Scholarships available for local childcare providers

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By Karey Smith

In these tough economic times, tuition and professional development funding are often hard to come by.  However, with stimulus funds and a stronger emphasis on new training opportunities, there are glimmers of hope for those seeking to further their education. Among various training scholarships becoming available, there is free tuition money available to those who work in child care and early education fields.

Maysville Community & Technical College is accommodating the needs of local child care providers by offering new courses for the Child Development Associate (CDA) and other Early Childhood Education programs.  Recently the KHEAA released a scholarship opportunity for child care providers whom are employed at least 20 hours a week in an early childhood facility or as a preschool teacher or teaching assistant in a state funded preschool program. The scholarship is $1800 per year (July 1-June 30) which covers the entire tuition for a CDA credential.

The Child Development Associate is a series of three classes and is becoming a required credential for certified centers. Each center’s STAR rating is based on a number of criteria, one of which includes the number of employees with the CDA.  Therefore, centers are given the opportunity for a higher Star rating when more employees are credentialed.

This particular scholarship opportunity offers employees at certified child care chance for free college courses which they can elect to take at the Licking Valley Campus in Cynthiana. The Licking Valley Campus is currently serving over 77 child care centers with continuing education training required by the state. Though Early Childhood Education classes are not new to the Licking Valley Campus, this scholarship opens doors to the employees of child care centers because it takes away financial barriers. Some other colleges can honor this scholarship; however the convenience to train locally and support the Licking Valley Campus is enticing for child care providers and Early Childhood educators here in the community.

In recent semesters early childhood education courses have been offered through ITV classes. In this setting, the instructor has taught from the Maysville Campus and the course is broadcast through satellite on the Cynthiana and Rowan campuses. To accommodate the students who desire a traditional classroom, a Thursday evening course led by Inez Burgan will be offered for the fall 2009 semester.

Any individual or child care center director interested in receiving more information about the CDA program or scholarship information should contact Karey Smith at 859.234.8626 ext 66429.