Essential Requirements for Preschool Substitute Teachers: What You Need to Know

Essential Requirements for Preschool Substitute Teachers: What You Need to Know

Flexibility is one of the main reasons Early Childhood Educators are choosing to make a career as a Substitute Preschool Teacher. It’s a rewarding option that allows you to share your gifts as an early educator while also creating the life you want to live.

So what does it take to become a Substitute Preschool Teacher? Let’s take a look at some essential requirements you need to consider.

State Licensing

Every state is different. Piazza is based in California, and we are required to follow the requirements set forth by the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division. Specifically Title 22 Section 101216.1 Teacher Qualifications and Duties. 

Most states have the minimum requirement that you are 18 years of age. Some states have educational requirements that must also be met. Again, each state is different, you will want to do an internet search – “childcare teacher requirements in Georgia” – or whatever state you are in. It will give you links to the state website that describes the minimum requirements.

Immunizations or Health Screening reports are often required for the protection of the children and you. Again, each state will be different. 

Often these requirements will determine how quickly you can work in a childcare program. You may need to consider taking some college courses, complete various certificate programs or visit your doctor before your eligibility is established.


How far are you willing to travel from your home to work? Most teachers are comfortable with a specific mileage radius around their home, but there are a few other things to consider:

  • Transportation: how will you get to work? Do you have a reliable mode of transportation (car, bike, walk, uber, bus etc)
  • Traffic: What are the traffic patterns in the radius you would like to work. If you are going with traffic vs the opposite of traffic your commute time could be better or worse.
  • Mileage: Talk to your accountant and find out if you can write off your mileage as an expense.


So many forms! But that’s what it takes to apply and get onboarded for most jobs, right? Don’t let that overwhelm you. Just take your time and get them done as time permits. The great thing about working for Piazza is we aren’t in a rush to get you to work unless you are. You determine the timeline. Some people fill them out in the same day, others take weeks.


The reality of working as a substitute preschool teacher is you may be walking into a new environment regularly. Many teachers have long-term positions which allow them to get to know where things are, schedules and routines, children’s strengths and weaknesses, administration expectations and site location.

Many times, you may return to a site you have been to before, and are greeted with lots of hugs and a welcome back! Kinda like you just saved the day! Which by the way is another benefit of being a substitute, you are literally saving the day every time you work!


It’s important to remember that you are working for an agency and not the preschool you are assigned to, even if you are on a long-term assignment. Talk to your agency representative about schedule changes, days off and any concerns you have about the preschool you are serving. 

Recipe for Success

When we onboard a new Piazza Teacher, we take the time to share with them our “Recipe for a Successful Day”. We make it fun and share it just like a true recipe.

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