Teaching jobs generally don’t always get the limelight they deserve in India. But, teaching has always been one of the noblest careers you could opt for. As a teacher, you play the role of a catalyst for social changes in the society. Teachers are the ones who make a difference in the lives of their children. A teacher is responsible for polishing a student’s intellect and aptitude and builds his/her character, well-rounded personality and future. Among all teachers, the preschool teachers deal with the kids at the earliest stage. In this post, we will look at the preschool teacher career and jobs in India.
Preschool Teacher Career and Jobs in India
There are 5 levels of education in India — preschool, primary, middle, secondary and higher secondary. Preschool education (or early childhood education) deals with the children less than 8-years-old in kindergartens, nurseries or preschools. Preschool (also known as kindergarten, play school or nursery) is not compulsory but considered important for the holistic development of an individual.
Why Preschool or Early Childhood Education is Important
Many believe early childhood education is one of the most important career fields in education because the basis of a child’s education is formed at these young ages. It is the most important time for brain development in humans as the capacity for a child to absorb concept & learning is the highest during 0 to 8 years of age.
Children who are exposed to early childhood education usually have improved social & cognitive skills. Those children show fewer behavioral problems and better grades without special and attention in the future. Additionally, the self-confidence gained by learning in a playful manner at a preschool results in a holistic personality development of the child.
The positive learning attitude, the basic foundation in language, and comprehension & management gained at the preschool, help the teachers facilitate the child’s learning at primary and higher levels of education.
Job Responsibilities of a Preschool Teacher
Preschool teachers introduce children to reading, writing, counting numbers as well social interactions. A good preschool includes the following areas in their curriculums:
- Language Area
- Art Corner
- Cognitive Corner
- Senso-motor skills
- EPL (Exercises of Practical life)
- Outdoor Learning environment
- Mathematics Area
- Science & Geography Area
Preschool teachers educate children using basic teaching methods such as showing pictures, storytelling, rhyming, games, music, artwork, and play. They also teach the children good habits and manners. They also help the children to nurture and develop knowledge, abilities and social skills of children and help to prepare them for primary school education. Hence, as a preschool teacher you need to use your intelligence, caring nature, creativity, patience, and wisdom.
The major task or objective of a preschool teacher is to create a home away from home. If you love spending time with children and can demonstrate dedication, sincerity, creativity, empathy, responsibility, and patience, preschool teaching could be an ideal career for you.
How to Become a Preschool Teacher (Required Qualifications & Training)
The minimum eligibility criterion to become a preschool teacher is graduation. Following graduation, Basic Training Certificate (BTC), Diploma in Education (D.Ed) and Teacher Training Certificate (TTC) are the teaching courses in India that can help you get a preschool teaching job. The one-year certificate/ diploma course in Nursery Teacher Training (NTT) is the most preferred route to become a preschool teacher. In fact, several preschools also make ask for NTT Certification as a mandatory requirement. A Bachelor in Education (B.Ed) degree is also handy.
You might find few early childhood programs or Montessori schools that DON’T require a bachelor’s degree. In those cases, you need to go for other courses like Child Care and Education; Early Childhood Education; Pre-Primary Teacher Training Education, Montessori education (Diploma Courses offered by Association Montessori Internationale aka AMI affiliates) etc. These courses can be done after 10+2.
There are several kinds of Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) courses:
- Infancy Course – for 0 to 3 years
- Primary Diploma Course (AMI Primary Montessori Diploma Course & AMI Montessori Assistants Certificate Course) – for 3 to 6 years
- Elementary Diploma Course – for 6 to 12 years
For instance, V. Revathi, Assistant Teacher in a Preschool in Chennai had no qualification but a Plus Two certificate. Read Revathi’s story as a preschool teacher. Below is the short career bio of Mrs. Bandana Chatterjee, who opted for the Preschool Teaching career in a conventional way.
Meet Bandana Chatterjee, Preschool Teacher at Delicate Angels School (Gurgaon)
“I spent part of my childhood in Kolkata and rest of my growing up years in Mumbai
I completed BA with major in English Literature from Bhavans College, Andheri under Mumbai University.
In 2015, I successfully completed “International Diploma in Pre and Primary Teach
ers Training Course” from Global Training Academy, a joint certification program in association with Pebble Hills University.
I strongly feel that there is an opportunity to learn from all age groups and also reciprocate. The teaching profession always fascinated me and provides a great platform to instill values in addition to sharing knowledge.
Further, I thought I would be able to leverage my storytelling abilities and establish an instant connect with children of all age groups.”
Job Prospects for Preschool Teaching in India
There were 16.5 crore children in the 0–6 years age group in India as of 2011 – 11.5 crore rural and 5 crore children in the urban areas. Additionally, there were 33,000 preschools in India in 2015. However, in India, statistics suggest that only 50% of the population has access to preschool education.
As per Technavio, the preschool or child care market in India will grow impressively during the forecast period and will also post a CAGR of almost 22% by 2020. The market has a huge potential for growth, and this will attract several international schools and kindergartens to get into the market.
During 2015, the Tier 1 cities segment accounted for about 65% of the total share of the market and dominated this industry. The recent increase in the number of working women population and the rise in disposable income are the major factors that will fuel the growth of the preschool education market in Tier 1 cities. Also, the increase in competition for securing admissions in premium schools will compel parents to enroll their children in preschools and day-cares. So, the job prospects for preschool teaching in India are definitely bright.
Salary of Preschool Teacher in India
Let’s face it, the salary and other tangible benefits in the preschool teaching career are not as lucrative as in other career paths in India. So, if you are largely driven by financial growth, do stay away from the teaching profession.
However, by saying that, don’t assume that teachers are underpaid. Besides, this career path offers other kinds of perks – social recognition, spiritual satisfaction, and happiness.
The average monthly salary of a preschool teacher (in the first 5 years) ranges from Rs. 13,000 to Rs. 20,000. If you end up in an international preschool, you could earn Rs. 18,000 to Rs. 35,000 per month.
With experience (say 6 – 10 years), you can become Coordinator or Supervisor; and earn Rs. 30,000 to 1 Lac per month.
Benefits of Being a Preschool Teacher
Don’t forget the number of holidays you can avail – summer vacation, winter vacation, national holidays, weekends and so on. Then few International schools/ Standalone Preschools and Schools affiliated to Indian boards do provide free education for teachers’ children or 50% to 80% discount on the tuition fees.
In case, you wish to have a job or career change after few years of preschool teaching, there are several career opportunities. You could migrate to developed countries like Australia or Canada – these countries have got a shortage of preschool teachers.
Then you could also for alternative careers like education consulting, career counseling, corporate training, writing (author), and even entrepreneurship.