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What is Child Care Apprenticeship?

VCCICC and the VT Department of Labor collaborate to offer the Apprenticeship Program for child care workers seeking education and experience in the field. Employers who are interested in supporting an apprentice need to match the apprentice with a qualified mentor, who is a more experienced employee in their workplace. Apprentices document 4,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training; complete our sequence of 6 tuition-free college courses; and participate in additional community based trainings to gain the knowledge and skills needed to work more effectively in the field. This program is designed for apprentices who are working at least 30 hours per week and typically takes about 2 years to complete. See FAQ for additional info.

What are the benefits for apprentices?


Who qualifies to be an apprentice?

Apprentices come from a variety of backgrounds. Typically they are individuals new to the field and/or individuals who have not had formal education in the early childhood field. All must have a willingness to commit to fully participate in a training program.


How do I find an employer who will sponsor me as an apprentice?

You can explore potential employers that have participated in sponsoring child care apprentices on the VT Department of Labor’s website. This is a list of all the employers who have supported apprentices in the past 4 years. Please note, these programs may not currently be hiring or looking for apprentices. Employers who are interested in becoming sponsoring programs can contact VCCICC.

Click here to download a PDF file listing Current and Past Apprenticeship Sponsors by county.

Related Instruction

Related Instruction refers to the educational components of the Apprenticeship Program. This includes a sequence of six tuition-free college courses, listed below, which apprentices are required to complete. In addition, apprentices must attend community-based trainings that address specific needs in the child care setting. The majority of these community-based trainings should be completed during the orientation period, before apprentices can sign up for their first college course.

The sequence of six courses is offered in this order, with apprentices attending one course each semester over the course of two years. College courses include:

Click here for course descriptions.

Work Process Hours

Apprentices must document a total of 4,000 hours of supervised work, which can typically be completed within 2 years of full-time employment. Apprentices learn to use an Excel sheet to “code their day” by indicating the number of hours spent working per day in each competency area. Click here to see a chart for competency areas and target hours.

Click here to download the Daily Activities Assesment Tools SAMPLE


Mentors are experienced head teachers, assistant directors, program coordinators, directors, and others who have agreed to provide guidance and support to the apprentice. Mentors have extensive experience working with young children. Typically they have a minimum of an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field. They are willing to provide ongoing support and on-the-job mentoring to the apprentice; and submit monthly documentation of observations and assessments to VCCICC. The employer is responsible for matching the apprentice with a qualified co-worker to serve as a mentor. (Please see more info about specific mentor qualifications under “Sponsors: What types of programs can participate in the Apprenticeship Program?”)


Click here for Hand Washing document (Adobe PDF)

Click here to view the Hand Washing training video

What are the benefits for Mentors?


Mentors also agree that supervision and assessment within the Registered Apprenticeship program will be part of their work for two years. The Vermont Apprenticeship Program cares about the development of all child care providers at all levels and works to ensure the framework for this educational support meets the needs of the "apprentice team" of apprentice and mentor. Both are truly partners learning and working together.


Employers who support staff members in the Apprenticeship Program are called “Sponsors”.


What are the benefits for the child care Sponsor?


How much does it cost to be part of the Child Care Apprenticeship Program?

Each apprentice, mentor and employer must pay a $25 annual membership fee to the VT Child Care Industry and Careers Council while participating in the apprenticeship program.