The California Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Early Educator 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 provides apprenticeships for educators in family child care (FCC), center-based child care, and Head Start programs. The FCC Apprenticeship provides training for family child care providers and covers the cost of tuition, books, a laptop, a Child Development Permit application, and the required background check. Participants receive monthly “wage enhancements” of $100 to $450 after completing four months of the program. The program is run as a cohort model, and coaches visit apprentices twice per month. FCC apprentices earn credentials that culminate in California’s Child Development Permits. Permits are not mandated for licensed FCC providers, but FCC providers who choose to enroll in the state’s Quality Rating Improvement System, Quality Counts California, will earn points tied to funding as they obtain credentials. Funding comes mostly from state and federal initiatives for workforce development. Since its inception, Early Educator Apprenticeship Program staff have raised over $4 million in grant funding, primarily from the California Apprenticeship Initiative and the Workforce Accelerator Fund, with roughly $1.2 million supporting the FCC program. The program has been supported by two California Apprenticeship Initiative grants, four Workforce Accelerator Fund grants, and in-kind donations from individual program sponsors.
Franchino, E. (2020). An Apprenticeship in California Designed for Family Child Care Providers. New America.
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. (2019). Strengthening the Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Identity of Early Educators.
Learning Policy Institute. (2019). Promising Models for Preparing a Diverse, High-Quality Early Childhood Workforce.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn More about 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.