VCCICC: Vermont’s Child Care Apprenticeship Program Celebrates 18th Year

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The Child Care Apprenticeship Program offers a clear path for professional development and is often an introduction to college and courses designed to support Early Childhood Education.

In 2018, thirteen child care employees from across the state completed Vermont’s Child Care Apprenticeship Program. This program is designed for newer employees in the field and involves documenting 4,000 hours of supervised work in a regulated child care program, completing a sequence of 6-7 college courses, and completing at least 27 hours of community based training. It typically takes 2 years of hard work and dedication to complete.

According to a recent graduate, “Apprenticeship is a good direction to go if you are passionate about the work you do. It enabled me to really focus on the areas I needed to improve in and helped me grow as a teacher. I really enjoyed the apprenticeship program and I look forward to being a mentor for other people who are passionate about the work we do!” Sharon Leary, 2018 graduate from KinderStart Preschool in Williston writes, “Apprenticeship is so important. We should all strive to be our best selves. People who care for children should have an understanding for child development, communication, family involvement and much more. Apprenticeship is a great beginning on the path of education.”

Over 45 apprentices are currently working at 37 child care sites across the state. Local child care employers agree to sponsor apprentices by matching them with mentors in the workplace and providing weekly release time for mentoring activity. Mentors are more experienced employees who are willing to support a coworker’s growth on the job. They observe apprentices working with children and assess what they are doing well and where they could use support in building their skills. Mentors also help apprentices look for opportunities to apply what they learn in in the college coursework to their work with children and families.

The Child Care Apprenticeship Program helps employers too, who need qualified staff to provide optimal care and learning experiences for the children and families they serve. Renee Hinton, Director at the Orange County Parent Child Center states, “Participating in Child Care Apprenticeship has helped our program to grow and our staff to see the need for professional growth and development to better themselves, the program and help those around them. Child Care Apprenticeship means quality on the job training to our program with people who are experienced and with the aid of professional, affordable courses. It is paced at the participant’s level and helps them apply learning while working at the same time.”

Apprentices who complete the program have a better understanding of all aspects of running a successful child care program, from best practices in teaching young children, to managing a budget and operating the business.

Staff of the Vermont Child Care Industry and Careers Council (VCCICC) coordinates the Child Care Apprenticeship Program in collaboration with the VT Department of Labor. Funding comes primarily from the State of Vermont Agency of Human Services, Department for Children and Families, Child Development Division; as well as private donations and memberships. Currently, courses in Springfield and Bennington are supported in part by the Vermont Department of Labor’s Workforce Education and Training Fund. Moving forward, VCCICC will be seeking additional support from businesses and other industries that benefit from high quality child care in Vermont. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, please be in touch!

145 Pine Haven Shores Road, Suite #1137

Shelburne, VT 05482

(802) 985-2700


VT Child Care Industry & Careers Council