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

  • What are the expectations of the administrative home for Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. and Step Up to WAGE$?

    Administrative homes have the following expectations:

    • Be currently operating with 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status and be in good standing, financially;
    • Have an existing statewide presence (or regional, if only regional) across your early care and education workforce community;
    • Agree to participate in the Center’s administrator orientation and training;
    • Have no inherent conflict of interest related to making scholarship or supplement awards;
    • Sign a joint Memorandum of Agreement with Child Care Service Association (CCSA) which outlines responsibilities for each party;
    • Submit an operational budget that details administrative and direct scholarship or supplement costs;
    • Agree to use the T.E.A.C.H. or WAGE$ database and adhere to the specific database agreement;*
    • Describe and attest to your capacity for having an adequate infrastructure that includes program operations, fiscal and IT support; and
    • Accept the Center’s guidance for the recruitment of scholarship and supplement counselor and program administrator positions.
  • What resources and supports will Step Up administrative homes receive?

    Administrative homes will receive the following:

    • T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ database and consultation;
    • Programmatic technical assistance; and
    • Templates of essential materials needed to launch and administer the Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. or Step Up to WAGE$ program.
  • Do the Step Up application packets include start-up costs, such as technology, administration, etc.?

    The Annual Fee covers initial and ongoing program training, technical assistance, database and consultation and essential templates to implement the Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. or Step Up to WAGE$ program. View the Fee Schedule.

  • What documentation is needed as part of the application?

    The complete application must be accompanied by:

    • a funding commitment statement from the funder,
    • letters of support from at least two (and no more than five) early care and education-focused organizations and
    • a copy of the most recent financial audit.
  • Is an existing T.E.A.C.H. or WAGE$ program eligible for the Step Up model? Or is this only for those states who do not participate now?

    If there is an existing T.E.A.C.H program in your state, you are eligible to participate in the Step Up WAGE$ program if WAGE$ is currently not being offered in your state. The current program administrator in the state would be the administrative home for the additional program. (If you are a WAGE$ state without T.E.A.C.H., this would be the same.)

  • Is it possible for a city, county or region to participate if a state does not apply?

    Yes, it is possible for a county or region to administer a Step Up program. Please reach out to the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center for additional discussion if a city, county or region wishes to participate.

  • Can individual early childhood educators and employers participate in Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. and Step Up to WAGE$ if the state does not support these programs?

    No, an individual early childhood educator or employer cannot participate without a Step Up program being available in the state.

  • What are the major differences between the Step Up Programs and the traditional T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® and Child Care WAGE$® Programs?

    The major differences include:

    • The Step Up programs are designed to utilize the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support a state’s early education workforce and demonstrate short-term impact.
    • Administrative homes will sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and not a full, traditional license. Step Up programs will not have use of the T.E.A.C.H. or WAGE$ logos. A Step Up logo will be available. The MOA will support the implementation of these programs during the ARPA funding timeline and not go beyond that timeframe.
    • Administrative homes will receive essential templates to support a rapid timeline for administration and program expenditures. There will be fewer options available than during a full license.
    • An effort has been made to streamline and simplify some of the administrative requirements found within traditional T.E.A.C.H. and WAGE$ programs to allow this opportunity for states.
  • What is a reasonable caseload for staff working directly with applicants and participants of Step Up to T.E.A.C.H and Step Up to WAGE$?

    Caseloads will vary by funding allocation and the job responsibilities you expect for each staff role. The Center can provide technical assistance to participating states to help answer staffing questions.

  • Is there flexibility in the Step up to T.E.A.C.H. or Step Up to WAGE$ programs for school-age provider participation?

    Program eligibility will vary between Step up to T.E.A.C.H. and Step Up to WAGE$.

    • T.E.A.C.H. models are developed and approved in coordination with the National Center; if the state wants to support early childhood educators working with school-age children, that can be discussed during model development.
    • WAGE$ models do not support recipients working with school-age children.
  • Once the Step Up program has ended can a state continue with T.E.A.C.H or WAGE$?

    Yes, the MOA and Step Up programs will prepare a state to move into full licensure if funding can be secured. As a state supports the early childhood workforce, the needs will likely go beyond the ARPA funding timeframe. Full licensure will continue to support the early childhood workforce in your state with evidence-based solutions that are supported through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center at Child Care Services Association.

Additional Questions?

Contact the following point persons:

• CCSA President, Marsha Basloe

• Step Up to T.E.A.C.H., Edith Locke

• Step Up to WAGE$, Allison Miller

• Database Information, Jill Arnold