Nursery school teachers help young children prepare for kindergarten.

Salary Ranges for Nursery School Teachers

by Kelly Morris

Nursery schools, sometimes referred to as preschools, daycare centers or childcare centers, provide care and education for children ages 5 and under, before they begin kindergarten. The salaries for nursery school teachers vary depending on numerous factors including job title, job responsibilities, education, years of experience and geographical location. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job opportunities for nursery school teachers are expected to grow faster than average between now and 2020 due to increased enrollment of children in nursery schools.

1. Childcare Workers

Childcare workers may have high school diplomas or the equivalent. They assist nursery school teachers in caring for children, helping children with things like dressing, toileting and meals, as well as assisting them with games and activities. Childcare workers in nursery schools earned a median hourly wage of $8.82 as of May 2010 (the most recent year for which data is available), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2. Assistant Teachers

Assistant teachers typically have high school diplomas or the equivalent. They assist nursery school teachers in caring for children and leading activities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, assistant teachers earned a median annual salary of $23,220 as of May 2010 (the most recent year for which data is available). Approximately 37 percent of them worked only part time.

3. Preschool Teachers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that preschool or nursery school teachers typically have at least an associate’s degree. They plan and carry out activities to help children develop language skills, motor skills and social skills. They help children prepare for entering kindergarten. “U.S. News” reports that in 2011, preschool teachers earned an average annual salary of $26,620. Those in small towns tend to earn more. Elementary school teachers earn considerably more than preschool teachers, however; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they earned an annual median salary of $39,470 as of May 2010.

4. Daycare Center and Preschool Directors

Daycare center and preschool directors typically have a bachelor’s degree, plus experience working as a preschool teacher. They oversee daily operations of the school, supervise teachers and assistant teachers, establish school policies and curriculum, make sure the school adheres to all state regulations, and deal with budget issues. They may also do some teaching of children. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that daycare center and preschool directors earned a median annual salary of $42,960 as of May 2010 (the most recent year for which data is available).

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