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1.    I would like to become a pre-school teacher.  What courses should I take first?  Where should I begin?

On the one hand this is a simple question to answer, on the other hand it can a bit more complicated.  As you’ll see below licensing requires only 12 units in child development (and no general education units) to be a teacher.  The courses must include a class in Child Growth and Development (CHLD 10) and a course in Child, Family, Community relationships (CHLD 90.1 OR 190.1).  They also require a class in curriculum.  To be a teacher in a state funded program you need a Teacher Permit issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).  This involves 24 units in child development and 16 general education units in specific areas.  If you fulfill licensing’s requirements for 12 units of child development you will meet CTC’s requirements for an associate teacher permit.  Therefore we always recommend students start with our recommended course sequence found at https://portal.santarosa.edu/SRWeb/SR_ProgramsOfStudy.aspx?MCID=1152.  In doing so you will fulfill requirements for your child development permits and the certificates offered by our department.  Please note that our department always recommends students take more than the minimum 12 units to become a teacher.  Also, we strongly encourage you to see a counselor to help chart your educational pathway.  We also strongly recommend that you take the college’s language and math placement tests.  These will help ensure that you get the support you need to succeed in completing college level courses.

 

2.    What is the difference between a credential, a permit, a license, and a certificate?
It is confusing and the terms are frequently and incorrectly interchanged, although they have distinct meanings. 

·         Credential
Credentials are issued by the Commission on Teacher Preparation for teaching grades K-12. Generally in California you need a B.A. degree, plus another year in a school of education to earn your credential. No credential is offered, nor is one needed to teach in a children’s center or preschool program in California. 

·         Child Development Permit
To teach in a program that receives subsidies from the Child Development Division of the State Department of Education, a Child Development Permit is required. Permits are sometimes referred to as Title V programs and they make up approximately 20 percent of the child development programs in California. Permits are issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the same organization that issues credentials to K-12 teachers. The new permit matrix offers a variety of permits, each requiring a different level of education and giving the holder varying degrees of authority. 

·         Licenses
Licenses are given to programs (not people) by the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing. You must have a license to operate a child-care center or family day care home. You may take care of the children from one other family (besides your own) without a license. For more information about obtaining a license, call the local CCL office at 576-2210.

·         Certificates
The Child Development Department at SRJC offers two certificates. They parallel the Associate Teacher and the Teacher levels of the Child Development Permit. In conjunction with the Administration of Justice Department, we also offer a Children in the Justice System Certificate. Certificates are obtained by taking the required classes listed. We believe that if you can only take a few classes, these would be the most valuable. For more information, see the Child Development Associate Teacher Skills Certificate and the Child Development Teacher Certificate of Achievement.

3.    Will my classes from another college count for your degrees or certificates?

We accept core classes from other CAP-aligned community colleges towards our majors and certificates.  A list of those colleges can be found on the Child Development Training Consortium website http://www.childdevelopment.org/cs/cdtc/print/htdocs/cap_colleges.htm.  Other courses from CAP-aligned colleges as well as other colleges will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  It is very helpful to have the syllabus or a course outline from the class in question to help us evaluate this. 

4.    What classes do I need to open my own Family Day Care home?
Child care is regulated by the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing. Currently, you are not required to take any classes in Child Development to operate a family day care home. However, we strongly advise you to take classes in child growth and development, curriculum design and implementation, and the basics of running a successful business. Our department offers a number of classes that can assist you in this endeavor.

5.    I have a bachelor’s degree already but would like to become a pre-school teacher.  What classes should I take. 

Your baccalaureate may be helpful in meeting requirements for more advanced levels on the Child Development Permit Matrix.  The Permit Matrix can be found at http://www.childdevelopment.org/cs/cdtc/download/rs/271/English%20Permit%20Matrix%207-10.pdf?x-r=pcfile_d.  Look in the column marked “Alternative Qualifications.”