This program is designed for residents of Pennsylvania currently employed by a DHS Licensed Early Childhood Education program and has a high school diploma or GED. Potential Apprentices must be working with Infants, Toddlers, or Preschool children and average 25 hours of work per week to be eligible. The state-wide apprenticeship model aims to provide working educators with the opportunity for educational coaching and mentorship while applying their learning directly to the work that they do in the classroom.
*Early Childhood Educators working in a School-age, Pre-K Counts or Head Start/Early Start classrooms are not eligible for Apprenticeship*
Benefits of the Apprenticeship track include; opportunities for wage and pay equity, direct application of learning in their workday, on-site coaching, mentorship, and additional resources for their success. For employers, benefits include a partnership with the college, the elevation of their workforce with immediate and direct results to their program, and opportunities for leadership and growth experiences through coaching and mentoring.
Apprentices take three 10-week courses: ECA EARL 106 Early Childhood Development and Learning, ECA EARL 217 Child, Family and Community, and ECA EARL 244 Early Childhood Professionalism. Courses are taught via Zoom one night per week and students will have coursework to complete on their own. Students who partake in the CDA Apprenticeship program will finish the courses ready to apply for their Child Development Associate® credential with the Council for Professional Recognition. Upon successful completion of all three courses, the Apprentice can apply to the college and continue into the Early Childhood Infant-Grade 4 AAS Degree program and be awarded 9 credits towards this degree.
AAS Early Childhood Infant-Grade 4 Learn and Earn: Following an Apprenticeship model, these students will enroll in the Early Childhood Birth-Grade 4 AAS Degree program and receive support from First Up. Students who convert from the NCC CDA to the AAS Degree will be awarded 9 credits. Students who receive their CDA Education from other institutions will be awarded 6 credits. Earn and Learn students can attend courses in person or Online.