Early Childhood Teacher Certification in Kentucky
The State of Early Childhood Education in Kentucky
Kentucky, known as “The Bluegrass State”, has recently improved its education reputation dramatically. It improved from being ranked 34th in the nation for Education Week’s “Quality Counts” annual report of 2010, to 10th in the nation for the 2013 school year (Kentucky Ranks 10th in National Education Survey).This report considers academic standards, the profession of teaching and other academic factors to determine each state’s ranking.
In addition, the state believes that its future depends strongly on the development of preschool-age children. The KIDS (Kentucky Invests in Developing Success) NOW initiative was created to strengthen early childhood education within Kentucky communities (Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood). There are many opportunities for individuals pursuing a career in early childhood education in the state of Kentucky.
Becoming a Certified Teacher
The Kentucky Department of Education includes extensive information about the ways to obtain certification/licensure. You will need to familiarize yourself with this site, as it contains many resources valuable to both aspiring teachers and current teachers.
Kentucky offers certification to candidates who have completed a four-year teacher preparation program. It also issues certification to out-of-state applicants who have completed a state-approved program, since the state is part of the NASDTEC Insterstate Agreement. However, Kentucky provides several alternative routes to certification for individuals with exceptional work or educational experience. The tracks to teacher certification are as follows:
- Exceptional Work Experience Certification
- Local District Training Program Certification
- College Faculty Certification
- Adjunct Instructor Certification
- Veterans of the Armed Forces
- University-Based Alternative Route to Certification
- Institute Alternative Route to Certification
- Teach for America (TFA) Alternative Route to Certification
Please contact the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSP) should you need any further specification of the certification/licensure process.
ECE College Programs in Kentucky
is the largest college in the state and frequently earns national rankings. It is also widely known as a prominent research university.The education school offers bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education (birth through pre-K) and elementary education (K through five). A master’s degree in education is also available.
offers several programs relevant to early childhood education. Bachelor’s degrees in child development, early elementary (pre-K through five), elementary (pre-K through five) and early childhood education (birth through K) are available. Students interested in furthering their education can earn a master’s degree in early childhood education as well. The school is known for having a safe campus and started out as a teacher preparation school.
is a liberal arts school that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education (pre-K through five). It is an old Catholic university and is affiliated with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.
is a private Christian university with a small student-faculty ratio. It offers a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (pre-K through five).
The Kentucky Teacher Job Search
There are several different avenues you can take to pursue a career in this dynamic field.
Public schools employ the vast majority of individuals seeking careers in early childhood education. As of 2012, there were over 40,000 public school teachers in Kentucky (Kentucky Department of Education). Hiring decisions and salary negotiating are done at the district level. Create an online profile for specific school districts at Kentucky Educator Placement Service (KEPS). This service provides links to many helpful district resources and will also notify you by email as new jobs become available.
Other employers to become familiar with are private schools, Head Start, and Montessori schools. Be sure to research the child-care centers in your local area, as many of these centers are in constant search for highly-qualified teachers and assistant teachers. GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated preschools and elementary schools in your community as well.
Educator Associations in Kentucky
There are many professional organizations for teachers in the state of Kentucky that share similar visions.
The Kentucky Education Association (KEA) aims to improve the profession as well as local public schools. It has dozens of local affiliates advocating for both teachers and students. It offers seminars and conferences for school employees, retired educators, and pre-service teachers. It provides union benefits and is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization of three million members in over 14,000 communities across the country.
The Kentucky Association for Early Childhood Education (KAECE) increases public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and provides professional development for educators. The organization is committed to professional development and networking. It is an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization consisting of 80,000 members.
The Kentucky Association of Professional Educators (KAPE) was formed in 1970 and provides a range of benefits.The organization strives to promote world-class education and was formed to provide an alternative to the KEA.
Top ECE Blogs in Kentucky
Kentucky School News and Commentary features news and commentary related to education in Kentucky, as does Doc H’s blog, hosted on the Kentucky Department of Education website. Teachers also share insightful information through their personal blogs.
Kindergarten Korner is written by a kindergarten teacher of 11 years who loves sharing classroom ideas and resources for the early elementary teacher.
First Grade Brain is maintained by a teacher of eight years who has a particular interest in incorporating technology into the curriculum.
Second Grade Next is operated by a second grade teacher who shares science experiments, art projects, guest blogs, and more.