Scholarships available to help Early Childhood Education professionals advance their careers

Des Plaines, Ill. (Dec. 13, 3021) – Professionals seeking additional credentials or a degree through Oakton Community College’s Early Childhood Education program may be eligible for the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program. Scholarship applications are due by March 1, 2022.

The ECACE program was created to address the shortage of qualified early childhood educators by encouraging their pursuit of credentials and advancement of already-held degrees in early childhood education to build a strong, well-prepared workforce. Scholarship recipients are expected to continue or return to teaching or direct services in the early childhood care and education field in Illinois after completing their study program.

“This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who’s been thinking about a career or returning to work in early education to enroll in our award-winning program,” Paula Luszcz, Oakton ECE chair, says. “Students will come away well prepared with the ability to make a difference by enhancing the minds of young children. This field is perfect for anyone who enjoys working with young children and is creative, adaptable and able to maintain high standards.”

Oakton’s ECE program educates professionals in various positions to assist infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and early school-age children in group situations. The College offers an associate degree in ECE and the opportunity to earn certificates in the following areas: Basic Infant Toddler, Advanced Infant Toddler, Basic Family Child Care Provider, Early Childhood Education, Advanced Family Child Care Provider and Early Childhood Education Administration.

Oakton is helping to meet a need as the demand for childcare workers continues to climb. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of childcare workers is projected to grow 8% through 2030 and more than 150,000 openings for childcare workers are estimated each year over the decade. Many of those anticipated openings will need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or retire.

To learn more about Oakton’s program, contact Luszcz at (847) 376-7438 or pluszcz@oakton.edu.