T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® TEXAS Project

As you may recall, the Council recently went through an extensive process to reinvest funding from the TOTS project to new initiatives.  One of our new initiatives is a very exciting partnership with the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children (Texas AEYC) to provide funding to the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® TEXAS Project.  The Council is very committed to supporting early childhood professionals in Texas, and, this partnership allows the Council to actively support professional development opportunities for early childhood professionals in our state!

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® is an innovative, evidence-based initiative that offers a strategy for systematically improving the education, compensation, and retention of the early childhood workforce.  Participants in the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® program receive a scholarship to fund higher education coursework and related expenses towards an Associate's Degree in Child Development or Early Childhood Education, or a scholarship to help pay for the Child Development Associate (CDA) assessment fee.  Participants also receive four hours of paid release time from their employer to pursue their education.  In return, the employers receive a reimbursement for the paid release time, and participants agree to remain with their current employer for a period of time, reducing turnover and increasing retention in the early childhood workforce.  The Council is pleased to partner with Texas AEYC to extend the reach of this program in Texas to more early childhood professionals.

Texas AEYC was awarded the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® TEXAS Project in October 2010 and began issuing scholarships in Spring 2011.  The original start-up area was Central Texas, and, the first year of the program has shown very positive results.  Of the scholarships awarded for the CDA assessment fee, 90% of the participants successfully completed the program and received their CDAs.  The participants pursuing the Associate's Degree have also been successful; 79% of the workers who received scholarships continue to pursue their degree.

Goals of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® TEXAS Project:

  • To provide educational scholarship opportunities for people working in regulated child care centers and family child care homes;
  • To increase the knowledge base of early childhood professionals working with young children' thus improving the care these children receive;
  • To encourage child care programs to support the continuing education of their staff;
  • To provide increased compensation that is directly related to increased education;
  • To reduce staff turnover by supporting the above goals while also requiring from participants a specified time commitment to their sponsoring program after their scholarship year;
  • To provide a sequential professional development path for teachers and family child care home providers currently in the field;
  • To create a model of partnership for improving the quality of care that children in child care programs in receive.

While the original start-up area for the program was limited to early childhood workers in Central Texas, funding from the Council has enabled Texas AEYC to expand the program to all early childhood workers in Texas!  Scholarships are available for early childhood teachers and directors, as well as home-based child care providers.  It is the Council's hope that our funding to the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® TEXAS Project will continue to support early childhood professionals in Texas by enabling Texas AEYC to leverage our support of the program for additional funding from other sources.

Thanks to funding from the Council, Texas AEYC will offer 55 scholarships to early childhood professionals in Texas in Summer and Fall 2012.  Recipients have one year to complete their educational goals, after which a completion bonus will be issued for successful completion in August 2013.  The following is a breakdown of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® TEXAS Project scholarships available in 2012:

  • 20 scholarships to center-based teachers
  • 10 scholarships to family child care providers
  • 15 Child Development Associate assessment scholarships
  • 10 scholarships to center-based directors

The  T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® TEXAS Project offers many benefits to the participants in the program, as well as their employers.  Through the scholarships, participants receive professional development opportunities for higher education or CDA credentialing.  In addition, research on T.E.A.C.H. participants has shown that they are more likely to stay at their current place of employment for longer periods of time, reducing turnover and increasing retention.

Are you an early childhood professional and would like apply for a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® TEXAS scholarship?  Are you a Director who would like to reduce turnover in your center?  Learn more about the requirements for program participants and download an application on the Texas AEYC website!  For more information, contact Texas AEYC at 1-800-341-2392 or email at teach@texasaeyc.org.

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