VTAEYC and the VT Department of Labor collaborate to offer the Vermont Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship Program for early childhood educators seeking education and experience in the field. Employers who are interested in supporting an apprentice match the apprentice with a qualified mentor, who is an educated and experienced employee in their workplace. Apprentices document 4,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training, complete a specific sequence of six or seven college courses, and participate in additional community-based trainings to gain the knowledge and skills needed to work more effectively in the field. Apprentices work at least 30 hours per week and the program typically takes about two years to complete.

Interested in applying or want more information? Visit T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Vermont or contact Paula Nadeau and Brenda Schramm with specific questions at teachearlychildhooodvermont@vtaeyc.org or (802) 387-0870.


Apprentices come from a variety of backgrounds. Typically they are individuals new to the field and/or individuals who have not had formal education in early childhood education. Apprentices must commit to fully participating in the training program.

Apprentices must meet the the following requirements:

What are the benefits for apprentices?

  • Support and guidance from a qualified mentor at their workplace
  • Earn 18-21 credits through successful completion of the six or seven college courses
  • Comprehensive T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Vermont scholarship that covers tuition, textbooks, paid release time, and provides an access stipend each semester
  • Paid a bonus upon successful completion of each T.E.A.C.H. scholarship contract
  • Gain additional skills and knowledge from required community based training
  • Gather all the tools needed to complete their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential in apprenticeship, if desired
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion as a Child Development Specialist from the Department of Labor. This is a professional credential that is recognized nationwide as a Standard of Quality
  • Become eligible to earn a Level IIIA certificate on the Northern Lights Career Ladder
  • May be eligible for a bonus from the Child Development Division upon successful completion of apprenticeship

I’m interested! How do I find an employer who will sponsor me as an apprentice?

You can explore potential employers that have participated in sponsoring child care apprentices on the VT Department of Labor’s list. Please note, these programs may not currently be hiring or looking for apprentices. If you are applying for a position or are currently employed at an early childhood education program, ask the employer if they will sponsor you. Employers who are interested in becoming sponsoring programs can contact VTAEYC.

I’m ready! How do I apply?

Visit T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Vermont or contact Paula Nadeau and Brenda Schramm with specific questions at teachearlychildhooodvermont@vtaeyc.org or (802) 387-0870.


Mentors are experienced head teachers, assistant directors, program coordinators, directors, and others who have agreed to provide guidance and support to the apprentice. Mentors have extensive experience working with young children and have a minimum of an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field. They are willing to provide ongoing support and on-the-job mentoring to the apprentice, and submit monthly documentation of observations and assessments to VTAEYC.

Requirements for mentors:

  • Have the experience and education to enable them to be a good role model
  • Have a minimum of a Level IIIB on the Northern Lights @ CCV career ladder (AA degree in Early Childhood Education or a minimum of 18 college credits directly related to ECE)
  • Want an opportunity to share their experience and expertise with a co-worker
  • Commit to the apprentice training program, which includes weekly activities such as formal assessments and meetings with your apprentice to discuss your observations
  • Mentors also agree that supervision and assessment within the Vermont Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship program will be part of their work. VTAEYC cares about the development of early childhood educators at all levels and works to ensure the framework for this educational support meets the needs of the “apprentice team” of apprentice and mentor. Both are truly partners learning and working together.
  • Must work on-site with the apprentice they are mentoring

What are the benefits for Mentors?

  • Attend mentor training at no cost with the option to receive credit
  • Develop leadership and mentoring skills while supporting their apprentice mentee
  • Use their knowledge and experience to support and guide their mentee’s professional development and examine best practices for working with children from a new perspective
  • Are eligible for stipends up to $1200 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 and growth as a leader in your profession!