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Early Childhood Banner
Promoting Professional Development and High Quality Early Childhood and School-Age Programmes
 Council on Children and Families
 Deborah Benson, Executive Director

EXPLORE SETTINGS OR PROGRAMS

Child Care
Head Start
Nursery School – Preschool
Private School
Public School
Charter School
Special Education Program

“I want to work with children. What are the settings
in which I may find employment?”

There are many positions and settings in the field of early childhood. Each setting is distinct as to the services provided and the positions available.  There are also differences in qualifications for positions, work schedule, salary and benefits; all have a goal of providing for children’s well-being.

Child Care

Families need safe, healthy, educational programs for children while family members work or go to school. Child care, Head Start, preschools, and prekindergarten programs represent different settings and all provide for the multiple learning needs of children. New York State regulations define child care as care for a child on a regular basis provided away from a child’s residence for less than 24 hours per day by someone other than the parent, step parent, or other close relatives. These regulations do not refer to summer day camps, religious education classes, day treatment facilities, or programs for children three years of age or older operated by a public school district or nursery schools/preschools that care for children less than three hours a day.

New York State regulations define child care as care for a child on a regular basis provided away from a child’s residence for less than 24 hours per day by someone other than the parent, step parent, or other close relatives. These regulations do not refer to summer day camps, religious education classes, day treatment facilities, or programs for children three years of age or older operated by a public school district or nursery schools/preschools that care for children less than three hours a day.

A child care center (sometimes called day care center) provides care and education in a non-residential building for children for more than three hours per day per child for a fee. Out of school programs or school-age child care (SACC) programs provide care for children before and after school and on school holidays. Children may be cared for in a non-relative’s home, which is called family child care or in the child’s own home by a child care provider, nanny, or au pair. The number of children and their ages determine whether registration or licensing is necessary for that child care setting as determined by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and by the New York City Department of Health.

Center-Based Child Care

Child care centers may be organized in a number of ways, depending on sponsorship or ownership. Each Centermust comply with the state and local regulations for the safety and protection of the children served. The following is a description of typical sponsors of non-profit and for-profit child care centers:

Non-Profit Child Care

Community-Based Organization (CBO) – The program is sponsored by an agency such as YWCA, YMCA, community action agency, neighborhood center, etc. It isgoverned by a Board of Directors who oversee the program and finances, and are usually administered by an Executive Director and/or a Director of Child Care. The program is managed financially so that income and expenses are dedicated to the benefit of the children and staff.

Faith-Based Organization – The program is sponsored by a church or other religious-affiliated institution either as a community service or as an educational program for religious instruction.

For-Profit (Proprietary) Child Care

Owner-Operated – The program is a business, owned by one or more individuals, to provide a service for fees with a goal of realizing a financial profit. All facility, staff, equipment, supply, and service costs are the responsibility of the owner.

Chain or Franchise – The program is individually or corporately owned and governed by a corporation that sets policy. Regional or national chains provide guidelines for all aspects of the business with varying degrees of flexibility for individual centers.

Employer-Sponsored – Some employers see the benefit of assisting employees with child care. They may provide an on-site facility so employees can visit their child at break times throughout the day for bonding and feeding. The facility may be a division of the company or employers may sub-contract for the service. Employers may also purchase slots from other programs to help meet their employees need for child care.

Regulations

There are three categories of child care centers in regulation, they are:

Child care centers – which serve six or more children from six weeks to thirteen years of age (NYSOCFS 413.2(g)(l));

Small child care centers – which serve three to six children six weeks to thirteen years of age (these programs are different from family child care programs by virtue of the fact that services are provided in a licensed facility and not a residence) (NYSOCFS 413.2(h)); and,

Out of School Programs – which typically serve school-age children six to thirteen years of age. Programs may serve children over 13 years of age, but they must meet all the regulatory standards for children under 13 years of age. Children may receive services through the conclusion of high school (NYSOCFS 413.2 (k)(l)).

Each program type has specific regulations that are administered by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (in New York City, the NYC Department of Health regulates these programs under a single set of regulations). What follows is the regulatory definition of each program category. (Go to NYS Day Care Regulations or NYC Day Care Regulations for additional information.)

Child care center means a program or facility which is not a residence in which child care is provided on a regular basis to more than six children for more than three hours per day per child for compensation or otherwise.

Age of Children: A child care center may provide care for children six weeks through 12 years of age; for children 13 years of age or older who are under court supervision; for children 13 years of age or older who are incapable of caring for themselves when such inability is documented by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist; and in extenuating circumstances, for children under six weeks of age when prior approval has been obtained from the regional child care licensing office. Children who attain the maximum age allowed during the school year may continue to receive child day care through the following September 1st or until they enter school for the following year.

Maximum Capacity: As specified on the child day care center license (NYSOCFS 413.2.(g); NYCDOH 47.01(a)).

Small day care center means a program or facility which is not a residence in which child day care is provided to three to six children for more than three hours per day per child for compensation or otherwise.

Age of Children: A child day care center may provide care for children six weeks through 12 years of age: for children 13 years of age or older who are under court supervision; for children 13 years of age or older who are incapable of caring for themselves when such inability is documented by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist; and in extenuating circumstances, for children under six weeks of age when prior approval has been obtained from the regional child care licensing office. Children who attain the maximum age allowed during the school year may continue to receive child day care through the following September 1st or until they enter school for the following year.

Maximum capacity: No more than two children under the age of two may be cared for at any one time. When any child who is less than two years of age is present, the maximum capacity is five. When all children present are at least two years of age, maximum capacity is six (NYSOCFS 413.2.(h)).

Out of school programs (school-age child care) means a program or facility which is not a residence in which child day care is provided to an enrolled group of seven or more children during the school year before and/or after the period such children are ordinarily in school or during school lunch periods. School-age child care programs may also provide care during school holidays and those periods of the year in which school is not in session, including summer vacation. Such programs must operate consistent with the local school calendar.

Age of Children – School-age child care programs may provide care for school-age children under 13 years of age, for children under court supervision or for children who are 13 years of age or older where a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist states in writing that such children are incapable of caring for themselves. No child may be admitted unless the child is enrolled in kindergarten or a higher grade or is at least six years of age. Children who attain the maximum age allowed during the school year may continue to receive child day care through the following September 1 or until they enter school for the following school year.

Maximum capacity – The maximum number of children authorized to be present at any one time as specified on the school-age child care registration (NYSOCFS 413.2.k; NYCDOH 47.01(a)).

Regulations pertaining to all center-based child care settings – Child care centers are regulated in New York State by the Office of Children and Family Services and in New York City by the New York City Department of Health. A license must be obtained that indicates that the following areas are in compliance with the regulations:

Child Staff Ratio/Group Size – Children must be grouped by age as follows:
Age of Children Staff/Child Ratio* Max Group Size (**)
Under 6 weeks*** 1:3 6
6 weeks to 18 months 1:4 8
18 months to 36 months 1:5 12
3 years 1:7 18
4 years 1:8 21
5 years 1:9 24
Through 9 years 1:10 20
10-12 years 1:15 30

* Staff/child ratio refers to the maximum number of children per staff person

** Group size refers to the number of children cared for together as a unit. Group size is used to determine the minimum staff/child ratio based upon the age of the children in the group (NYSOCFS 418-1.8(c) and NYCDOH 47.17).

*** Prior approval required from NYSOCFS or NYCDOH.

Facilities – Building and equipment safety including zoning, space regulations dependent on age of children; and documentation of satisfactory NYS Department of Health inspections for safe water, environmental hazards, food safety, documentation of local fire department inspections for fire protection and evacuation plans, and a certificate of insurance.

Program – Appropriate planned activities that encourage cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and language development; sufficient materials and play equipment; appropriate eating and resting arrangements; supervision of children; nutrition program; discipline guidelines written and practiced; and health and infection control.

Staff – Personnel who will promote the physical, intellectual, social, cultural, and emotional well-being of the children, provide constant supervision of children, and have no felony or misdemeanor convictions. All staff must have fingerprints on file, be cleared through Statewide Central Registry of Child Abuse and Maltreatment, be covered by workers’ compensation, and meet required qualifications for employment and subsequent training requirements (see EXPLORING POSITIONS for individual job titles).

Quality Improvement and Program Assessment – Many programs voluntarily seek to achieve standards of quality beyond compliance with the regulations. Tools for assessment of programs are available that involve the participation of staff, families, and the community. Measures most commonly used include the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS) and Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS), both of which measure classroom quality. In Head Start and Early Head Start programs, adherence to federally-mandated standards is measured through the Monitoring Protocol, a formal review process that measures both the quality of services and the management systems that support the services. (See http://www.eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov.)

Programs seeking recognition of quality often apply for national accreditation, a process that requires a number of steps including self-study, compliance with rigorous criteria, and formal application procedures. National accreditation is offered by a number of organizations all of which hold programs accountable to standards and guidelines to ensure quality practices.

The National Academy of Early Childhood Programs administers a national, voluntary, accreditation system to help raise the quality of preschools, kindergartens, and child care centers.  The Academy is a division of the NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the nation's largest organization of early childhood educators. http://www.naeyc.org for more information.

The National Child Care Association, the largest association for private, licensed child care centers has a voluntary accreditation system that assures parents of the quality of the facility and program. See http://www.nccanet.org for more information.

The National Early Childhood Program Accreditation was established in 1991 as an independent accrediting organization that offers program accreditation to recognize quality. See www.necpa.net for more information.

Pathways National Early Childhood Early Education and Care Accreditation, developed by Children’s Institute in Rochester, New York, offers a voluntary, web-based system for quality assurance. See http://www.childrensinstitute.net/ for more information.

Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)

Quality improvement of early childhood programs has become a national policy initiative with notable progress across the country with most states engaged in the development of formal systems. A quality rating and improvement system is used to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care and learning programs and in school-age child care programs.

New York State has progressed through initial steps to establish QUALITYstarsNY as its quality rating and improvement system. This major undertaking is a key part of New York State’s comprehensive redesign of a high quality early education system.

Similar to national accreditation systems, QUALITYstarsNY is voluntary and is designed to improve quality. It differs by its program-specific supports of technical assistance and professional development. Participating programs gain access to ongoing support services and financial benefits in collaboration with the Office of Children and Families and cooperating agencies. Any program that is regulated by the state of New York or the city of New York is eligible to apply for a star rating.
See http://www.qualitystarsny.org

Cost – Center-based child care providers determine fees on a per child basis depending on both the child’s age and the hours of care. Costs for infant and toddler care are higher than for older children. Child care centers expenses include salaries and benefits and costs for maintenance such as utilities, insurance, supplies, food, etc. Unless a program has another source of financial support, tuition rates reflect the total expenses to operate the program which are calculated on a cost-per-child basis. The tuition charges for child care may be subsidized by local departments of social services for children of income-eligible families.

Center-Based Child Care Positions: Exploring Positions for descriptions and qualifications of:

Family Child Care

Family child care is grouped into two categories: exempt and regulated family chld care. Both of these categories are defined below.

Exempt Family Child Care

An exempt family child care home provides care on a regular basis for no more that two non-relative children or care for more children not on a regular basis.

There are two types of family child care programs that are required to be licensed or registered – family and group family child care. Persons who open their own home to care for other people’s children for a fee are engaged in a small business called family child care providers. The income for group and family child care is taxable and must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but expenses such as food, supplies, equipment, and insurance for the business can be charged against that income. Child Care Resource and Referral Programs (Go to http://www.nyscccc.org for a list of CCR&Rs) and NYS Office for Family and Children Services regional licensing offices (go to http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/becs/regionaloffices.asp for a list of regional licensing offices) provide people interested in providing family child care information regarding the regulations and assistance in the process of becoming registered.

Regulations for Both Family Child Care and Group Family Child Care

The home must be inspected and the family child care/group family license registration must be renewed every two years. Family and group family child care providers must obtain 30 hours of training within each two year registration/licensing period, 15 hours must be within the first six months of registration/licensing or employment if an assistant. Training must be in specified topic areas.

The family and group family child care home must provide a safe, healthy environment and developmentally appropriate practices. The provider will plan and implement an appropriate program of activities for the child’s cognitive, educational, social, cultural, physical, emotional, language, and recreational development. Children must be supervised at all times, and, with the written permission of the parent, a child may nap and toilet independently. A school-aged child, with the written permission of the parent, may participate in outside activities without direct supervision of the child care provider.

There are two types of family child care programs that are required to be licensed or registered – family and group family child care. Persons who open their own home to care for other people’s children for a fee are engaged in a small business called family child care providers. The income for group and family child care is taxable and must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but expenses such as food, supplies, equipment, insurance for the business can be charged against that income. Child Care Resource and Referral Programs (go to (opens in a new window) for a list of CCR&Rs) and NYS Office for Family and Children Services regional licensing offices (go to (opens in a new window) for a list of regional licensing offices) provide people interested in providing family child care information regarding the regulations and assistance in the process of becoming registered.

Regulated Family Child Care

Maximum capacity – No more than two children under the age of two may be cared for at any one time. When any child who is less than two years of age is present, the maximum capacity is five. When all children present are at least two years of age, maximum capacity is six. An additional two children who are of school-age may be provided care if they attend kindergarten or a higher grade and other rules may apply (NYSOCFS 413.2(i)).

Regulated Group Family Child Care

Maximum Capacity – There must be one caregiver for every two children under the age of 2 years. When any child who is less than 2 years of age is present, the maximum capacity is 10. When all children present are at least 2 years of age, maximum capacity is 12. An additional 2 children who are of school-age may be cared for if the children attend kindergarten or higher grade (NYSOCFS 413.2(j)).

REGULATIONS FOR BOTH FAMILY CHILD CARE AND GROUP FAMILY CHILD CARE

There are a number of regulations that pertain specifically to family child care and to group family child care. However, the following regulations, which are the regulations that are most pertinent for this purpose, are the same for both forms of care.

Regulations – Family and group family child care homes are regulated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Before a family child care or group family child care home is registered, an application process must be completed that assures that the home and provider complies with the regulations. They include health statements of providers, summary of training and experience, names of references, sworn statements regarding convictions of misdemeanor or felonies, and certification of child support obligations. Certification that workers are compensated is provided if they are employees. Clearance through the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment is required for the providers and anyone eighteen or over who resides in the family child care home along with a statement of health of all the persons residing in the home. This process includes fingerprinting and a criminal history check. The home is also certified that it and the neighborhood are free of environmental hazards, and the dwelling meets sanitation and safety standards for water and heat.

The home must be inspected and the family child care/group family license registration must be renewed every two years. Family and group family child care providers must obtain 30 hours of training within each two year registration/licensing period, 15 hours must be within the first six months of registration/licensing or employment if an assistant. Training must be in specified topic areas.

The family and group family child care home must provide a safe, healthy environment and developmentally appropriate practices. The provider will plan and implement an appropriate program of activities for the child’s cognitive, educational, social, cultural, physical, emotional, language, and recreational development. Children must be supervised at all times, and, with the written permission of the parent, a child may nap and toilet independently. A school-aged child, with the written permission of the parent, may participate in outside activities without direct supervision of the child care provider.

Age of Children – A family child care provider may care for children six weeks to 12 years of age: for children 13 years of age or older who are under court supervision; for children 13 years of age or older who are incapable of caring for themselves when such inability is documented by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist; and in extenuating circumstances, for children under six weeks of age when prior approval has been obtained from the regional child care licensing office. Children who attain the maximum age allowed during the school year may continue to receive child day care through the following September 1, or until they enter school for the following year.

Cost – Family child care is paid for by the family using the service on a per child basis. Family child care charges must cover income for the provider, home insurance and utilities, equipment, supplies, and food. It is considered a small business with income balanced against expenses. The charges for child care may be subsidized by social services for children of income-eligible families.

Quality Improvement and Program Assessment – Family child care settings may choose to be accredited by the National Association of Family Child Care. This is a voluntary accreditation process that involves a self-study and a validation visit to assure the high quality of the setting and the provider. For more information, go to http://www.nafcc.org. Family child care programs may also participate in QUALITYstarsNY, New York State’s Quality Rating and Improvement System.See. http://www.qualitystarsny.org/.

Accreditation – Family child care settings may choose to be accredited by the National Association of Family Child Care. This is a voluntary accreditation process that involves a self-study and a validation visit to assure the high quality of the setting and the provider. For more information, go to (opens in a new window).

Family and Group Family Child Care Positions – Exploring Positions for descriptions and qualifications of:

In-Home

A provider may serve as a nanny, au pair, or governess for families who prefer care for their children in their own home. This position may involve a set schedule or work hours or include a fluctuating work schedule that combines early care and education of children and other duties related to in home care (light housekeeping, cooking, transporting).

Regulations: There are no governmental regulations for the care of children of a single family in their home. The family is required to report wages and may be required to pay workers’ compensation insurance and unemployment tax. Families may include other benefits such as health insurance, sick days, and paid vacations.

Cost: Cost of service varies with the circumstances of employment (e.g., live-in vs hourly) and the education and background of the in-home provider.

Structure: Families typically contract individually with in-home providers and identify prospective candidates through word-of-mouth, advertisements and referral agencies that exist in some areas. Nanny schools also provide referrals for nannies who have been certified or who have graduated from their program. Au pair agencies also provide referrals of au pairs.

Cost: Cost of services varies with the circumstances of employment (e.g., live-in vs. hourly) and the education and background of the in-home provider.

Typical Positions:

Head Start

Head Start – Center-Based
Head Start – Home-Based
Early Head Start
Structure, Cost, & Positions

Established by Congress in 1965 Head Start is a federally funded preschool educational program designed to meet the needs of low-income children and their families. The overall goal of Head Start is to increase school readiness of children through the delivery of comprehensive services to children and their families. These comprehensive services include: research-based early childhood programming, health screening and follow up services, services for children with disabilities, family involvement opportunities, and the linking of community resources to meet family and child needs. All Head Start services are responsive and appropriate to each child and family’s developmental, cultural, and linguistic characteristics. Early Head Start was established in 1967 to provide comprehensive services to pregnant women and mothers with children birth to three years of age.

The Head Start and Early Head Start program is administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services-Head Start Bureau-which awards grants directly to local programs. Head Start and Early Head Start programs outside of New York City which provide part-day services for less than three hours a day in a 24 hour period do not have to be licensed. All Head Start programs operating in New York City are licensed through NYCDOH and all programs in the rest of the state providing three or more hours of services are licensed through NYSOCFS as child care centers.

Program Models: There are essentially three Head Start program models including:

Head Start – Center-Based

Children attend the Head Start program in a group setting on a specific schedule with a qualified teaching staff. Programming is planned to encourage family involvement and may include home visits. Comprehensive services for the entire family are offered at the site, in the home, and when needed, transportation may be provided to other service providers to meet family needs. Head Start serves eligible children turning three years of age before the first day of school. Specific date guidelines apply here. It is usually the same date used to determine eligibility for public school in the community in which the Head Start program is located.

Head Start – Home-Based

Eligible children and families receive Head Start comprehensive services in their homes. Home-based teachers visit homes on a regular basis and work with families on the overall goal of school readiness. Families and children gather in a home on a regular basis for an appropriately programmed group experience that further supports growth toward Head Start program goals.

Early Head Start

Early Head Start is a comprehensive program that includes parenting education, comprehensive health and mental health services to women before, during and after pregnancy, nutrition education and family support services as well as quality early education both in and out of the home for children birth to three years-old.

Structure – Implementation of Head Start legislation, regulations and policies is overseen locally by policy councils that include Head Start parents and representatives of the community. Programs are reviewed every three years. For more information on Head Start see (opens in a new window).

Cost – Head Start is a federal program funded through grants provided on a yearly basis. There is no tuition cost to registered families.

Positions – Because of the comprehensive nature of the Head Start program, there are many career opportunities beyond classroom teaching. Many involve adult education and the provision of services to families. Not all of these positions are listed in this publication. For more information on the positions included in this document, see Exploring Positions for descriptions and qualifications of:

Nursery School – Preschool

Structure
Types of Nursery Schools/Preschools
Typical Positions

Nursery Schools or Preschools encourage social, physical, emotional and intellectual development by organizing activities for children age two through five. They help children explore their interests, develop their talents and independence, build self-esteem and learn how to interact with others. In areas outside of New York City, nursery schools or preschools in which the children spend less than three hours in any twenty-four hour period are exempt from licensure of any kind. They may elect to be registered with the Department of Education. In New York City, nursery schools/preschools are licensed as child care centers.

Structure – These programs are usually sponsored by a faith-based or community-based organization to provide a service to families who desire a part-day experience for their child. Families have the responsibility of screening and monitoring the program. The programs are usually incorporated as non-profit organizations and administered by a governing body and participating families usually have representation.

Types of Nursery Schools/Preschools

Faith-Based – When a nursery school or preschool is sponsored by a faith-based organization it usually provides religious education along with its developmental program. It may or may not be open to others outside that particular religious affiliation.

Non-Profit – Operated by a non-profit organization and open to the general public providing developmental programming.

For-Profit – Although not common, some preschools/nursery schools are operated by for-profit organizations which are open to the general public and offer developmental programming.

Cooperative – This type of preschool program may be totally or partially administered by the families of the children who attend. Family members have a responsibility to participate in the class on a regular basis.

Specialty – Some preschools have a specific focus such as gymnastics, dance, second language etc. The program contains all the regular components of a preschool with these additional enhancements.

Typical PositionsExploring Positions for descriptions and qualifications of:


Private School

Structure
Types of Private Schools
Positions

Private schools provide education to ten to fifteen percent of the population of school-age children. Private schools are set up by various religiously affiliated organizations or as an alternative for any group that finds available forms of public education unsatisfactory and are willing to pay for or obtain financial assistance to cover the cost of their child’s education. All private schools must operate according to state laws governing education, sometimes including teacher licensure.

Structure – Private schools often receive public funds for transportation, textbooks, health services, and some lunch programs. Private schools are financially supported by the families of the children who attend the school through tuition and by the sponsoring agency such as a religious organization. Fundraising helps underwrite expenses as well. Teachers who work in private schools are often willing to do so for lower wages because they believe in the philosophy of the school. Independent, private schools are incorporated as non-profit, tax-exempt corporations, governed by their board of trustees that determines the school’s philosophy and is responsible for the schools resources and finances. A headmaster/mistress, president, principal, or director administers the school.

Types of Private Schools

Religious Schools –The Catholic Church is one of the largest sponsors of private schools but many other denominations and religions also sponsor schools to teach the principles of their doctrine in the context of a general education.

Boarding Schools – Children are cared for 24 hours a day at residential private schools. Tuition charges include the cost of education plus room and board.

Residential Facilities – Education is provided in residential facilities for children housed there for a variety of reasons: disabilities, emotionally unable to be in a home and school situation, or as an alternative to foster care.

Schools Abroad - Schools around the world recruit teachers from the United States to provide education for children of US citizens living in a foreign country such as armed services personnel or a company’s employees. Teachers are also recruited for private schools abroad who offer students an education in English in addition to their first language.

Charter Schools – These are schools set up by individuals or groups funded either by public or private funding or a combination of funding sources to provide parents and students with alternative, innovative choices to public education.

PositionsExploring Positions for descriptions and qualifications of:

Public School

Universal Prekindergarten
Kindergarten Through Grade Three
Grades 1-6
Structure, Cost, & Positions

Public schools are by far the largest educational programs for children with 2.9 million children enrolled in prekindergarten through 12th grade. In public schools, a New York State certified teacher must lead all classrooms. All students must meet NYS learning standards requirements to earn a diploma from this education system. For information on the State learning Standards, go to (opens in a new window). Early childhood programs sponsored by public schools include:

F.1 Universal Prekindergarten – Established in 1997, this program was developed under a plan to eventually offer public prekindergarten to any four year old child whose family chooses to enroll them. Because of the mandate for community collaboration and the limited space and personnel in many public schools, many universal prekindergarten programs reside in whole or part in community-based organizations such as child care centers and Head Start programs. Universal prekindergarten has a phase in requirement that teachers in all settings must hold NYS teacher certification by September 2004.

F.2 Kindergarten Through Grade Three – Recent changes in the NYS teacher certification will require prekindergarten and kindergarten in public schools be taught by teachers holding NYS certification in Early Childhood birth through grade 2. Grades 1 and 2 will be taught by teachers holding either the NYS certification in Early Childhood birth through grade 2 or Childhood Grades 1 through 6 with 3rd grade being taught by teachers holding NYS certification in Childhood Grades 1 through 6 . Teachers licensed prior to 2004 hold certificates for Prekindergarten through 6th grade.

F.3 Grades 1-6 – These grades are now designated Childhood (Grades 1-6) in the NYS teacher certification requirements. Teachers licensed prior to 2004 will hold certificates of Prekindergarten through 6th grade.

Structure – All of these educational programs are under the venue of the local public school district, supervised by principals, and administered under the local Board of Education. Additionally, local school districts must meet mandated requirements for operation provided by the NYS Education Department.

Cost – New York State provides a free education for all children K–12, with public, free Universal Prekindergarten or Experimental Prekindergarten programs available in some school districts.

Typical PositionsExploring Positions for descriptions and qualifications of:

Charter School

Structure, Cost, & Positions

Charter School - Charter schools are funded through public local, state, and federal funds but are independent of public school district boards and open to all students in New York State through a non-discriminatory admissions lottery.

Structure - Each charter school is governed by a not-for-profit board of trustees and has freedom to establish policies, educational design, and human and financial resources. Go to http://www.p12.nysed.gov/psc

Cost – Available in some school districts, charter schools provide free education from Prekindergarten through Grade 12.

Typical Positions – See Exploring Positions for descriptions and qualifications of:

Special Education Program
Structure, Cost, & Positions

Preschool Special Education Programs - NYSED approves programs for preschool students with disabilities. These programs are administered by public and private schools.Young children with disabilities, ages three to five, may need support in developing the skills and knowledge necessary to meaningfully participate in the educational process. Teachers of students with disabilities and their assistants provide specially designed instruction in a variety of settings (e.g. special classes and/or classrooms within a daycare, UPK or Head Start program). They often work with a team of professionals who provide related services such as speech, occupational and/or physical therapy, and social work services to support families as documented in each student’s individualized education program (IEP).  

Special Education Program – Young school-age children with disabilities may need support in developing the skills and knowledge to obtain access to and benefit from their education. Teachers of students with disabilities and their assistants provide specially designed instruction in public and private schools in special classes, general education classrooms and/or resource room programs. They often work with a team of professionals who provide related services such as speech, occupational and/or physical therapy, and social work services to support families as documented in each student’s individualized education program (IEP). 

Structure – Three sets of programs are provided for young children with disabilities: Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers (Birth – Age 3), under the jurisdiction of NYS Department of Health; Preschool Special Education  (Ages 3 - 5) and School Age Special Education (Ages 5 – 8) administered by New York State Department of Education.  Local school districts work in concert with both New York State Department of Health and New York State Education Department to administer special education programs. See: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed for more information.

Cost- Programs administered under local school districts provide free education to all children starting at birth.

Typical Positions – See Exploring Positions for descriptions and qualifications of: