Turn ARPA funds into educational scholarships.
Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. 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.
Since 1990, Child Care Services Association (CCSA) has administered the T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education And Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® program as a comprehensive national strategy that helps 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 (Center) is excited to 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.
The selection process for identifying a prospective Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. administrative home will be state-driven based on adherence to the following guidelines:
- Each state will self-select an organization to serve as the administrative home to operate the Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. program;
- The prospective administrative home will submit a formal application to the Center for review and approval;
- The Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. application must be accompanied by a two-year funding commitment statement from the funder, letters of support from at least two early care and education-focused organizations and a bound copy of the most recent financial audit; and
- Signature by an authorized organizational leader on the Memorandum of Agreement.
If an organization is currently licensed by CCSA to administer the Child Care WAGE$® Program in the state, then that organization would also be the administrative home for Step Up to T.E.A.C.H., if a state decides to participate. In this case, a signed Memorandum of Agreement is required.
Contact us for a full application packet.
Selection criteria for Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. requires that the administrative home be a highly respected organization within its state. The administrative home MUST:
- Be currently operating with 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status and be in good standing, financially;
- Have an existing statewide presence across its early care and education workforce community;
- Agree to participate in the Center’s Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. administrator orientation and training;
- Have the capacity to deliver scholarships statewide, regionally or within at least three geographically diverse communities;
- Have no inherent conflict of interest related to making scholarship awards;
- Sign a joint Memorandum of Agreement with CCSA which outlines responsibilities for each party;
- Submit an operational budget that details itemized administrative and direct scholarship costs;
- Agree to use the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® database and adhere to the specific database agreement;
- Describe and attest to its capacity for having an adequate infrastructure that includes program operations and fiscal and IT support;
- Implement Center-approved cost sharing scholarship models that support CDA Credential Assessment and/or associate and bachelor level degree coursework, leading to degree attainment or licensure; and
- Accept the Center’s guidance for the recruitment of scholarship counselor and program administrator positions.
The Role of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center
The collaborative relationship between the T.E.A.C.H. National Center and the Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. administrative home is vital. The Center will provide a package of “off the shelf” resources to assist the administrative home with its launch of Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. In order to support personnel costs, the Center will charge a start-up fee to the administrative home. In exchange for the start-up fee, the administrative home will receive:
- T.E.A.C.H. database and consultation;
- Programmatic technical assistance; and
- Templates of essential materials needed to launch the Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. program (scholarship application, a sample promotional brochure, a generic policy and procedural manual, a sample outreach plan, an evaluation tool and an approved logo).
Additional or intensive, targeted technical assistance that extends beyond the initial start-up phase will have a separate fee structure.
The Center provides guidelines to administrative homes that are geared toward the development of internal systems for quality control and programmatic oversight, combined with external accountability measures.
- Organizations serving as administrative homes for Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. will submit quarterly reports to the Center.
- Each organization’s T.E.A.C.H. database will be assessed periodically based on the Center’s schedule.
- The performance of the Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program will be virtually monitored by the Center through scheduled check-ins with the administrative team. As part of that process, the Center will learn about the current status of the program’s efforts to:
- Cultivate and maintain its relationships with higher education institutions;
- Implement and promote approved T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program models through outreach activities;
- Survey and evaluate the satisfaction of scholarship recipients and sponsors;
- Maintain recipient database records and track scholarship related activities;
- Orient and supervise program staff;
- Recruit and engage advisory committee members; and
- Engage with leading system partners around issues related to workforce education, compensation and retention.
- The Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. program will be formally monitored at the 18-month point of implementation to ensure that it is on track toward full licensure. After the two- to three-year period within which the ARPA funds must be spent, Step Up to T.E.A.C.H. states will have the option to move onto the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Program and obtain a full license.
What scholarship models will be required in Step Up to T.E.A.C.H.?
Cost sharing scholarship models that could support CDA Credential Assessment and/or associate and bachelor level degree coursework, leading to degree attainment or licensure will be developed with the support of the Center and approved for use with a Step Up program.
Is there flexibility within T.E.A.C.H. to design a comprehensive scholarship without employer-specific commitment?
The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center will work with a state to develop and approve all components of comprehensive scholarship models.
Can you describe the compensation component in T.E.A.C.H.?
All T.E.A.C.H. comprehensive scholarship models include a compensation component that is tied to a specific service commitment to the employer. The compensation component varies across states and is provided annually to recipients when a specified amount of education has been completed. The type and amount of compensation will be configured by each administrative home with approval from the funding entity and the Center.