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Complete Florida, T.E.A.C.H. partner to provide funding for day care providers returning to college

The University of West Florida Innovation Institute’s Complete Florida program recently announced a new partnership with T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship Program, an organization that helps day care providers earn a degree in early childhood education.

“Complete Florida has always been an easy way for busy adults to return to college and finish their degree,” said Michelle Horton, director of Complete Florida Enrollment and Retention Management. “With our new partnership, we have now made it easier for adults to fully fund a degree in childhood education.”

Through this new partnership, adult students in the Complete Florida program who are returning to college to finish their degree in early childhood education are eligible to receive up to 100 percent funding assistance. Eligible participants include currently employed child care teachers and administrators. The majority of funding is provided by the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship Program, while the participant’s employer and Complete Florida each share 10 percent of the cost of tuition.

“Research shows that young children have better outcomes when their teachers are well educated,” said Lori Stegmeyer, director of the Florida T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship Program. “The T.E.A.C.H. model has created real change for those working on the front lines of a critically important, but perpetually under-resourced industry. We know that lack of financial resources, lack of time, and lack of confidence are three major obstacles that impede early childhood teachers and directors from completing their college degrees. To address these barriers, T.E.A.C.H. scholars receive compensation and tuition support, paid release time, and personal support throughout their contracts. It really is a win-win for the field.”

Complete Florida offers more than 90 online degree and certificate programs at colleges and universities across the state. Through the new partnership, adult students can earn credit for credentials they have already earned and apply them toward a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Associate of Science in Early Childhood Management, or an Associate of Arts at Florida International University and Florida State College of Jacksonville.

This program allows students to take advantage of the flexible, convenient online courses. After completion, students are immediately ready to enter the workforce.

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