Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. and Step Up to WAGE$

Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. and Step Up to WAGE$ is a new opportunity for states that have an interest in supporting the workforce through the American Rescue Plan Act to implement a short-to-long term early childhood workforce stabilization strategy.


Demonstration Program Overview

Step Up to T.E.A.C.H.

Since 1990, Child Care Services Association (CCSA) has administered the T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education And Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® as a comprehensive national strategy that helps to address the need for a well-qualified, fairly compensated and stable workforce. Acting on behalf of CCSA, the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center will engage in a modified process to launch Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. in states that have an interest in using designated funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to implement a short-to-long term workforce stabilization strategy.

Step Up to WAGE$

The Child Care WAGE$® Program is a nationally recognized compensation strategy for the early care and education workforce. Child Care Services Association (CCSA) in North Carolina created and implements the program in the state. In addition, other states have licensed the model through CCSA’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center (Center). WAGE$ provides education-based salary supplements or incentives based on six-month periods worked in the same child care program with the goals of increasing compensation, education and retention. These and other important benefits have been achieved throughout the program’s history.

The traditional WAGE$ license identifies multiple expectations to help ensure the quality of the program in each participating state, including various levels of monitoring and assessment. The Center works with each state to develop an education/incentive scale, eligibility and policies and then provides ongoing training and technical assistance with the expectation that each state will continue to pursue necessary funding to sustain and grow the program.

With significant funding coming to states for early care and education through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), states will need to identify the best ways to meet needs in an expedient way and with the understanding that the money is temporary. Workforce supports are critical and states who implement related strategies can take the opportunity to showcase their impact and advocate for sustainable funding.

CCSA is offering a new approach for states wanting to launch WAGE$ with ARPA funds called Step Up to WAGE$. The goal is to offer a modified, “off the shelf” product that can be implemented quickly and can get money into the hands of deserving early educators.


Implement Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. or Step Up to WAGE$ in Your State

Interested states should begin planning now and may ask general/preliminary questions of the National Center at any time by emailing us.