Teacher Certification

Little Lukes is the leader in quality preschool programming for Central New York. Our educators are encouraged to seek B-2 Certification in Early Childhood Education and B-2 Special Education.

Reimbursement for B-2 Certification in Early Childhood or B-2 Special Education

Ask your center director at Little Lukes about financial reimbursement of exam, application and college coursework expenses to add this Birth - Grade 2 certification for Early Childhood Education and/or Birth - Grade 2 certification for Early Childhood Students with Disabilities (Special Education B-2).  Director & Regional Director approval is required for reimbursement and only paid out after B-2 TEACH certificate received and confirmed online. 

Look at the TEACH website to research requirements. Adding these 2 certifications often require only 2 additional classes in early childhood education and 1 or 2 TEACH exams  (assuming you already have NY State Teacher certification in 1-6, Literacy or Special Education).  These certifications allow you to work with Preschool or Kindergarten age groups, or in Early Intervention (ages 0-3) for Special Education.

  • Birth - Grade 2 Certification for Early Childhood Education
  • Birth - Grade 2 Certification Special Education - Early Childhood / Students with Disabilities  

Need Help With NY State Teacher Certification Requirements?

Contact your county's Regional Certification Office in the local BOCES for Teacher Certification Review.  Everyone's situation is different and requires a transcript review to determine steps required to add the additional certification.  In Oswego County call CiTI BOCES at (315) 963-4216, Cayuga Onondaga BOCES call (315) 253-0361, OCM BOCES call (315) 433-2628, Jefferson Lewis BOCES call (315) 779-7024.

Teacher Certification Requirements in NY State

Additional Early Education Coursework Required for B-2 Teacher Certifications

Look at local colleges for options to take the 2 additional Early Education classes needed to add the B-2 Teacher Certification.  

Try Open SUNY  http://open.suny.edu/courses for some online courses available within the NY State SUNY system. 

Contact OCC: Patty Sofranko 315-498-2064 about reduced cost Early Childhood Education classes and assistance with application and EIP funding.  The ECCAL program offers early childhood classes with a borrowed textbook and reduced rate, and leads to OCC college credit!  Intro to Early Childhood Class at OCC.  $204 is an amazing discounted price for 3 college credits in Early Childhood Education. 

Learn more about the requirements for Early Childhood Education Birth-Grade 2http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/stdl-ec.html

See the Inventory of Registered Programs  http://www.nysed.gov/heds/IRPSL1.html 

Please note that this information is meant to be a helpful resource, as requirements may change at any time please verify all Teacher Certification requirements via NY State Education Department and your Regional Certification Officers at BOCES. Little Lukes is not an expert in teacher certification and every teacher's education situation is different.

New York State Education Department Office of Teaching Initiatives   www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert  (518) 474 – 3901  tcert@mail.nysed.gov

Teacher & Therapist Loan Forgiveness

Learn about our Teacher & Therapist Federal Loan Forgiveness for Preschool Teachers and PT OT SLP at Little Lukes Preschool:  https://www.littlelukes.com/article/little-lukes-teachers-and-therapy-professionals-eligible-for-federal-loan-forgiveness-programs.html

Learn about Perkins Loan Forgiveness for Preschool Teachers with Little Lukes:  https://www.littlelukes.com/article/college-loan-forgiveness-for-teachers-perkins-loan-repayment.html

Special Education Teacher & Preschool Teacher Jobs in Central New York

Learn more about opportunities for Preschool Early Childhood Education Teachers and Special Education Teachers with our Little Lukes team!  Contact apply@littlelukes.com or call Darci at (315) 326-3345 for details!  We have job opportunities in several settings serving children in Early Intervention, Preschool center-based, Preschool Itinerant and Preschool Lead Teacher.

Teacher Assistant Certification Requirements 

Guide to New York State Teacher Assistant Certification

Please note that this information is meant to be a helpful resource, as requirements may change at any time please verify all Teacher Assistant Certification requirements with NY State.

Application Information

All applications are submitted electronically through the Office of Teaching Initiatives website at:www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert

1.    Click on “TEACH Online Services.” 

a.    If you do not have a NY.gov TEACHER account, you will need to create one. 

b.    If you have previously created a TEACH account, click “Login to TEACH.” 

c.    If you have forgotten your username and/or password click on the link to regain your access or you may contact the NYSED TEACH Helpline directly at: (518) 486-6041.

2.    Once the login is complete, click on “TEACH Online Services.” From your TEACH “Home,” under the subtitle “Online Application,” click on “Apply for Certificate.” 

a.    Area of Interest: Other School Service

b.    Subject Area: Teaching Assistant

c.    Grade Level: Pre K-12 – All Grades

d.    Title: Teaching Assistant

e.   Type of Certificate: Select the level of certificate sought (see Teacher Assistant Requirements later in this brochure).

3.    Select your Regional Certification Office (either Oswego County BOCES or Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES) to review your application and submit payment by credit card or money order.

4.    Submit all supporting documents (workshop verification, sealed transcript, etc.) to your Regional Certification Office (contact information on the back of this brochure).

Other Requirements

Child Abuse Workshop(both counties)

·     Online at www.nysmandatedreporter.org

·     Cost: Free 

·     Go to the website below & follow the prompts to have your SED required certificate mailed to you.

o  www.nysmandatedreporter.org/MRNYSEDCertification/

ATAS Exam Information & Registration(both counties)

·     www.nystce.nesinc.com    Cost: $79.00

Fingerprinting (both counties)

·     www.identogo.com   Cost: $102.00   The ORI Number is: TEACH

School Violence Prevention Workshop (SAVE)(both counties)

·     www.gstboces.org/save  Cost: $23.00   Print out both the NYSED certificate of completion & certification of completion.

Dignity for all Students Act Workshop (DASA)

·     Oswego County   www.CiTiboces.org

§  Click on Instructional Support Services

§  Click on DASA box (at the bottom of the page) 

§  Click on Register for Events (on the right hand side of the page)

§  Search for your class & follow prompts to register  Cost: $75.00

·     Onondaga County http://www.ocmboces.org/dignity 

§  Click on Dignity Act Certification Course Registration

§  In keyword type “Dignity” & click search

§  Click on the course & register/sign in now (at the bottom of the page) & follow prompts to register  Cost $100Cost: $100.00

Teacher Assistant Requirements

All interested applicants must apply for a Level 1 Certification first. 

Application fee at each level is $35.00.

Level 1 Requirements: This certificate is valid for 3 years and may be renewed for an additional 3 years if applicant is unable to obtain the 1 year of experience required to progress to Level 2.

·     Copy of High School Diploma, GED, or High School Equivalency (HSE) ORan official High School or College Transcript that includes a degree conferral

·     Must take & pass the Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (ATAS) Exam

·     Child Abuse Identification & Reporting Workshop

·     School Violence Prevention & Intervention (SAVE) Workshop

·     Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Workshop

·     Fingerprint Clearance

To continue to be a Teacher Assistant at this point, the applicant must have completed the Level 1 requirements & apply for the Level 2 or Level 3 depending on the amount of coursework completed.


Level 2 Requirements: Valid for 3 years & is non-renewable.

·     9 semester hours of coursework completed that is applicable toward an associate or baccalaureate degree

·     1 year of Teaching Assistant experience under the Level 1 certificate


Level 3 Requirements: After 3 years under the level 2 certificate, the applicant must then apply for the Level 3 certificate to remain a Teacher Assistant. The Level 3 certificate is continuously valid as long as the professional development* requirement is satisfied.

·     18 semester hours of coursework completed that is applicable towards an associate or baccalaureate degree

·     1 year of Teaching Assistant experience under the Level 1 certificate.

*Professional Development Requirement is considered as coursework or other district approved activities or the equivalent. Applicant must reach 75 hours of professional development every 5 years. The applicant and the school district are both responsible for tracking the PDP hours. 

Reimbursement of Expenses Related to TA Certification

Please be sure to save proof of payment and receipts for all certifications, exams and fees to apply for reimbursement from Little Lukes.  See your director or contact hr@littlelukes.com for information on reimbursement.  We will reimburse everything after your TA certification is approved and visible online.  You have 90 days from hire to complete the TA requirements. See your director at Little Lukes with any issues.

Reduced Cost College Classes for TA & B-2 Certification

Contact OCC: Patty Sofranko 315-498-2064 about reduced cost Early Childhood Education classes and assistance with application and EIP funding.  The ECCAL program offers early childhood classes with a borrowed textbook and reduced rate, and leads to OCC college credit!  Intro to Early Childhood Class at OCC.  Most classes are $50-$200, an amazing discount, and are eligible for grant funding!

Important Contact Information

New York State Education Department Office of Teaching Initiatives


PO Box 22064

Albany, NY 12201

(518) 474-3901



Regional Certification Officers:

Oswego County:

Lisa Spencer

Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation CITI (BOCES)

179 County Route 64, Mexico, NY 13114

(315) 963-4216


Onondaga County:

Elaine Liszewski

OCM BOCES Regional Certification Office

PO Box 4754, Syracuse, NY 13221

(315) 433-2628