News Update

State board to vote on new early childhood education credential

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing will consider a new credential for pre-k through third grade at its meeting Wednesday.

The early childhood education specialist credential is meant to increase the number of teachers eligible to teach transitional kindergarten, which is being expanded to include all 4-year-olds by 2025. It has been estimated that the state needs 7,000 to 15,000 more TK teachers by then, said Mary Sandy, executive director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

“It would be a bridge for the early childhood workforce that would recognize their work in pre-K and require them to complete teacher preparation for K-3 to earn the full credential,” she said.

Experienced preschool teachers with a bachelor’s degree can take teacher preparation courses and 24 units of child development or early childhood education courses to earn the credential. The credential also offers alternative pathways like internships, residencies and apprenticeships. Candidates for the credential also would be required to pass the Reading Instruction Comprehension Assessment or some alternative, Sandy said.

Clinical practice can be waived if the teacher has at least six years of experience, has taken required courses or a test to prove subject-matter competence and has completed mandatory coursework.

All teachers, including those with a multiple-subject credential, will have to take 24 units of early childhood education or child development courses by Aug. 1, 2023, to teach transitional kindergarten if their schools want to be funded by the state for the class, Sandy said. Multiple-subject teachers will not be required to get the credential but would be able to earn it after taking the required coursework.

“Our goal is that this credential be equivalent in rigor to the multiple subject credential,” Sandy said.