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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the VT Child Care Apprenticeship Program (VCCAP)?
Who are the Apprentices?
Who qualifies to be an Apprentice?
What are the benefits for Apprentices?
When can I join the Apprenticeship Program?
How do I join the Apprenticeship Program?
How do I find an employer that will sponsor me as an apprentice?
How much does it cost to participate in the Child Care Apprenticeship Program?
I have heard about the tuition-free college courses for apprentices. Can anyone take these classes?
Which courses are offered and in what order?
Who are the Mentors?
What are the benefits for Mentors?
Can I have a mentor who doesn’t work for my employer?
What is the Employer responsibility?
What are the benefits for the child care employer?
What is the role of the VT Child Care Industry and Careers Council?
What types of child care programs can participate in the Apprenticeship Program?
 

What is the VT Child Care Apprenticeship Program (VCCAP)?

VT Child Care Industry and Careers Council (VCCICC) collaborates with the VT Department of Labor to offer an apprenticeship in the field of child care. VCCAP is a training program where employers match less experienced staff (assistant teachers, individual aids, paraprofessionals, etc.) with mentors (head teachers, assistant directors, program coordinators, directors, etc.) in the workplace for formal training in their classrooms. VCCAP follows the tradition of registered apprenticeship, which combines supervised on-the-job training with 297 hours of formal training hours over a 2-year time period. These training hours include a sequence of 6 tuition-free college courses (18 credits) in the field of early care and education; community based trainings; and 4,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training. Apprentices enroll in one college course per semester while working full time (or close to full time) in child care.

Who are the apprentices?

Apprentices are employed in early childhood programs and have the desire to gain knowledge and improve their skills through a formal training program. This involves on-the-job training with a mentor in their workplace while attending community-based trainings and college courses. Apprentices must have a willingness to commit to fully participate in a training program.

Who qualifies to be an apprentice?

Apprentices:

What are the benefits for apprentices?

Apprentices:

When can I join the Apprenticeship Program?

Apprentices in Chittenden County start a mandatory orientation period in the spring (March/April), with the first college course starting in the fall (September). In other regions of the state, it depends on the timing of our course offerings. Please contact VCCICC for more information.

How do I join the Apprenticeship Program?

Potential apprentices, mentors and sponsors start by attending an informational meeting to learn about the program and the process to join. Contact VCCICC to see if a meeting is scheduled in your community. If not, we will schedule a meeting at your workplace at a convenient time. All apprenticeship candidates are required to complete an orientation period, which typically begins 4-6 months before the college courses start.

During orientation, apprentices begin working with their mentor, start tracking their hours worked on the job, and complete other training requirements. Apprenticeship candidates must demonstrate a commitment to the program, including tracking their hours and working with a mentor, before VCCICC will cover the financial cost of their enrollment in the college courses. Apprentices sign their official Apprenticeship Agreements with the Department of Labor after completing the orientation period and beginning the first college course.

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

You can explore a list of employers who have participated in the Apprenticeship Program. Go to our website, www.vtchildcareindustry.org, click on the Resources tab, then scroll down to “Sponsor” and click the link to view the list. Please note, these programs may not currently be hiring or looking for apprentices. New sponsors join us every year. Once you are hired, please talk with your director about your interest in the Apprenticeship Program and whether they might be interested in sponsoring you as an apprentice.

How much does it cost to participate in the Child Care Apprenticeship Program?

Each apprentice, mentor and employer must pay a $30 annual membership fee to the VT Child Care Industry and Careers Council while participating in the Apprenticeship Program. Employers need to provide adequate time during the month for mentoring activity (observations, documentation, and opportunity for apprentice/mentor meetings), about 30 minutes per week. This cost will vary by program.

I have heard about the tuition-free college courses for apprentices. Can anyone take these classes?

Anyone working with young children, including but not limited to, family child care providers, assistant teachers, individual assistants, head teachers, after-school teachers and program directors are welcome to apply for enrollment in these classes. Courses are offered tuition-free, on a first come, first serve basis, after enrollment of the child care apprentices. Non-apprentice students pay an application fee for each course and purchase their own materials and textbooks.

Which courses are offered and in what order?

Courses are offered, one per semester, in a pre-determined sequence which includes the following six courses.

  1. Communication in the Early Childhood Education and Afterschool Workplace (COM 1015)
  2. Infant and Toddler Development (PSY 2020)
  3. Development of the Young Child: Ages 3-8 (PSY 2025)
  4. Curriculum Development for Early Childhood Education (EDU 2045)
  5. Program Management for Early Childhood Education (EDU 2042)
  6. Leadership, Mentoring and Supervision for Early Childhood and Afterschool Practitioners

(EDU 2041)

VCCICC offers this sequence of courses, as funding is available, at Community College of Vermont sites across the state. Participants earn 3 credits from CCV upon successful completion of each course.

Who are the mentors?

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 on-the-job mentoring and to submit monthly documentation (including assessments) to document their apprentice’s progress. (Please see more info about specific mentor qualifications under “What types of programs can participate in the Apprenticeship Program?”)

Mentors:

What are the benefits for Mentors?

Mentors:

Can I have a mentor who doesn’t work for my employer?

No, to meet US and VT Department of Labor requirements, Apprentices and Mentors must work in the same regulated child care program or Agency of Education setting for assessment of on the job skills and guidance through this professional journey. They must also have the support of his/her employer to participate.

What is the Employer responsibility?

Employers:

What are the benefits for the child care employer?

Employers:

What is the role of the VT Child Care Industry and Careers Council?

The VT Child Care Apprenticeship Program (VCCAP) is managed in collaboration with the VT Department of Labor, through the efforts of the VT Child Care Industry and Careers Council (VCCICC). As a statewide, not-for-profit organization, VCCICC blends state and federal funding, private foundation and community grants, membership dues and application fees from non-apprentices to pay for the college courses that are offered to benefit apprentices and the child care workforce. VCCICC conducts outreach and orientation, provides materials for apprentice/mentor teams, maintains files, collects monthly documentation for apprentices and mentors, and offers support to all participants throughout the course of the apprenticeship program.

What types of child care programs can participate in the Apprenticeship Program?

Option 1:

A regulated program that has been awarded national accreditation.

Qualifications for mentors to include, at a minimum: a CDA (Child Development Associate) credential; or completion of the Child Care Apprenticeship Program; or equivalent experience/education in the field with supporting documentation. All mentors must have the support and approval of their employer.

Please note: Apprentices will earn 18 credits and exceed the education of mentors with only a CDA credential. It is highly recommended that mentors have at least 18 college credits directly related to Early Childhood Education.

Option 2:

A regulated program that has submitted NAEYC/NAFCC self-study materials.

Qualifications for mentors to include, at a minimum: a CDA (Child Development Associate) credential; completion of the Child Care Apprenticeship Program; or equivalent experience/education in the field with supporting documentation. All mentors must have the support and approval of their employer.

Please note: Apprentices will earn 18 credits and exceed the education of mentors with only a CDA credential. It is highly recommended that mentors have at least 18 college credits directly related to Early Childhood Education.

Option 3:

A regulated program, that has received a rating of 3 STARS *** or higher, through Vermont’s Step Ahead Recognition System or an Agency of Education setting.

Qualifications for mentors to include, at a minimum: a CDA (Child Development Associate) credential; completion of the Child Care Apprenticeship Program; or equivalent experience/education in the field with supporting documentation. All mentors must have the support and approval of their employer.

Please note: Apprentices will earn 18 credits and exceed the education of mentors with only a CDA credential. It is highly recommended that mentors have at least 18 college credits directly related to Early Childhood Education.

Option 4 (to include all other regulated child care programs):

Sponsor Statement of Interest (provided by VCCICC) needs to be submitted along with 3 letters of reference in support of your program. Letters can be from community members, such as parents, your local resource development specialist, the director of another child care program, or a professional (SLP, OT, PT, etc.) who comes into your program on a regular basis and is familiar with your practices. Please note: only one letter may be from a parent.

Recommended mentor qualification is a minimum of an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education or in a closely related field with 18 or more credits directly related to Early Childhood Education.

Please contact Sue Ryan, Director of Programs at VCCICC, with questions about mentor qualifications.

Option 4 programs are encouraged to contact the various projects that are in place in Vermont to support documentation of quality settings for children.

Licensed Centers and Homes: Johanna Vaczy, STARS@mjccvt.org (802) 398-2037 regarding Vermont’s Step Ahead Recognition System

Licensed Centers: Sonja Raymond sonja@appltreelearningcenters.com for information about NAEYC accreditation

Licensed Homes: Gerri Barrows kidsfirstdhfcc@yahoo.com or (802) 453-3707 for information about NAFCC accreditation

All Options: A site visit will be done prior to registration of apprentices. Programs will have no (unaddressed) serious violations in the last 12 months, or history of recurrent violations, as defined through the Child Development Division Licensing regulations.