T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project – North Carolina

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In 1990, Child Care Services Association created the Teacher Education and Compensation Helps (T.E.A.C.H.) Early Childhood® Project to address the issues of under-education, poor compensation and high turnover within the early childhood workforce. T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® provides educational scholarships to early care professionals and those who perform specialized functions in the early care system.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® NC is proud to announce our new Early Educator Contract Renewal Incentive Program. This program provides an additional bonus to current T.E.A.C.H. associate or bachelor scholarship recipients who care for infants or toddlers in a NC licensed facility.  The extra bonus will be issued to the recipient in recognition for successfully completing all requirements of the scholarship contract and for  renewing another T.E.A.C.H. contract for the following year.

 Contract Renewal Incentive FAQ


Child Care Services Association is thrilled to announce the continuation of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Masters Degree Scholarship that supports the online Graduate Degree Program in Education with an Emphasis on Early Childhood Leadership & Management. The online program will continue to be offered at UNC Greensboro (now full until 2016) and UNC Wilmington during 2016! 

Informational and application materials can be downloaded here:

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® North Carolina Master’s Degree/Emphasis in Early Childhood Leadership and Management Scholarship FAQ

 T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® North Carolina Master’s Degree/Emphasis in Early Childhood Leadership and Management Scholarship Application

 T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® North Carolina Master’s Degree/Emphasis on Early Childhood Leadership and Management Intent to Apply for Scholarship



Apply for a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship

T.E.A.C.H. can help you get the most out of your child care career! 
If you are interested in learning more about the various T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® scholarship models in North Carolina, download the Program Description sheet below or contact a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® counselor at 919-967-3272 to find out which scholarship is best for you.  

T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Program Descriptions
 T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Program Matrix

If you already know which scholarship model you are interested in applying for, download, print and fill out the appropriate application from the list below. Submit your completed application to the address below.

Credential Scholarships
N.C. Early Childhood Administration Credential Application
N.C. Early Childhood Administration Credential FAQ
CDA Direct Assessment Application
CDA Direct Assessment FAQ

Early Childhood Associate Degree Scholarships
Associate Degree for Teachers, Directors, Family Child Care Providers and Part-Day Programs Application
 Associate Degree Scholarship FAQ
Quick Start/Final Step Associate Degree Application
 Quick Start/Final Step Associate Degree FAQ

Kinder Care Learning Corporation® Scholarships
Kinder Care Learning Corporation® Early Childhood Associate Degree
Kinder Care Learning Corporation® Early Childhood FAQ
 Kinder Care Learning Corporation® Early Childhood Bachelor Degree

Early Childhood Bachelor Degree/Birth-Kindergarten Licensure Scholarships
Bachelor Degree for Teachers, Directors, or Family Child Care Providers Application
Bachelor Degree for Teachers, Directors, or Family Child Care Providers FAQ
Bachelor Degree Practicum Only Application
Bachelor Degree Practicum Only FAQ
 Quick Start/Final Step Bachelor Degree Application
 Quick Start/Final Step Bachelor Degree FAQ
Birth-Kindergarten Licensure Application
Birth-Kindergarten Licensure FAQ
Birth-Kindergarten Practicum Only Application
 Birth-Kindergarten Practicum Only FAQ

Stipend-Based Scholarships
Preschool Add-On Application
Associate Scholars Application
Stipend Based Scholarship FAQ

Race to the Top Scholarships
Early Care and Education Community Specialists Application
Early Care and Education Community Specialists FAQ

Submit your completed application to:
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project 
P.O. Box 231 
Chapel Hill, NC  27514 

Or fax: (919) 967-7040

Conference cover T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Project North Carolina Annual Report 2014-2015

(PDF file | 
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T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project Goals

  • To provide educational scholarship opportunities for people working in regulated early care centers and family child care homes
  • To increase the knowledge base of early care and education professionals working with young children, thus improving the care these children receive
  • To encourage early care and education professionals and organizations continuing support to educate their staff
  • To provide increased compensation that is directly related to increased education
  • To reduce staff turnover by supporting the above goals while also requiring from participants a one year commitment to early education after their scholarship year
  • To provide a sequential professional development path for teachers, directors and family child care home providers currently in the field
  • To create a model of partnership for improving the quality of care that children in early education programs in North Carolina receive.

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project is an umbrella for a variety of different scholarship programs for teachers, directors and family child care providers working in regulated early education programs in North Carolina. In addition, a Master’s level scholarship opportunity is available to individuals working in early care focused organizations who perform functions on behalf of children and families or directly support early care professionals and early learning programs. 


For more information on the program and it’s outcomes:


Q Who can participate in the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project?
A To be eligible for most T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® scholarships, an applicant must work a minimum number of hours per week in a licensed early care and learning program in an early care focused agency or organization. Some of the T.E.A.C.H. scholarships require applicants to be working a minimum of twenty hours per week in a licensed facility or early childhood focused organization, while others require a minimum of thirty hours per week. Typically, applicants must also have the sponsorship of their employing facility or organization. Teacher and family child care provider applicants must earn less than $14.60 per hour and directors or director/owners must earn less than $15.00 per hour; however, partial scholarships may be available for providers earning just over the maximum. Each scholarship has additional eligibility criteria specific to the scholarship model. Please call or e-mail us for information about additional criteria.


Q Why is the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project needed?
A Research has demonstrated that young children perform better when their teachers have obtained or are pursing higher education and are well compensated. Yet, in North Carolina, less than half of teachers of young children have either two or four year degree. Of those that do, few have degrees in child development or early childhood education. Also in North Carolina and all over the country, early care professionals often make little more than minimum wage and receive few or no benefits. This leads to the inability of the field to attract and retain well-educated professionals. High turnover rates, up to 50% in many centers, can significantly impact continuity of care and create attachment difficulties for children.


Q What are the four components of T.E.A.C.H.?
A Every T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program has four components:
Scholarship: The scholarship usually covers partial costs for tuition and books or assessment fees. Many scholarships require that the recipient receive paid release time and a travel stipend.
Education: In return for receiving a scholarship, each participant must complete a certain amount of education, usually in the form of college coursework, during a prescribed contract period.
Compensation: At the end of their contract, after completing their educational requirement, participants are eligible to receive increased compensation in the form of a bonus (ranging from $50 to $700) or a raise (3% or 4%).
Commitment: Participants then must honor their commitment to stay in their early care program or the field for six months to a year, depending on the scholarship program.


Q What kind of credential or degree can a participant work toward?
A The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project offers scholarships to study Early Childhood Education at all 58 community colleges across North Carolina, as well as scholarships at twenty two bachelor degree granting universities. Early care and education providers and organizations can contract for a minimum of one class to earn the North Carolina Early Childhood Administration Credential, a minimum of one class to earn the North Carolina Early Childhood Credential, or can work toward a Certificate, Diploma, Associate or Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education. The NC Pre-Kindergarten initiative also supports numerous scholarships in order to meet the exceptional educational requirements of its classroom staff. These scholarships include the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholars Program, the Birth-Kindergarten License Scholarship Program, and the Preschool Add-on License Scholarship Program. The scholarship programs currently available in North Carolina are: N.C. Early Childhood Administration Credential Scholarship Program, Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential Assessment Scholarship Program, N.C. Early Childhood Associate Degree Scholarship Program, N.C. Early Childhood Bachelor Degree Scholarship Program, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholars Program, Birth-Kindergarten License Scholarship Program and the Preschool Add-on License Scholarship Program.


Q What are the benefits/results of T.E.A.C.H.?
A Children are the main beneficiaries. They are able to bond with a provider who has made a commitment to the field, who is a specialist in early childhood education, who understands child development and who is sensitive to the needs of the very young. Provider’s benefit by increasing their knowledge and compensation. More than 31,500 child care providers in North Carolina have participated in the program. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project has been successful in improving the education, compensation, and retention of the early childhood workforce. For example in 2014-2015 over 2,500 teachers, directors, and family child care providers received T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project scholarships. Twenty- three (23%) of North Carolina’s child care centers had at least one participant on scholarship. Over 2,100 of those scholarships supported child care professionals taking courses leading to an associate degree in early childhood education. Teachers participating in the associate’s degree scholarship program completed an average of 11 semester hours per contract, saw their compensation improve by over 8% annually and left their child care centers at a rate of less than 10% per year.


Q What have T.E.A.C.H. participants said about the Project?

“T.E.A.C.H. has helped me out a lot with being able to go to school. My ultimate goal is to be a director and I am closer and closer to that goal. Without T.E.A.C.H., I would not have been able to accomplish any of my educational goals.”

                                                                                     Teacher, Durham County


“Words cannot express how much I appreciate all that T.E.A.C.H. has done for me. Without T.E.A.C.H. it would not have been possible for me to return to school. It has been a wonderful journey for me, and I owe my continuing education and all my professional success to T.E.A.C.H.”

                                                                                   Teacher, New Hanover County


“I started using T.E.A.C.H. back in 2007. Without T.E.A.C.H., I could not have financially afford to go to school. I just recently graduated with my AAS in Early Childhood Education and T.E.A.C.H. was a huge part in helping me reach that milestone in my life. I never had problems with receiving assistance from T.E.A.C.H. and I am forever grateful that T.E.A.C.H. was available to help me. I have told other providers about how much T.E.A.C.H. has helped me and how it can help them as well.”

                                                                                   Family Child Care Home Provider
                                                                                   Rowan County


“The T.E.A.C.H. program has positively changed my life. I was thrilled to be a recipient of this grant, without it, I would not be able to return to school. To this day, my T.E.A.C.H. scholarship has enabled me to earn a four start rating at our center, earn my level 1 (soon my level2) Administration Credential and finally the ability to perform my job in a superior fashion.”

                                                                                   Transylvania County


“The scholarship program has allowed me to work toward a BA Degree. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the program.”

                                                                                   Teacher, Bachelor Degree Recipient


“Thank you so much for all you have helped me accomplish. I graduated from the BK Licensure Program in May. I vow to serve children and families using research-based approaches. TEACH has helped me change my perspective on quality education and changed my life.”

                                                                                   BK Licensure Scholarship Recipient
                                                                                   Gaston County

Q How is T.E.A.C.H. funded?
A In addition to the funds contributed by recipients and their sponsoring child care programs, funding for the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project has come from foundations, the United Way, corporations, the Child Care and Development Block Grant and the N.C. General Assembly.


Q What is the history of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project?

With $23,100 from five different funding sources, the Child Care Teacher Education and Compensation Program began on July 1, 1990. The pilot project awarded 21 scholarships to teachers working in centers in Wake, Durham and Orange counties, allowing them to attend one of two community colleges to take courses leading to an associate degree in early childhood education. The pilot was immediately successful and additional funding was garnered from two regional foundations to test the model in four other parts of the state. In 1992, the first public funds (from the Child Care and Development Block Grant) were awarded to expand the program into more areas of the state, add family early care programs and create the Model/Mentor Teacher Program. In early 1993, the program adopted the name of the T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® Project. Additional federal block grant funds were awarded to make the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project available in every county in North Carolina, and a special scholarship was created for the N.C. Early Childhood Credential. Over the next few years, funds were designated by the North Carolina General Assembly for the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Project, additional scholarship models were added with the help of various foundations

From its beginnings in three counties, T.E.A.C.H. now has participants in 98 of the 100 counties in North Carolina. Almost 32,000 early care professionals and organizations have participated since its inception. One-third of the states’ licensed child care centers have at least one T.E.A.C.H. participant annually. Nationally, twenty-five states are actively operating T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®, in addition to North Carolina. T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® continued to grow with the creation of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Technical Assistance Center in 2000.