If You Are An Early Childhood Educator, Now Is the Time to Upskill and Earn Your Associate or Bachelor’s Degree—at No Cost


Scholarships are available now to all Early Child Educators in Illinois and cover tuition, fees, offers a stipend to those eligible

CHICAGO—(August 24, 2022)–Early childhood educators often need support as they grow in their careers while working in the various childcare roles. To this end, City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) in partnership with Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE), are pleased to announce that it is offering the Early Child Educators scholarship that will help current Early Childhood Educators earn their associate or bachelor’s degree.

“As families seek high-quality early childhood services for their children, access to advanced degrees is critical for the workforce,” said City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado. “The early childhood workforce must also be diverse to reflect Chicago’s communities, and at every level, from entry-level to leadership roles. I’m thrilled that City Colleges of Chicago can help support this goal of diversity through this generous scholarship.”

The scholarship covers any tuition or fees remaining after other scholarships and awards have been applied. There is also a stipend for those who qualify. The scholarship is made possible by a generous investment from the State of Illinois and it is available now through 2024. In part, the scholarship was created to address the shortage of qualified early childhood educators in Illinois with an aim toward building a strong, well-prepared workforce. High-quality early childhood services benefit children, families, and the broader economy.

“Ultimately, upskilling our early childhood workforce fosters racial, gender, geographic, and economic equity. This scholarship will greatly support a pathway for diverse early childhood professionals to meet their higher educational goals as they continue to provide high-quality and critical educational environments for our children,” said State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago).

Program Eligibility Requirements: Workforce Requirement – you must be a member of the incumbent workforce, currently working or having worked in the early childhood field, including family child care and center-based care settings, Preschool for All school-based settings and Head Start, that serve children from birth to age 5 and includes teachers, assistant teachers, directors, family child care providers and assistants. Recipients are expected to continue or return to teaching or direct services in the early childhood care and education field in Illinois after they complete their program of study.

For more information and to apply for the scholarship click here. Have questions? Email your questions to: ecace@ccc.edu.