LUME Early Childhood Apprenticeship


  • Apprenticeships


Established in 2016, Lume’s Early Childhood 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. allows participants to receive certification as a Child Development Associate after two years of training. The Lume Institute at University City Children’s Center, in partnership with the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE), has developed the Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship program. SLATE provides financial support for apprenticeship training, and participants are trained by the Lume Institute. The apprenticeship begins with 135 hours (5 weeks) of early childhood teacher training with participants hired as an Early Childhood Worker at a rate of $9.50 per hour. This training is followed by 480 hours of on-the-job training, after which participants receive a Child Development Associate credential and can be promoted to an Assistant Teacher position earning at least $10.50 per hour. After another 1.5 years of work/training experience, apprentices receive the Department of Labor certification as a Childhood Development Associate, resulting in wages of at least $13 per hour.


Lume Institute. (n.d.). Workforce Development. City of St. Louis, Missouri. (n.d.).

LUME Early Childhood.

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 Missouri

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

Visit the Missouri Profile Here
  • The state population is 6,177,957
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 71%
  • The rural percentage is 30.%