Grant Helps County Office of Education Train Early Childhood Education Staff | School zone

Posted on July 14, 2022
| 8:39

The Santa Barbara County Office of Education (SBCEO) has received a $500,000 grant to help build the early childhood education workforce. The funds will help people who work or want to work at infant/toddler and preschool sites get the courses they need to advance in their education careers.

Known as the California Apprenticeship Initiative, the grant will help employees at three levels: caregivers to become associate teachers; associate teachers to become teachers; and teachers to become site supervisors.

Funds can be used for tuition, fees and costs associated with earning additional units, allowing individuals to continue working while they receive the schooling necessary to take the next step in their career. career.

SBCEO’s Early Care & Education (ECE) program operates 11 preschool and infant/toddler centers for low-income families throughout the county. The program also connects families to subsidized child care programs, providing approximately 2,500 children with access to early education.

Bridget Baublits, SBCEO’s assistant superintendent of educational services, said the grant helps address a community-wide need.

“The pandemic has shown the importance of accessible, high-quality child care for children and families in Santa Barbara County,” she said. workforce to provide valuable education and care.

“This grant aims to give individuals the chance to launch and advance their careers in this critical and rewarding field. We offer an innovative solution to the ongoing shortage of early childhood education teachers.”

The grant will be administered over a period of five years. The funds were also bolstered by an additional $100,000 from the Santa Barbara Foundation to support this work. A total of 25 apprentices will benefit over five years.

To learn more about SBCEO’s Early Care and Education program, visit sbceo.org/ece. To learn more about SBCEO’s professional technical training program, visit sbceo.org/cte. To learn more about the California Apprenticeship Initiative, visit https://growapprenticeshipca.org/california-apprenticeship-initiative/.