Early Childhood Teacher Certification in South Carolina

Early Childhood Education in South Carolina

South Carolina, a state known for both its beaches and wetlands, was also ranked the top state in the nation in 2009 for Education Week’s teaching profession category. While its national rankings for overall education are on the low side, it is praised for its accountability for quality, incentives and allocation, and also for its efforts to build and support the capacity of the teaching workforce. It is also ranked 10th in the nation in 2011-2012 for pre-K programs (Union Daily Times). There are ample opportunities for individuals pursuing a career in early childhood education in South Carolina.

Obtaining A Teaching License in South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Education’s website 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 and current teachers.

To apply for a license, all applicants must follow a series of steps that vary depending on experience and credentials. Applicants who have graduated from a teacher preparation program but have not yet been certified should follow the steps outlined for Uncertified Applicants. Applicants with a valid out-of-state license should follow the criteria for Reciprocal Applicants. Foreign applicants with appropriate immigration statuses should follow the requirements for Foreign Applicants. Applicants holding expired licenses should view the information for Lapsed SC Applicants. Lastly, applicants with academic or professional degrees in education in an area comparable to the subject they seek to teach should view the Acceptable Degrees page.

You can apply for certification online or by mailing in the application form.

Three types of certificates are available. The Initial Certificate is for new teachers with little teaching experience, the Limited Professional Certificate is a more advanced certificate for teachers with at least three years of experience, and the Alternative Certificate is a temporary certificate that allows individuals to teach in South Carolina public schools while working towards certification.

Be sure to contact the South Carolina Department of Education’s Center Staff should you have any further questions about the certification/licensure process.


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Degree Programs in Early Childhood Education

There are approximately 30 accredited early childhood education colleges in South Carolina.

is ranked the 25th best national university by the U.S. News and World Report and offers a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education (birth to grade three) and elementary education (grades two to six).

is a multi-campus school with eight campuses that offers a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate in early childhood education (birth to grade three) and elementary education (grades two to six).

located in the heart of historic Charleston, is nationally recognized for its liberal arts and science programs. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in both early childhood education (birth to grade three) and elementary education (grades two to six).

offers a bachelor’s degree in both early childhood education (birth to grade three) and elementary education (grades two to six). A master’s of teaching (K through 12) is also available. It has a long-standing commitment to the education department, as the university was established to educate young women to become public school teachers.

Getting a Job as an Early Childhood Teacher

You can take several different avenues to pursue a career in this dynamic field.

Public schools employ the vast majority of people seeking careers in early childhood education. Here is a list of South Carolina teaching jobs separated by public school district.

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 also, 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 Groups for Teachers in South Carolina

There are many professional organizations for teachers in the state of South Carolina that share similar visions.

The South Carolina Education Association (SCEA) is a special organization that advocates for teachers while providing them with training opportunities and protection from possible workplace issues. Joining your local association automatically enrolls you in the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization.

The South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children (SCAEYC) has been improving early childhood education for many years. It is a state affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a group with nearly 80,000 members from more than 300 affiliate groups. These groups serve as the voice for early childhood professionals and continue to enhance the quality of early care and education.

There are several other more specialized early childhood associations available to join. Be sure to check out the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Project as it provides scholarships for teachers to further their studies to gain better compensation rates.

South Carolina’s ECE Bloggers

The State education blog relays news stories on hot topics current in today’s South Carolina schools, while Educating South Carolina is a place where educators and other individuals can share their thoughts about the state’s educational programs and policies. Several committed teachers also share their instructional ideas through their heartfelt teacher blogs.

Kinder Kids Fun is a blog written by a kindergarten teacher who shares various instructional ideas for the early childhood educator.


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Second Grade Shenanigans offers a second-grade teacher’s ideas about how to teach, create and inspire within the classroom setting.

Two best friend teachers run Simply Sweet Teaching, a blog that relays ideas for how to maintain rigor and relevance within the first grade classroom.

The Loop is run by a teacher and tech consultant who offers a wide array of ideas for teaching young children.

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