The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is investing in a talent pipeline for the early childhood industry by providing $1,052,881 for six grants to develop child care apprenticeships. The programs awarded are Camp Fire First Texas in Tarrant County and North Central Texas; Collin County Community College District in North Central Texas; Dallas College in Dallas; South Texas College in Hidalgo County and Starr County; the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in four Workforce Development Areas across the state (Cameron County, Gulf Coast, Lower Rio Grande Valley, and Panhandle); and the Heart of Texas Workforce Development Board, Inc. in Waco.
“Apprenticeships are an important tool to provide training for key positions,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “This apprenticeship program will help ensure quality child care is available for working Texas families.”
TWC is working to increase the number of qualified child care workers and has now awarded more $1.8 million to support the development of new Early Childhood Educator Apprenticeship Programs. In addition to the six grants mentioned above, in 2022, TWC awarded three grants for a total of $793,401 to create two new early childhood apprenticeship programs and expand one existing program. Apprentices are full-time, paid employees who earn while they learn.
“TWC is committed to helping child care businesses—many of which are small businesses—find the skilled workers they need to provide a vital resource for our future workforce, “said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “The earn-while-you-learn model of apprenticeships provides Texas employers with yet another choice and will help the Lone Star State maintain and grow the early childhood industry needed for our young, industrious population.”
TWC, in partnership with a workgroup of community colleges, created a sample framework to award college credit for students/apprentices who have completed early childhood Department of Labor (DOL) registered apprenticeship programs and are earning early childhood certificates and degrees at different levels. These individuals would be eligible to have their DOL completion certificate articulated into college credit hours. It is common for child care teachers to have some college or a nationally recognized certification, and streamlining credits helps teachers grow in their profession. The new framework, which all community colleges may elect to use, on the ApprenticeshipTexas webpage.
“The partnership between community colleges and apprenticeship programs is essential to develop trendsetting pathways in early childhood education,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Alberto Treviño III. “As a result, these educators have an opportunity to impact the advancement of future Texans in a high-demand career.”
TWC and its local Workforce Solutions partners serve families and child care providers. Visit the TWC Child Care and Early Learning Services website for more information.