Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Type 04 (Early Childhood) Teacher Certification


  • What is the Type 04 Certification?

    The Type 04 Certification is a certification to teach in classrooms in Illinois with children birth through age 8.

  • Who needs a Type 04 Certification?

    Anyone who teaches, or wants to teach birth through third grade in an Illinois public school as well as teachers for Preschool for All classrooms, regardless of setting.

  • Who issues the Type 04 Certification?

    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) issues all Illinois teaching certificates.

  • How can I get my Type 04 Certification?

    You must meet the following requirements:
    • Have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited and Type 04 Certified college or university.
    • Pass the ICTS Test of Academic Proficiencyfollowed by two other tests:
      • Illinois Early Childhood Content Knowledge.
      • Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) test.
      • Complete student teaching requirement(s).
      • See Illinois Licensure for more information.

  • Where can I find information on the ICTS Test of Academic Proficiency?

    Visit the ICTS Test of Academic Proficiency Web site to find information on test dates, locations, and registration.

  • What is a transcript review?

    A transcript review involves a college or university evaluating your previous transcripts to determine:
    • Which courses taken at another school will provide credit toward a degree at the school currently attended (not all courses will transfer from institution to institution).
    • What coursework a student will still need to take in order to be eligible for a degree. (For individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree, a transcript review is needed to be eligible for the Type 04 Certification.)

  • How can I get a transcript review or evaluation?

    Contact an advisor in the department you want to attend and ask who can help you begin the evaluation process. Some schools may require an official transcript from each college or university you have attended. Official transcripts must be given to the advisor in a sealed envelope from the original school. Some schools may accept unofficial transcripts. There may be a fee for the transcript review.

  • I want to enroll at a community college, or I have an associate’s degree—how can I proceed to earn my bachelor’s degree and my Type 04 Certification?

    For information on approved bachelor’s degree programs for the Type 04, look at the Directory of Approved Programs for the Preparation of Education Personnel on the Illinois Institutions of Higher Education Web site.
    • If the community college you are attending has the Associate’s of Arts in Teaching (AAT) in ECE and you earn that degree:
      • This degree fully articulates from the two-year colleges offering it to the four-year colleges that agree to accept the AAT in ECE. This means you will transfer to the four-year institution as a junior and can seamlessly complete your bachelor’s degree and your Type 04 Certification. Contact the four-year schools you are interested in attending and ask if they accept the AAT in ECE.
    • If the community college you are attending does nothave the AAT in ECE or you choose to complete an Associate’s of Applied Science (AAS) or an Associate’s of Arts (AA):
      • Contact the four-year college you would like to attend later and ask if they have an articulation agreement with the community college you are attending. (An articulation agreement is an agreement between a two-year college and a four-year college where the four-year college agrees to accept, for full credit toward a degree, some or all of the courses from a specific community college program.) This will help you know what courses you are taking will transfer.
      • If the four-year college you would like to attend later does not have an articulation agreement with the community college you are attending, you will need to have a transcript review after you are finished with your associate’s degree.

  • I already have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and now want my Type 04 Certification. Do I need to start over with another degree?

    No—ISBE has alternative certification programs to earn your Type 04 Certification. ISBE may offer you provisional certification* if you are enrolled in such a program. For information on alternative certification programs, go to the ISBE Web site or the Regional Office of Education (ROE)Web site.

    After you find a program at an approved Type 04 college or university, contact them to find specific information on how to earn your Type 04 there. Some things to ask when you contact the college or university:
    • Will the school need to do a transcript review?
    • Does the school require you have a professional portfolio?
    • Will any of your previous work experience determine the clinical hours or student teaching experiences you need to complete to quality for the Type 04 Certification?
    • Do students going back to earn their Type 04 typically need to attend college full-time?

*Note: Provisional certifications are highly individualized and should not be considered as a shortcut or pathway to earning full ISBE-issued teaching certification of any type.

  • I already have a bachelor’s degree (not in Education). How do I find an approved Type 04 Certification Program that works for me?

    Find a college or university that has an approved Type 04 teacher education program. For information on approved programs, look at the Directory of Approved Programs for the Preparation of Educational Personnel on the Illinois Institutions of Higher Education Web site.

    Request a transcript evaluation from each school that you are interested in attending. It is a good idea to consider several schools because the requirements may be different at each school and you may find one that is a better match for your needs and qualifications.

    Pass the Illinois Basic Skills Test prior to being admitted to an approved teacher education program.

    Get detailed information about each school’s student teaching requirements. Institutional policies vary regarding the age groups and in what setting the student teaching requirement can be fulfilled and who is responsible for providing student supervision, evaluation, and support.

  • Will I have to student teach to earn my Type 04 Certification?

    All ISBE teaching certificates require an age-appropriate student teaching experience. Early Childhood teacher preparation programs generally require that students have the opportunity to complete clinical hours and/or student teaching experiences with two out of three age groups from birth through third grade, which are covered by Type 04 Certification. Those groups are: infants and toddlers, pre-primary children (3–5), and primary (kindergarten through third grade).

    Some teacher preparation programs will allow teachers to complete all or part of their student teaching experience in their current non-public schoolwork setting while being paid as a staff member. Based on the Public Act 094-1110, in January of 2007, those candidates with at least one year of experience in a school-based or community-based early childhood program may complete the student teaching requirement for their Type 04 Certification with their current employer as long as that experience meets the requirements of the college or university’s early childhood preparation program. Check with individual college and university Type 04 degree programs regarding their specific requirements.

  • I have a teaching certificate from another state. Will ISBE accept this certificate and allow me to teach in Illinois?

    Candidates from other states can demonstrate that they have met Illinois certification requirements by presenting a valid, comparable certificate from another state or by presenting a State-Approved Program Verification Form signed by an official from the recommending institution in the other state and bearing the college’s seal. Candidates from other states are evaluated on an individual basis, and acceptance of certification from other states without additional coursework is not guaranteed. Consult an approved teacher preparation program in Illinois for assistance. An Illinois-approved teacher education program must recommend candidates from other states.

  • I am still confused. Where can I look for assistance?

    Call Gateways to Opportunity and ask for a Professional Development Advisor (PDA) at (866) 697-8278. Or, you may also visit the ISBE Web site or contact your local ROE.

    *Note: The information given in this document does not contain all possible options for earning a Type 04 early childhood teaching certificate. It is important to explore all options available. The information contained is intended to get you started and hopefully point you in the right direction.

    This information was compiled by Gateways to Opportunity Professional Development Staff at INCCRRA, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, and members of the Professional Development Advisory Council (PDAC).




Gateways to Opportunity is funded by public and private support including the McCormick Foundation, the Grand Victoria Foundation,    

INCCRRA Logo     IDHS Logo