Credential Requirements

Because TK is the first year of a two-year kindergarten experience, the credential requirements for TK teachers are the same as those currently required of kindergarten teachers. Job descriptions typically used for TK are the same as those used for kindergarten teachers. Prior experience in early childhood education is especially important in supporting the early learning experiences of younger children in a developmentally appropriate manner.

In 2011, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing released a Credential Information Alert that describes the specific credential requirements per the legislation that established transitional kindergarten. TK teachers need the same credentials that are currently accepted for kindergarten teachers. The credential information alert outlines the following:


Kindergarten-Primary (grades K-3)
Elementary (grades K-9)


Early Childhood (grades preschool-3)
Elementary (grades K-9)

Ryan/SB 2042:

Multiple Subject (grades preschool, K-12 and adults)
Multiple Subject University Intern (grades preschool, K-12 and adults)
Multiple Subject District Intern (grades K-8)
Specialist Instruction Credential in Early Childhood Education

A Multiple Subject General Education Limited Assignment Permit (GELAP), Multiple Subject Short-Term Staff Permit (STSP), or Multiple Subject Provisional Internships Permit (PIP) authorize the same service as a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

The information alert also notes that TK classrooms serving English learners require teachers who are authorized to provide instructional services for English learners (e.g., English Language Development (ELD) or Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE)).