Five FAQs: Early Childhood Educator Apprentice
Work in the industry while attending school
In response to the growing demand for early childhood educators, FVTC recently launched the Early Childhood Educator apprenticeship program. The apprentice works full time in a childcare environment while being mentored by experienced teachers and includes paid instruction at FVTC.
Here are five frequently asked questions about the Early Childhood Educator Apprentice program. Trent Sorensen, associate dean of Service provides the answers.
What is the apprentice program?
The Early Childhood Educator Apprentice program allows individuals to learn at Fox Valley Technical College while they are also working in the industry. Students complete 432 paid hours of related instruction at FVTC (earning 24 credits) and 3568 paid hours are completed at a childcare center. Apprentices must be hired by a center and have a contract with the center and the Department of Workforce Development.
Why did FVTC decide to add this option now?
Currently, 54% of people in Wisconsin live in a childcare desert, meaning there is not enough childcare capacity to meet community needs. Elsewhere, there are childcare centers that have the space available to enroll more children but can’t because they do not have enough qualified staff. This apprenticeship program was created to address the current workforce shortage and bring more qualified educators to the field.
Who should consider exploring this field?
The ideal candidate is someone who enjoys working with children and is passionate about helping children learn and grow.
What kinds of jobs are available with this apprenticeship?
There are many jobs available in childcare centers starting with assistant teacher and apprentice positions and ending with teacher/journey worker positions upon completion of the apprentice program.
What is the earning potential for this career area?
With the workforce shortage, starting wages have increased with many centers starting new staff at around $15 per hour or higher.
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