October 1 marks the start of the new federal fiscal year (FY2023). As has been customary over the past decade or longer, Congress has not approved individual appropriation bills that fund federal agencies and the programs they administer before the start of the fiscal year. Therefore, as in past years, Congress has approved a continuing resolution to keep programs operating and, in some cases, to provide additional funding rather than freeze current spending.
Child Care Services Association’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® North Carolina Program announces its newest scholarship opportunity, the Associate Degree Scholarship for Early Childhood Apprentices. This scholarship was developed with the guidance and support of NC’s Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) to uniquely support the educational and experiential needs of apprentices statewide working in licensed programs that are participating in a Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program.
In North Carolina and across the country, the child care industry is struggling to recruit and retain workers. It’s a tight labor market and child care programs report difficulty in paying wages that are competitive with other community employers (such as Target or Walmart or McDonalds). Unlike other local employers, child care programs are looking for individuals who have a passion for working with children and also have early childhood competencies important for a business based on promoting the healthy development of children.
This fall, Child Care Services Association (CCSA)’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center (National Center) will launch a pilot apprenticeship program in six states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Arkansas Early Childhood Association, Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance of Colorado, Child Care Aware® of Minnesota, Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association, Pennsylvania Child Care Association and Wisconsin Early Childhood Association will work with the National Center to develop pilot apprenticeship programs.
As a life-long child advocate, I’ve come across great ideas that are difficult to pursue because of the siloed way that federal funding is too frequently made available – a specific purpose, specific targeting and eligibility rules and siloed administration. For me, who sees the connection between a family’s need for affordable housing and a parent’s need for child care to obtain and retain employment (which pays the rent), it’s a challenge to integrate the two concepts.