Apprenticeship Programs

If you are considering a career in Early Childhood Education, these programs are a great way to get started!

The Early Educator Fast Track Initiative (FT) is an innovative program that welcomes new talent into the early care and education workforce, addressing the challenges of recruitment, competitive compensation, high-quality training, retention and ongoing professional development.

Here are the highlights:

  • The initiative recruits strong ECCE employers who need new assistant teachers. Employers must participate in Subsidy and/or Mixed Delivery.
  • Employers agree to hire and pay a specific number of new assistant teachers at a competitive wage. (For example, the competitive wage is $17 per hour in Central Region.)
  • VECF runs a recruitment campaign and screens/interviews candidates. Candidates are referred based on preferred location and employer need.
  • Trainees receive benefits including at minimum paid training, bonuses, professional development and employee discounts on child care. More than half of the currently participating ECCE employers provide health care coverage, paid leave and holidays, retirement, etc.
  • Participants receive four weeks of paid on-line and on-site training (Introduction to Early Childhood; paid by VECF), along with a teacher starter kit and laptop to use for ongoing coursework.
  • New assistant teachers receive a 6 month retention bonus of $500 and a one year retention bonus of $1,000 (both paid by VECF).
  • New assistant teachers benefit from ongoing mentorship, college scholarships in early childhood and coaching on career pathways.
  • This is an opportunity for professional and personal fulfillment—nurturing our littlest learners and growing our future!

Download Information Here:


Tuesday, August 29, 2023 | 1 – 2 p.m.


Meeting our nation’s child care needs depends on the ability to recruit and retain a competent workforce. Registered apprenticeship programs are one way child care and early learning teachers can improve their knowledge and skills while increasing their wages and earning capacity. Apprenticeships support career development and help workers earn credentials, either a state-defined credential, a nationally recognized CDA, or an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Registered apprenticeship programs are active or in development in most states

Join BPC to learn about innovative models designed for child care teachers, Head Start teachers, and family child care providers. Panelists will share strategies for launching and sustaining child care workforce registered apprenticeships.


  • Emily Sharrock | Associate VP, Education Center, Bank Street College of Education
  • Pamm Shaw | Director, Strategic Funding & Partnerships, YMCA of the East Bay
  • Dulari Tahbildar | Director, Rhode Island Child Care Training Program
  • Tara Williams | Associate Director, Early Childhood Initiative, BPC


Linda K. Smith | Director, Early Childhood Initiative, BPC

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