1. What is the Vermont Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program?

Apprentices are employed in early childhood programs and have the desire to gain knowledge and improve their skills through a formal training program. This involves on-the-job training with a mentor in their workplace and completing related instruction (6 or 7 college courses) and required community-based trainings. Apprentices must commit to fully participate in the training program and meet the eligibility requirements of the T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship.

2. Who are the Apprentices?

Apprentices are employed in early childhood programs and have the desire to gain knowledge and improve their skills through a formal training program. This involves on-the-job training with a mentor in their workplace and completing related instruction (6 or 7 college courses) and required community-based trainings. Apprentices must commit to fully participate in the training program and meet the eligibility requirements of the T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship.

3. Who qualifies to be an Apprentice?

Apprentices must:

  • Be currently employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a Vermont licensed child care program or Agency of Education setting with a qualified mentor available on site.
  • Be at least 18 years of age with a High School Diploma or GED, or be at least 16 and enrolled in a high school or technical center course of study that includes employment within the community.
  • Have the ability to enroll as a CCV student and access the courses.
  • Have the support of their employer to share the cost of the T.E.A.C.H. Apprenticeship Scholarship.
  • Have been working at their current employer 90 days prior to signing a T.E.A.C.H. contract.
  • Commit to continue working at their present program for one year after each T.E.A.C.H. contract.

4. What are the benefits for Apprentices?

Apprentices:

  • Receive the support of their employer to participate in the Vermont Early Childhood Apprenticeship program.
  • Receive support and guidance from a qualified mentor at their worksite.
  • Gain additional skills and knowledge from required community based training.
  • Earn 18-21 credits through successful completion of the six or seven college courses.
  • Have the option to complete their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, during their time in apprenticeship.
  • Are allocated 3 hours of paid release time through their employers for each week they are in class.
  • Receive access stipends, reimbursement towards textbooks and tuition support.
  • Receive a bonus for each successfully completed T.E.A.C.H. scholarship contract.

5. When can I join the Apprenticeship Program?

Apprentices can apply to join the Apprenticeship Program and begin working with their mentor at any time. Your specific schedule for starting college courses will depend on various criteria such as:

  • The schedule for your entry into college courses through Community College of VT (CCV).
  • The processing of application paperwork from the apprentice, mentor, and employer.
  • The availability of T.E.A.C.H. scholarships which are issued as funding is available.

6. How do I join the Vermont Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program?

For information on joining the Vermont Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program, contact T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® VERMONT: Brenda Schramm, teachearlychildhooodvermont@vtaeyc.org or (802) 387-0870.

7. How do I find an employer that will sponsor me as an Apprentice?

New sponsors join us every year. When seeking employment, or once you are hired at a licensed child care program, please talk with the director about your interest in the Vermont Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program. Together you can determine whether they might be interested in sponsoring you as an apprentice.

You can explore potential employers that have participated in sponsoring child care apprentices on the VT Department of Labor’s Sponsor List.

8. How much does it cost to participate in the Vermont Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program?

As part of the T.E.A.C.H. Apprenticeship scholarship, apprentices will contribute 10% of the cost of tuition, fees, and books. Employers will contribute 10% of the cost of tuition and fees, provide 3 hours/week release time for each apprentice, and give a 1.5% salary increase upon each successfully completed T.E.A.C.H. contract.

These costs are offset by:

1) a bonus paid to apprentices at the end of each successfully completed contract

2) partial reimbursement for release time for up to 3 hours a week for each apprentice, as per the contract agreement

Tuition, book, access, release time, and bonus supports are included in the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship.  Please refer to the Financial Example: Typical Annual T.E.A.C.H. Apprenticeship Contract. This document is intended to be used for informational purposes only.

9. Which courses will I take as an Apprentice?

Courses will be offered directly through CCV and apprentices are expected to attend one course per semester. Over the course of apprenticeship, apprentices will take:

  • Dimensions of Self and Society (when applicable)*
  • Communication in the Early Childhood Education and Afterschool Workplace
  • Child Development
  • Supporting Young Children with Diverse Abilities
  • Curriculum Development for Early Childhood Education
  • Program Management for Early Childhood Education
  • Leadership, Mentoring and Supervision for Early Childhood and Afterschool Practitioners

Participants earn 3 credits from CCV upon successful completion of each course.

*This course requirement may be waived for students who have successfully completed 5 or more college courses. In order to determine this, your CCV advisor must review your transcript.

10. Who are the Mentors?

Mentors are experienced head teachers, assistant directors, program coordinators, directors, and others who have agreed to provide guidance and support to the apprentice.

11. Who qualifies to be a Mentor?

Mentors:

  • Have the experience and education to enable them to serve as role models and resources.
  • Have a degree in Early Childhood Education or a minimum of 18 college credits directly related to ECE.
  • Desire the opportunity to mentor and commit to supporting an apprentice for the full term of the apprenticeship program, 2+ years. This includes formal observations and meetings with the apprentice to discuss observations and strategies to build skills on the job.
  • Work in the same regulated child care program setting (as the apprentice) for at least 30 hours per week and are readily available to support the apprentice through both formal and informal mentoring.

12. What are the benefits for Mentors?

Mentors:

  • Attend mentor training, offered at no cost with option to receive credit
  • Develop leadership and mentoring skills while supporting an apprentice
  • Use their knowledge and experience to guide their mentee’s professional development and examine best practices for working with children from a new perspective
  • Are eligible for stipends up to $1000 annually for timely completion of mentoring activities and submission of documentation to VTAEYC by the 10th of each month
  • Receive the appreciation for a job well done!

13. Can I have a mentor who doesn’t work for my employer?

No. To meet VT Department of Labor requirements, apprentices and mentors must work in the same regulated child care program. This allows facilitation of regular assessment of on the job skills and guidance through this professional journey. Apprentices and mentors must have the support of their employer to participate.

14. Who are the sponsors?

Sponsors are employers who agree to support an apprentice/mentor team in the Vermont Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program. The program must be a Vermont regulated child care or Agency of Education setting, with no unresolved violations within the last 12 months, or history of recurring violations, as defined by Child Development Division licensing regulations. Programs must be participating in, or willing to participate in, a quality initiative such as STARS, Head Start or NAEYC/NAFCC accreditation. Sponsors may have up to two employees on active T.E.A.C.H. Scholarships.

15. What are the sponsor responsibilities?

Sponsors:

  • Need qualified mentors on site who are willing to work closely with less experienced staff.
  • Commit to the process of ongoing professional development for their staff members.
  • Should think carefully about which staff members would be a good match for this on-the-job training program and scholarship model.
  • Ensure that the apprentice/mentor team has adequate release time during the regular work week for on-the-job support, including regular observations/assessments and meetings.
  • Document a progressive wage scale during and upon completion of the 4000-hour training program, as prescribed in the Standards of Apprenticeship approved by the VT Department of Labor.
  • Enter into a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship contract for each year their apprentice is in class.
  • Provide 3 hours/week of paid release time for each apprentice during school terms.
  • Ensure their apprentices receive a 1.5% pay increase upon successful completion of each T.E.A.C.H. contract.
  • Provide proof of participation, or willingness to participate, in a quality initiative such as STARS, Head Start, or NAEYC/NAFCC accreditation.

16. What are the benefits for sponsors?

Employers:

  • Benefit from participating staff members building strong and open relationships; stronger teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Benefit from participants engaging in reflective practices, which will enhance staff’s quality over time.
  • Benefit from a more skilled and better educated staff; completing Apprenticeship qualifies employees as Teacher Associates under Child Development Division licensing regulations.
  • May use participation in the Apprenticeship Program for points in the Staff Qualifications Arena, if the program participates in STARS, the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. Completed apprentices are able to attain a Level IIIA certificate on the Northern Lights Career Ladder, which is worth 9 points. In addition, each college course earns 45 hours of professional development.
  • Sign, with their apprentice, a contract with T.E.A.C.H., which states apprentices will stay at their employer for one year after the end of each educational contract.
  • Receive partial reimbursement for the 3 hours/week of paid release time granted to Apprentices.

17. What is the role of the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children?

The Vermont Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program (VECAP) is managed in collaboration with the VT Department of Labor, through the efforts of Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC) and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Vermont. As a statewide, not-for-profit organization, VTAEYC blends state and federal funding, private foundation and community grants, membership dues and private donations to benefit apprenticeship. VTAEYC funds will contribute to the T.E.A.C.H. Apprenticeship scholarship cost. VTAEYC conducts outreach and orientation, provides materials for apprentice/mentor teams, maintains files, collects monthly documentation from apprentices and mentors, and offers support to all participants throughout the course of the apprenticeship program.

18. What is T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® VERMONT?

Teacher Education And Compensation Helps (T.E.A.C.H.) is a comprehensive scholarship program that provides the early childhood workforce access to educational opportunities and is helping to establish a well-qualified, fairly compensated, and stable workforce for children.  First established in 1990 in North Carolina, T.E.A.C.H. is now available in more than 25 states, including VT.  Scholarships have five main components:

Education             T.E.A.C.H. helps participants earn a required number of college credits in early childhood education.

Scholarship          T.E.A.C.H. offers financial support for college courses, books, travel and time out of work.

Compensation     T.E.A.C.H. participants earn a raise or bonus after each successful completion of a T.E.A.C.H. contract.

Commitment        T.E.A.C.H. participants agree to continue service as a child care professional in their current early care and education setting for one year after the end of the educational portion of their contract.

Counselor            T.E.A.C.H. Counselors offer support to navigate the college process and T.E.A.C.H. paperwork.

The T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship program is designed so that the student, employer, and T.E.A.C.H. Vermont all contribute to the full cost of the educational program.

Vermont currently offers three T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship models to support early childhood educators:

Vermont Early Childhood Apprenticeship available to staff working in Vermont programs with at least 2 employees.

Associates Degree available for family child care providers, staff, directors and owners in Vermont registered or licensed child care programs.

Licensure available for family child care providers, staff, directors, and owners with a Bachelor’s Degree in ECE or related field and who work in Vermont registered or licensed child care programs.

Models 1 and 2 are accessible through the Community College of Vermont.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® VERMONT scholarships are facilitated through the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC). VTAEYC holds the license with T.E.A.C.H Early Childhood ® National to coordinate statewide efforts for T.E.A.C.H. scholarships. T.E.A.C.H. Vermont Scholarships consist of the five main components as outlined above, allowing for 3-15 credits per contract period, depending on the model. Contracts are renewable as long as the scholar and the sponsoring child care program continue to meet the scholarship and model requirements.

Staff from VTAEYC/T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® VERMONT assists scholarship candidates in selecting the appropriate scholarship model to meet the candidate’s educational and career goals; supports candidates in completing the application, orientation and enrollment processes for the scholarship model; act as liaisons between the scholar and CCV staff to ensure requirements from all perspectives are being met; support scholars with resources to troubleshoot educational, financial aid, scholarship and/or life-work balance challenges; support sponsoring centers and directors as requested;  support scholars with adhering to documentation requirements for the scholarship; and ensure compliance with all T.E.A.C.H. National license competency requirements.

19. Important Financial Aid Information

VT Early Childhood Apprentices are required to apply for the VSAC Vermont Advancement Grant and notify VTAEYC/T.E.A.C.H. VT of their financial aid decision.

T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship recipients are required to apply annually for federal financial assistance (FAFSA) and VSAC Vermont Part-Time Grant, and notify VTAEYC/T.E.A.C.H. VT of their financial aid decision.

20. Still have questions?

Contact

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® VERMONT: Brenda Schramm, teachearlychildhooodvermont@vtaeyc.org or (802) 387-0870.