Early Childhood Teacher Certification in Massachusetts

Early Childhood Education in Massachusetts

Massachusetts, a New England state known for its many historical landmarks, also earns stellar rankings in many educational categories. Massachusetts has come in as the state leader year after year on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) and as of 2012 is consistently producing high test scores (Tampa Bay Times). It also earned several first- or second-place scores inEducation Week’s2012 educational rankings. Early childhood education is a priority within the state also, as preschools are free or at low-cost for children of low-income families. There are many opportunities for individuals pursuing a career in early childhood education in Massachusetts.

Becoming a Certified Teacher in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary 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.

The four types of educator licenses issued in Massachusetts are as follows:

  • The Preliminary License is available to individuals who have not yet completed a teacher preparation program.
  • The Temporary License is available for experienced out-of-state teachers. Massachusetts is a participant in the interstate agreement.
  • The Initial License is available to individuals who completed a teacher preparation program. Several different routes are available.
  • The Professional License is available to individuals who have been employed for three years under the Initial License. Several different routes are available to obtain this license as well.

You will need to provide proof of graduation, passing MTEL scores, experience, and more to apply for a license. The specific requirements needed for a particular license can be viewed here. To apply, fill out a paper application or set up an online application through the Educator Licensing and Recruitment (ELAR) System.

Please contact the Office of Educator Licensure should you have any further questions about the certification/licensure process.

Massachusetts’ State-Approved ECE Programs

There are about 40 early childhood education colleges in Massachusetts.

is a private, non-profit college that specializes in adult education. It offers master’s degree programs with licensure in early childhood education (pre-K through two), early education and child care (birth through age eight) and elementary education (grades one through six). It provides both evening and weekend classes convenient for the adult learner.

has a history of over 150 years and offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood education (pre-K through two) and elementary education (grades one through six). The program is nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood education (pre-K through two) and elementary education (grades one through six). The college was founded in 1909 as a means to instruct kindergarten teachers. It now offers programs in 23 states and online. It is one of the largest providers of teacher education in the United States.

Searching for Teaching Jobs in Massachusetts

There are several different avenues you can take to pursue a career in this dynamic field.


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Public schools employ the vast majority of individuals seeking careers in early childhood education. Average and starting teacher salaries are higher in Massachusetts than in most other states (National Center For Education Statistics). View the vacant positions for schools, districts, or programs here.

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 need of highly qualified teachers and assistant teachers. GreatSchools.org can help you find top-rated preschools and elementary schools in your community as well.

Professional Organizations for Teachers

Many professional organizations for teachers in the state of Massachusetts share similar visions.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) is a member-driven organization that promotes teachers’ professional and economic interests. The group advocates for the improvement of public schools. The organization represents 110,000 members and there are 400 local associations throughout the state. Members get updates about early childhood initiatives and best practices, as well as discounts on professional development events.

The Massachusetts Association for the Education of Young Children (MassAEYC) increases public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and provides professional development for educators. It is also an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization consisting of 80,000 members.

The American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts represents thousands of teachers and is an affiliate of the 1.5 million member American Federation of Teachers (AFT). This union of professionals aims to better education and the teaching career as a whole. One of the organization’s legislative priorities is to improve early childhood education.


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Top Education Blogs in Massachusetts

K is for Kindergarten is written by a teacher who loves her job and sharing everyday stories from her kindergarten classroom.

Teaching with Twitte is a blog written by a teacher with a master’s and Reading Specialist degree who shares a variety of elementary classroom ideas.

Second Grade Friends is run by a second grade teacher who frequently documents her early elementary instructional ideas.

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