State. If you are not, go to the New York State Department of Education’s Applicants from Other States to apply for certification through the NY State Education Department. For guidance, see a list of Acceptable Certificates from States Other Than New York.

Once you are approved, and have a New York State teaching certification:

  • Learn more at teachnyc.net about applying as a certified teacher candidate.
  • Indicate interest in 3-K for All and Pre-K for All in Step 3 of the application and remain open to teaching at NYCEECs.

Not-yet certified

You are welcome to apply as a study-plan candidate. Study-plan candidates are eligible for several positions, including lead teacher on a study plan, assistant teacher, or teacher’s aide.

To do this, complete the not-yet-certified teacher application. However, the application for not-yet-certified teachers is currently closed. The application will reopen in spring 2020.

If you will not be certified in NY State by September of 2020, you must fill out this application, when it reopens in spring 2020, to be considered for teaching opportunities in our NYC Early Education Centers (NYCEECs).

NY State-certified assistant teacher (Level I or higher)

Apply through the not-yet-certified teacher application . However, the application for not-yet-certified teachers is currently closed. The application will reopen in spring 2020.

Certified by, or obtained my degree in, another country

Please go to the NY State Higher Education website to learn more about documents and eligibility requirements to teach in NY State with a non-US degree.

  • You may also have to go through the process to have your international credits evaluated by the World Education Services.
  • You may be eligible to be a Study Plan Lead Teacher in a NYC Early Education Center (NYCEEC). See the Types of Teaching Jobs and Requirements section further down this page.

A current DOE teacher

Apply through the Open Market transfer system and search for open positions at the 3-K and pre-K levels.

If you are interested in applying for pre-K or 3-K positions at a NYCEEC, contact our office directly to discuss next steps and to learn of opportunities available near you. Email us at teachnycprek@schools.nyc.gov.

Types of Teaching Jobs and Requirements

Lead Teacher (Certified)

If you are certified in New York State early childhood education, you can teach in all three 3-K for All and Pre-K for All settings: District Schools, Pre-K Centers, or New York City Early Education Centers (NYCEECs).

To qualify, you must possess (or be on track to hold by September 1, 2020) one of the following NY State teaching certificates:

  • Early Childhood (Birth–Grade 2);
  • Nursery, Kindergarten and Grades 1–6 (N–6);
  • Prekindergarten–Grade 6 (P–6); or
  • Students with Disabilities (Birth–Grade 2)

Study Plan Lead Teacher (Not-Yet-Certified)

Pre-K

If you are not-yet-certified to teach in NY State with one of the above certifications (and will not be certified by September 1, 2020) you can join Pre-K for All as a Lead Teacher at a NYC Early Education Center (NYCEEC).

To qualify you must:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood or a related field; and
  • Have completed some early childhood education coursework; OR have significant experience working in early childhood education (with children under 6); and
  • Commit to obtain a New York State Early Childhood teacher certification within three years of employment.
  • For more information on becoming a New York State certified teacher, visit the New York State Office of Teaching Initiatives.

3-K

If you are not-yet-certified to teach in NY State with one of the above certifications - and will not be certified by September 1, 2020 - you can join 3-K for All as a Lead Teacher at a NYC Early Education Center (NYCEEC).

To qualify you must:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood or a related field; or
  • Hold an Associate’s degree with a commitment to obtain NY State Early Childhood teacher certification within seven years of employment.

Assistant Teacher (Certified)

To qualify to be an Assistant Teacher in a 3-K or pre-K classroom at a NYC Early Education Center (NYCEEC), you must:

  • Be at least eighteen years old; and
  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent (GED); and
  • Hold a valid Level 1 or higher NY State Teaching Assistant certification

For more information on Assistant Teacher (paraprofessional) positions in District Schools, please visit:

Teacher’s Aide (Not Certified)

To qualify to be a Teacher’s Aide in a 3-K or pre-K classroom in a NYC Early Education Center (NYCEEC), you must:

  • Be at least eighteen years old; and
  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent (GED).

Education Director (Certified)

If you are an experienced early childhood educator looking for a leadership position, you can work as an Education Director at a NYC Early Education Center (NYCEECs).

To qualify, you must:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or related field of study; and
  • Hold a teaching license or certificate valid for services in the early childhood or childhood grades as pursuant to New York State Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) regulations; and
  • Have two or more years of Lead Teacher experience in a program for children less than six years of age. This is only required by Child Care (Article 47) Providers.

We are seeking enthusiastic and effective teachers to staff 3-K for All and Pre-K for All classrooms now for mid-year positions, as well as for the 2020–2021 school year.

Where to Teach

District Pre-K Programs

There are 1,800 pre-K programs meeting the needs of families in every community in New York City. Explore the interactive Pre-K and 3-K Finder Maps to find early childhood opportunities near you.

  • District School programs are offered at approximately 600 public elementary schools across the City. These classes are fully integrated into their school community and operate similarly to other grades in the building.
  • Scale: over 600 public elementary schools across New York City.
  • Qualification requirements: all District School 3-K and pre-K program teachers must have NYS teaching certification in early childhood education.
  • Hiring Information
    • Employer: DOE | Salary & Benefits: DOE employee
    • Available positions posted: New Teacher Finder

Pre-K Centers

Pre-K Centers are district-operated programs that serve only early childhood students and are staffed by DOE personnel. Pre-K Centers are located either in new buildings that are designed specifically to serve early childhood classes, or existing district school buildings where space will meet the needs of each 3-K and pre-K class.

  • Scale: 70+ Pre-K Centers across New York City.
  • Qualification requirements: all Pre-K Center program teachers must have New York State teaching certification in early childhood education.
  • Hiring Profile
  • Employer: DOE | Salary and Benefits: provided by DOE
  • Available positions posted: New Teacher Finder

New York City Early Childhood Centers

New York City Early Education Centers (NYCEECs) are independent, community-based organizations that partner with the NYC Department of Education to provide free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education.

NYCEECs are run by non-profits, community-based organizations, nursery schools, charter schools, day care centers, faith-based organizations. As Pre-K for All and 3-K for All providers, NYCEECs are held to the same expectations as District Schools. NYCEEC teachers receive the same professional development and support from the DOE Division of Early Childhood Education as DOE teachers.

Benefits of Teaching Pre-K in a NYCEEC

Teaching pre-K or 3-K in a NYCEEC is a wonderful opportunity to gain vital experience, become an expert at classroom management, and build upon your existing skills as an early childhood educator. For the past three years, the large majority of pre-K and now 3-K teacher hires occurred in NYCEEC settings. By expressing interest in NYCEEC positions on your application, you will vastly increase the likelihood of finding a pre-K teaching position.

  • Embedded in their community. Teachers have the opportunity to develop close relationships with families and enrich the curriculum through community ties.
  • Flexibility and mission-driven programming. They have a strong early childhood focus, tailoring their services to our youngest learners.
  • Typically small, close knit environment affords teachers an opportunity to collaborate, brainstorm, learn and grown as a team.
  • Opportunities for professional development and leadership.
  • Variety of NYCEECs, allowing candidates to tailor the job search to find the right fit.

Interested teachers applying through the New Teacher Finder have the opportunity to make their information available to NYCEEC hiring managers in Step 3 by selecting “Yes” to “Would you like your application made available to NYCEEC hiring managers looking for early childhood educators?”

  • Number: There are over 1,150 NYCEECs across New York City.
  • Qualification requirements: there are diverse employment opportunities within NYCEECs for both certified and not-yet-certified teacher candidates.
  • Hiring Information
    • Employer: each NYCEEC employs its own teachers; not the DOE.
    • Salary & Benefits: independently provided by NYCEEC, varies based on organization. Not DOE employees.
    • Available positions posted: New Teacher Finder (certified candidates) or Early Childhood Teacher Finder (not-yet-certified candidates)

All About 3-K for All and Pre-K for All

Pre-K for All

In January 2014, New York City committed to providing access to free, full-day, high-quality pre-kindergarten to every four-year-old, regardless of family income. At that time, approximately 20,000 students were enrolled in full-day pre-K in the city. Today the city offers free, full-day pre-K to nearly 70,000 four-year-olds.

3-K for All

In 2017, the DOE furthered its commitment to high-quality early care and education with the launch of 3-K for All. It is the most ambitious effort in U.S. history to give every three-year-old in New York City the same high-quality education for free.

Additional Resources

Documents and Maps

Webinars

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