The Complete Guide to Your CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship

childcare cda

The childcare CDA (Childhood Development Associate) credential is nationally recognized and your first formal step in early childhood education.

Accomplishing your child care CDA will open doors in your early childhood education career that were not previously available. Additionally, your child care CDA will help you grow as an educator in the specific child care setting in which you have chosen to work.

The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Missouri Scholarship is a scholarship and compensation opportunity for educators in licensed centers, groups, and family child care programs.

The recently created CDA T.E.A.C.H. scholarship model is designed specifically for those looking to achieve further education in early childhood education.

The CDA T.E.A.C.H. scholarship comes with added requirements in addition to those set forth for our Early Childhood Missouri Scholarship because it is geared specifically for those looking to reach their child care CDA.   We will discuss the requirements and how you can achieve them with the help of the teams at T.E.A.C.H. Missouri and Child Care Aware® of Missouri.

The four components of the CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Program are:

  • Scholarship – A contract between the recipient, sponsor, and T.E.A.C.H. Missouri. Each party is responsible for a paid percentage of the cost of tuition and books.
  • Education – Contract year covers 9 to 15 credit hours over three consecutive semesters.
  • Compensation – Recipients receive a $450 bonus from T.E.A.C.H. Missouri for each completed contract. Several scholarship models include a possible $200 bonus match or a 2% raise from the sponsoring employer.
  • Commitment – Recipients agree to complete 6 to 12 months of continuous service to the children at their sponsoring program or in the child care field after the academic year (varies by scholarship model).

We will lay out everything you need to know to apply for your CDA T.E.A.C.H. scholarship, so you can start your path to attaining your childcare CDA.

Benefits of Earning Your Child Care CDA

Earning an education helps you to become a better teacher and assists in advancing your career, as we have already mentioned. Part of this is because families have a greater sense of ease with child care educators who have their early childhood education.

Years of experience speak for themselves but being able to say you have received your child care CDA is an added benefit in the eyes of parents and caregivers.

By receiving your child care CDA, you appear more valuable to a broader range of employers and increase your confidence, empowering you both personally and professionally.

Earning an Early Childhood Education will help you to meet specific job requirements since you will understand the application of new knowledge and skills you had not previously understood.

Some of the benefits of attaining an early child hood education and receiving your child care CDA are:

  • Personal and Professional empowerment and confidence.
  • Meeting the job requirements for more roles, giving you more job opportunities.
  • Reinforce to you the commitment you made to early childhood education.
  • Increase your confidence in learning, and then teaching, new skills.
  • Assist in showcasing early childhood best practices for other child care educators.

Receiving your child care CDA is valuable because it can advance your career, help you feel more confident and competent in your role, and give you the tools to better assist in shaping the next generation through your work.

The CDA T.E.A.C.H scholarship can help you realize all the possibilities that an early childhood education can bring you, and it’s something that, once attained, will always be with you.

What are the goals of the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri Scholarship Program?

The T.E.A.C.H. Missouri CDA Scholarship program aims to improve the quality of childhood care and education by increasing the education level of early childhood educators.

By increasing the education level of childhood educators, their compensation rate also increases, increasing the overall retention rate of early childhood educators.

This increase in retention, and overall happiness of teachers, work to improve the quality and continuity of care provided to children and families in Missouri.

The CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship program also seeks to be an independent example of how working together can benefit the majority through the partnerships that must come together to realize the scholarship opportunity itself.

CDA T.E.A.C.H Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

To attain your child care CDA, you must first become eligible for the CDA T.E.A.C.H. scholarship. If you are not yet qualified, you can begin to take the appropriate steps to become eligible by understanding the eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri child care CDA Scholarship, you must:

  • Work in a licensed child care program in Missouri.
  • Work in a child care program registered to accept child care subsidies.
  • Work directly with children birth to five-years-old.
  • Work at least 25 hours per week.
  • Have worked at the child care program for at least three consecutive months.
  • Make less than $20 per hour as an educator or $25 per hour as a director or owner.
  • Want to earn a CDA in an infant/toddler, preschool, or family child care setting.

Your eligibility is also contingent upon your sponsoring employer’s participation.

The scholarship is a partnership between the recipient, sponsoring employer, and T.E.A.C.H. Missouri.

Each partner has designated financial and service responsibilities.

That said, if you are the owner of a family child care home or center, you are eligible to act as your own sponsor, if your facility participates in the CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Program.

CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Waitlist Information

T.E.A.C.H. Missouri operates on a continuous waitlist. To be placed on the waiting list, you must complete the appropriate application packet listed in this article, which you can find on the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri Website.

Once your application is complete, you can submit it via fax, email, or postage-paid mail, to the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri office.

After receipt, T.E.A.C.H. Missouri will add all appropriately completed application packets to our waiting list.

Potential child care CDA Scholarship recipients on the wait list are called a month and a half before the start of each semester.

Scholarships are awarded based on funding availability.

If you are placed on the waitlist and did not receive a scholarship in the previous semester, you will be left on the waitlist for 12 consecutive months.

If you applied over 12 months ago, you must complete and submit a new application.

Applying for Your CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship with Credit Hours

If you meet all the eligibility requirements, you will need to navigate to the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri Website to begin your child care CDA scholarship application if you plan to use credit hours toward your scholarship requirements.

Once on the CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship page, you will find three links at the very bottom.

There are three separate applications for the child care CDA Scholarship. You will choose the appropriate application based on your current child care job facility setting and your current role.

Your three scholarship application options are:

Child Care CDA Scholarship for Teacher and Director Packet

Child Care CDA Scholarship for Family Child Care Owner Packet

CDA Scholarship for Center Owner Packet

Please also note that all courses for this CDA Childcare Scholarship model are only approvable from a Missouri 2-year college found in the T.E.A.C.H. college directory.

If you’re looking to apply to the CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship program with credit hours, not to worry! Your childcare CDA specialist will convert those to usable clock hours for you, which we will discuss in a moment.

What Happens After Your CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Has Been Awarded

Once you have been awarded your CDA T.E.A.C.H scholarship, you are on your way to attaining your childcare CDA, and now you will have assistance.

With a CDA T.E.A.C.H scholarship, you will:

  • Be assigned a T.E.A.C.H. Missouri CDA scholarship counselor who will assist you as you move through the entire CDA process.
  • Enroll in the Missouri community college of your choosing, earn 9 to 12 early childhood college credit hours within three consecutive semesters, and successfully pass all classes.
  • Pay only 5% of the cost of your tuition and books. For example, for a $300 textbook, you’d only pay $15! Your sponsoring employer pays only 5% as well. Win-win.
  • Commit to staying at your sponsoring child care program for six months after the three semesters.

How T.E.A.C.H. Missouri Assists You in Reaching Your Childcare CDA

If you are awarded a CDA T.E.A.C.H. scholarship, you can expect that T.E.A.C.H. Missouri and Child Care Aware® of Missouri will be with you every step of the way.

During your T.E.A.C.H. Missouri child care CDA contract, you will take 9 to 12 credit hours of early childhood education classes in the age group of your choice: infant/toddler, preschool, or family child care.

During this time, you and your sponsoring employer will only pay 5% of your books and tuition, while T.E.A.C.H. Missouri will cover 90% of your tuition and books in addition to all your college fees.

You also receive a bonus! At the end of your contract year, you will receive $190 and $190 more six months later if you stay with your sponsoring employer.

$380 in total for maintaining passing grades and continuing work at your place of employment!

The Child Care Aware® of Missouri CDA Scholarship Project

The Child Care Aware® of Missouri child care CDA Scholarship Project is what you will enroll in after completing your college credit hours.

At this point, your child care CDA Scholarship Counselor will continue assisting you as you complete the child care CDA process toward your credentialing process.

After enrolling in the child care CDA scholarship project, your CDA specialist will help you convert your college transcript into early childhood clock hours towards your child care CDA.

Suppose you still require assistance compiling your virtual child care CDA portfolio. In that case, the Child Care Aware® of Missouri team will provide weekly technical assistance webinars to help you create your portfolio.

Once you’re ready to apply for your CDA, Child Care Aware® of Missouri pays your $425 child care CDA application fee and submits it to the Council for Professional Recognition.

Even after your application has been submitted, your CDA specialist is still with you! Your CDA specialist will walk you through what to expect during classroom observations, verification visits, and testing.

You also get rewarded again! In addition to the $380 bonus, we spoke about earlier in the article, as a bonus for earning your childcare CDA credential, Child Care Aware® of Missouri will refund you and your sponsoring employer’s 5% of the tuition and book costs had paid initially.

That’s right. You earn college credit hours and achieve your child care CDA – at no cost!

Are you interested in continuing your college education further? You can also apply for a T.E.A.C.H Missouri associate degree scholarship after successfully completing your CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship.

Wrapping Up – Receiving Your CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Project and Child Care CDA

We have covered it all in this article, from why earning your CDA is so essential to how T.E.A.C.H. Missouri and Child Care Aware® of Missouri come together to help you finance and complete your CDA, as well as what happens after you achieve your child care CDA.

The benefits of earning your CDA are far-reaching and can benefit your life and the lives of the children you teach and their families. We encourage you to further your education and enroll for your CDA T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship to help get you there. If followed correctly, you will walk away from experience with college credits, a greater understanding of your work, and a certification that will open new doors in your career.

If you have more questions or require further information on any part of this article, you can reach out to Child Care Aware® of Missouri,  and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.