The Vermont Child Care 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 enables participants to obtain a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential while completing six to seven college courses required for the registered apprenticeship. The VT Early Childhood Career Ladder includes a level dedicated to both the CDA and the registered apprenticeship. With the college courses, the program includes 27 hours of community-based training specifically designed for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs). Employers select teachers who can potentially become apprentices, as well as qualified mentors within the same program. The apprenticeship focuses on developing competency through on-the-job learning and uses the Vermont Child Care Industry and Careers Council’s Daily Activities Assessment Tool, which aligns with Vermont’s Early Childhood Core Knowledge and Competencies, Vermont Child Care Licensing Regulations, CDA Functional Areas, and NAEYC best practices to evaluate learning progress.
The VT Child Development Division provides funding for the Apprenticeship Program through funds allocated from the Child Care & Development Block Grant. Funding comes through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood VERMONT program, which pays for 100% of tuition and books, provides an access stipend each semester, provides a $400 contract completion bonus for apprentices, and provides counseling and administrative support for the program. Funding for T.E.A.C.H. Vermont comes from State of Vermont Child Development Division (funds from state and federal levels), the A.D. Henderson Foundation for startup funds, and ECE programs that co-sponsor a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship recipient.
Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d.). VT ECE Apprenticeship Program.
National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning. (n.d.). Early Childhood Education Apprenticeships.
Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d.). Apprenticeship Model.
Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d.). Our Programs.
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.