ECE Apprenticeship Program


  • Apprenticeships


In 2017, Pennsylvania established the Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship Apprenticeships: An arrangement between a developing educator and an employer (e.g., a child care program) that allows the educator to participate in on-the-job professional learning and related coursework. Apprenticeship programs are often sponsored by government agencies and/or non-profit organizations. Program, a career pathway that combines college coursework, coaching, and on-the-job learning assessments. Participants can transition from a Child Development Assistant certification to receive an associate degree and/or a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education while working in an early childhood classroom. Each apprentice works with a peer coach who provides onsite coaching and mentorship. The program is funded through the 1199c Training & Upgrading Fund. Employers can support apprentices through a combination of credit-bearing on-the-job learning, classroom instruction, mentorship, and credit for prior learning, and employers are expected to provide incremental wage increases as apprentices advance in their training.


The Pennsylvania Key. (n.d.). Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship.

National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning. (n.d.). The Pennsylvania ECE apprenticeship program.

Child Trends. (2019). Spotlight on Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship Program.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

The early education workforce is the foundation upon which all daily work and any expansion and quality improvement efforts rest. Research suggests that states and cities should invest in the workforce across all early education setting types, focusing on enhancing educators’ professional learning, compensation, and workplace conditions.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:

  • Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
  • Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Pennsylvania

Context matters. Visit the Pennsylvania profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

Visit the Pennsylvania Profile Here
  • The state population is 12,972,008
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 68%
  • The rural percentage is 23.5%