Pre-Kindergarten Teaching Opportunities in New York City

This page was last updated March 5, 2015. 

Update: The 2015-16 Online Teacher Application is now open for candidates who hold or are on track to hold New York State certification by September 1, 2015. Click here to begin the application process!

Early childhood educators are putting their talents to work in public schools and NYC Early Education Centers (NYCEECs) across the city. During the 2014-15 school year, New York City successfully enrolled 53,230 children in high-quality, full-day pre-kindergarten

As we head into year two of the historic Pre-K for All expansion, we are seeking enthusiastic and effective teachers to staff all new pre-k classrooms for the 2015-2016 school year. New York City is committed to ensuring that every four-year-old has access to high-quality full-day pre-k, and this would not be possible without great teachers.

Why Pre-K for All?

There is a broad consensus that high-quality, full-day pre-K helps children succeed in school and in life. Research shows that pre-K reduces income inequality and increases social mobility and long-term educational gains for children.

Every student in New York City deserves an opportunity to have the foundation of skills, knowledge, and approaches to learning needed to be ready for school and ultimately, college and careers.


  • Helps develop critical vocabulary, oral language, and problem-solving skills 
  • Establishes strong partnerships with families from the beginning 
  • Raises academic success across all income and racial groups  

For more information on Pre-K for All, visit the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Early Childhood Education.

Teaching in NYC

The 2015-16 school year will mark the second phase of significant expansion in pre-K student enrollment in New York City. We are seeking enthusiastic and effective early childhood educators to become classroom leaders in communities across all five boroughs.

You can teach pre-K if you hold (or are on track to hold) one of the following New York State teaching certificates:

  • Early Childhood (Birth - Grade 2);
  • Nursery, Kindergarten and Grades 1-6;
  • Prekindergarten - Grade 6; or
  • Students with Disabilities (Birth - Grade 2)

An ideal candidate:

  • possesses genuine joy in leading a classroom that builds on how young children learn and supports children in developing a wide range of language, early literacy and math, social-emotional, and physical skills;
  • is able to create an enriching classroom environment that fosters learning using a broad spectrum of activities and experiences; and
  • builds strong relationships with adults, actively engaging parents and caregivers from diverse backgrounds, colleagues, and members of the community.

The Department of Education is committed to increasing educational opportunities and improving outcomes for students with disabilities. There is a particular need for teachers who hold NY state certification in Students with Disabilities (Birth – 2).

Additionally, there is a particular need for teachers who are fluent in one of the languages New York City's children speak at home - especially Spanish, as well as Mandarin Chinese, Haitian-Creole, French, Urdu, Bengali, Russian, Korean, and Arabic.

For more information on pursuing your New York State teaching certification, please visit the New York State Department of Education’s Office of Teaching Initiatives.

Pre-K for All Settings in NYC

Each of New York City’s pre-K teachers works in one of two settings:

New York City Early Education Centers

NYC Early Education Centers (NYCEECs) are independent organizations that contract with New York City to provide free pre-K programs to four-year olds. The over 1,000 sites offer diverse options for families across all five boroughs. NYCEECs may range in size from having a single pre-K class to many classes across multiple sites. Each NYCEEC employs its own teachers (they are not employees of the City of New York) but interested teachers applying through the online teacher application have the opportunity to make their information available to all hiring NYCEEC directors.

To find out which NYCEECs offer Pre-K for All near you, click here to view the NYCEEC directory.

Pre-K Programs at New York City Public Schools

Pre-K programs are offered at more than 600 district public elementary schools across the City. These classes are fully integrated into their school community and operate similarly to other grades in the building. Pre-K teachers in the public schools must have New York State teaching certification in early childhood and are employees of the City of New York / Department of Education (DOE).

To find out which public schools offer Pre-K for All near you, click here to view the public school directory.

How to Become a Pre-K Teacher in New York City

The 2015-16 Online Teacher Application is now open for candidates who hold or are on track to hold New York State certification by September 1, 2015.

All applicants for teaching positions must have current New York State certification, or be able to demonstrate they: 

  • possess current, acceptable certification in a state or country that is part of the New York State reciprocity agreement, OR 
  • will otherwise meet the qualifications for New York State certification by September 1, 2015. 

Now is your chance to act: Apply Now.

*If you are interested in teaching pre-kindergarten but will not yet be certified this fall, please continue to check this website for updates on how to apply. The pre-k teacher application for individuals on a study plan is anticipated to launch in mid-March.