T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® was established in 1990 as evidence was mounting that teachers were leaving the field in droves, looking for better-paying jobs. It was becoming increasingly difficult to attract teachers with college degrees. To try to understand the various issues facing child care providers, Child Care Services Association, Child Care Resources Inc. and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center partnered to conduct North Carolina’s first study of the early childhood workforce. The findings were not surprising. On average, child care teachers made little more than minimum wage. Few had any degrees beyond high school. The child care centers that employed these teachers did not provide compensatory time or dollars for continuing education. Turnover rates were almost 40% annually. From there, T.E.A.C.H. was born.


  • 1989 — Early childhood workforce study conducted in N.C.

  • 1990 — Foundations and two communities’ United Ways funded pilot for 21 T.E.A.C.H. scholarships awarded in N.C.

  • 1992 — First public funds awarded to expand T.E.A.C.H. in N.C.

  • 1994 — T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® name trademarked by Child Care Services Association as interest in the model grows nationally

  • 1996 — Initial states awarded T.E.A.C.H. Licenses

  • 2000 — The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center established

  • 2006 — More than 20,000 T.E.A.C.H. scholarships awarded annually

  • 2008 — T.E.A.C.H. reached $200 million benchmark

  • 2009 — T.E.A.C.H. programs licensed in 21 states, with four more states in development

  • 2013 — More than 120,000 scholarship recipients served since T.E.A.C.H. inception

  • 2019 — T.E.A.C.H. reached $540.6 million benchmark; awarded 165,942nd T.E.A.CH. scholarship; operated in 20 states and D.C.

  • 2020 — T.E.A.C.H. operated in 23 states and D.C.

  • 2021 — Established Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. to utilize ARPA funds; collective ARPA funding among states implementing T.E.A.C.H.