TX Workforce Commission to provide scholarships for child care providers
BROWNSVILLE, TX — The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has launched a partnership with the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children (Texas AEYC) to expand a program that provides scholarships to caregivers working for eligible child care providers. TWC’s grant award of $500,000 will expand scholarship opportunities and increase the knowledge base of early childhood professionals working with young children and thus improving the care children receive.
Texas AEYC has awarded scholarships through the Teacher Education and Compensation Helps (T.E.A.C.H.) program since 2011. Scholarships awarded to child care workers through this program assist with fees for assessment and certification as a Child Development Associate (CDA), a Certified Child Care Professional (CCP), or for tuition at a community college toward an associate’s degree program in child development, early childhood education, or a related field.
This newly-formed partnership will help eligible child care providers achieve Texas Rising Star (TRS) status, which certifies child care providers that meet higher levels of quality beyond the minimum child care licensing standards. Each eligible child care provider works with the child care contractor in one of TWC’s 28 local workforce development boards.
“TWC is committed to working in partnership to increase the quality of child care available around the state,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “These scholarships, and a number of recent investments, work to bolster the skills of these workers and quality of care provided through these local employers.”
With the $500,000 awarded, T.E.A.C.H. anticipates awarding 80 CDA/CCP Assessment Fee Scholarships and 74 associate’s degree scholarships over the next two years. Texas AEYC will determine eligibility for the caregivers applying for scholarship through the program. Caregivers are responsible for a percentage of their tuition and a portion of the cost for books, depending on which type of scholarship they receive, and the associate’s degree model requires caregivers to take 12-15 credit hours per year. Additionally, child care providers employing the caregivers participating in the program are required to pay a bonus to the caregiver upon successful completion.
“This program is an opportunity for the hardworking people who look after Texas’ children to improve their skills while working to put food on the table,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “The scholarships give these caregivers the financial boost they need to advance in this noble profession.”
To be eligible for a scholarship, a caregiver must work for an eligible provider for at least 30 hours per week at less than $15 per hour; be 16 years of age or older; be a Texas resident; and be a U.S. citizen or a noncitizen authorized to work in the United States.