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12 2022

New Childcare Apprenticeship Programs

New Childcare Apprenticeship Programs

Posted by Seven Hills Foundation
Jan 12, 2022
Posted by Seven Hills Foundation

project flourishThe Early Childhood Education workforce in Massachusetts is in crisis. The Department of Early Education and Care recently announced that the number of childcare openings in the system has decreased by 6,000. Contributing to the decrease include COVID-19 and low wages. The pandemic has impacted all female-dominant early childhood programs as the resounding effects of the pandemic have driven women out of the workforce and forced the closure of center-based classrooms and family childcare home businesses. The goal is to grow and stabilize the workforce, reopen slots, and make high-quality childcare more accessible for families.

In February 2021, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) awarded funding to the Center for Childcare Careers (CCC) at Family Services of Central Massachusetts, an affiliate of Seven Hills Foundation, to implement a pilot Childcare Center-Based apprenticeship program in the Commonwealth. The initiative, Project Flourish, welcomed the inaugural class of 13 apprentices on June 23, 2021. Each apprentice is assigned a mentor during the program, which lasts 12-18 months. The apprenticeship begins with 150 hours of bilingual classroom training followed by 2,000 hours of “on-the-job” training with employer partners: YWCA of Central MA, ABC Child Care Bilingual Program, Children’s Nest Academy, Pakachoag Acres Auburn & Millbury, WCAC Head Start Webster & Southbridge, and Guild of St. Agnes Webster. With the success of the first cohort underway, the second cohort started on November 4, 2021.

Project Flourish is a cost-effective model that supports and stabilizes the workforce while preserving cultural and linguistic diversity. Graduates receive an EOLWD Apprenticeship Certificate and the national industry Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. They are also eligible for Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care Teacher licensure or can use the professional development hours toward Lead Teacher licensure and earn up to six credits towards a higher education degree at Quinsigamond Community College.

The success of Project Flourish was the catalyst for CCC to apply to United Way of Central Massachusetts’ Community Challenge to replicate the model for Family Childcare Providers. This apprenticeship model was selected for funding in a competitive live proposal event held at the JMAC Worcester BrickBox Theater. Presenters Leslie Baker and Family Childcare Provider Llanet Montoya made the award-winning case for support. This newly funded model will allow CCC to: build child development knowledge and competency in unskilled, entry-level minority and immigrant workers, provide a career pathway with a range of options, provide a network of support and access to highly- qualified educators in a field that will benefit from retention and quality of care.

Media Inquiries

Bill Stock
Vice President for Government and Community Relations 81 Hope Ave, Worcester, MA 01603
Phone: 508.983.1305
Fax: 508.849.3888
Email: bstock@sevenhills.org
Kathleen A. Myshrall
Vice President of Advancement 81 Hope Ave, Worcester, MA 01603
Phone: 508.983.1302
Fax: 508.849.3888
Email: kmyshrall@sevenhills.org
Jennifer Wentworth
Director of Communications 81 Hope Ave, Worcester, MA 01603
Phone: 508.983.1304
Fax: 508.849.3888
Email: jwentworth@sevenhills.org