Education is expensive, but it’s also crucial to your personal and professional development, especially in the child care field. Teaching in Missouri is a highly complicated field, especially when it comes to early childhood education. As such, you need all the knowledge and help you can get to do the job effectively. A T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant can be a helpful tool to get you the education and career advancement you’re looking for.
Here, we’re answering the core questions people have before they apply for these scholarships. Read through them to see if a T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant might be a good fit for you. If so, we’ll have some guidance on how to apply at the end.
What is a T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant?
A T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant is a scholarship program for early childhood professionals and those teaching in Missouri. The recipient, their sponsoring employer, and the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri organization make an agreement. Each party is responsible for different things:
- The recipient attends college courses, working toward a certification, degree, or simply further education. They are responsible for a portion of the costs associated with these classes, like books. Further, they promise to continue working in the field or at their sponsoring program for a certain amount of time after completing the terms of the contract.
- T.E.A.C.H. Missouri covers a larger share of those expenses. To help cover travel costs getting to and from class, T.E.A.C.H. Missouri also offers a $55 accessibility stipend for recipients. Once the recipient completes the terms of the contract, the organization will also give them a $450 bonus.
- The sponsoring employer also pays for a portion of the cost of tuition and books. There are other benefits the employer might provide to the recipient, which vary between programs. The options include paid time off to study for class, a bonus upon completing the classes specified in the contract, and a raise. Each contract specifies what exactly is expected of the sponsoring employer.
There are a lot of scholarships under the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant umbrella. They are:
- Entry Associate Degree Scholarship
- Associate Degree Scholarship
- Pre-Certification Scholarships
- Student Teaching Scholarship
- Bachelor Degree Scholarship
- CDA Scholarship
We’ve already written pretty extensively about the CDA T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant, so we won’t go into depth about that one here. Instead, we’ll expand on each of the other types of scholarships that can help you toward your goal of better teaching in Missouri in the following sections.
Entry Associate Degree Scholarship
This program is ideal for those who’d like to take a few classes in early childhood education at a two-year college. It’s meant for early childhood education or early childhood special education classes only.
One key difference between this scholarship and the one we will discuss in the next section is that this can only be used for one year. It’s a good fit for people who are looking to earn some credits but are not necessarily pursuing a degree, or aren’t yet sure if they want to earn a degree. If you do decide you want to go for an associate degree, the Entry Associate Degree Scholarship is not renewable, but you can apply for the regular Associate Degree Scholarship. If you don’t, then you’ll just have a better education for teaching in Missouri.
Associate Degree Scholarship
Once you’ve completed your first year of an associate program, this scholarship could be a good fit. It can be maintained for as many years as it takes to earn a degree. Another key difference between this T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant and the previous one we detailed is that it can be used toward all the classes required for a degree, not just ones specific to early childhood education.
Within this category of T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grants, there are two different options that might be a good fit for your needs. One of them is for those with one semester before their student teaching in Missouri begins, and the other is for those who have two semesters. Pretty straight forward.
If you’re pursuing a bachelor’s degree and are coming up on your student teaching requirement, definitely give this scholarship some consideration. Use the specificity to your advantage.
Student Teaching Scholarship
If you only have one semester of student teaching in Missouri left before earning your degree, then this scholarship could be a perfect fit for you. In fact, it’s tailored specifically for people who need to fulfill their student teaching requirement. The next scholarship on this list helps more broadly with a bachelor’s degree, but this one is only for the portion of those programs that’s student teaching in Missouri.
Bachelor Degree Scholarship
If none of the other scholarships for working toward a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or early childhood special education make sense for you, then this scholarship might be the best fit. Do consider the other options, though, if you are approaching your student teaching in Missouri. You want to find the one that’s most specific to your situation.
It’s also worth noting that T.E.A.C.H. Missouri prefers that you take your general education classes at a two-year institution before completing your bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. It’s possible to take all of your courses at a four-year institution; just make sure you discuss this option with your Scholarship Counselor.
Who is eligible for a T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant?
The requirements for an applicant are pretty specific. Teachers, directors, assistants, on-site owners, and family group or home child care staff might be eligible, but they have to fit more criteria.
First, they should want to earn college credit in the early childhood field, either toward a CDA, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree. Second, they need to do daily work with children under 5 in a licensed or license-exempt child care program. This needs to total at least 30 hours per week working directly with children, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be teaching in Missouri — assistants, directors, and owners also count. Third, they must be at least 18 years old and have already graduated from high school or earned a GED. Fourth, their income needs to be under $20 per hour if they are a teacher or assistant and under $25 per hour if they are a director or owner of a program. And lastly, it probably goes without saying, but they need to be authorized to work in the U.S.
Keep in mind that because the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grants are partnerships between the applicant, their sponsoring employer, and the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri organization, so part of that eligibility includes your employer agreeing to their part of the arrangement.
What is the sponsoring employer responsible for?
The different kinds of scholarships each have their own set of responsibilities for the sponsoring employer. We’ll get into the specifics for each one in a little bit, but there are some things they all have in common. Generally, they are responsible for some portion of the program’s cost for tuition and books. The exact amount will depend on a variety of factors.
Paid time off is also included in some of the scholarship agreements. This stipulation is meant to accommodate situations like class time being during the work day, and sponsors usually only allow paid time off during weeks when the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant recipient is in class or has assignments due.
Other scholarships stipulate that a certain amount of paid time off per week is dedicated to studying or preparing for class. These hours can come in the form of leaving early, arriving late, or taking a planned break during the day. It’s important for the sponsoring employer and the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant recipient to work out a schedule they can agree on. Since early childhood teaching in Missouri requires a certain number of professionals to be with the children, taking one teacher out to go study could cause problems if it’s not accounted for early on.
Most of this has been directed toward those who are teachers, directors, or otherwise an employee. Know that if you own a family child care home or center, then you will need to act as your own sponsor. So, you’ll have double the responsibilities, just in different areas.
Where can I take classes?
Take a look at the list of approved two- and four-year institutions here. There are lots of colleges and universities all over the state where you can further your career of early childhood teaching in Missouri. It might be a good idea to make sure there’s an approved institution near you before you dive deeper into the scholarships.
I think I’m eligible. Now what?
Before you apply for a T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant, you need to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is so the program can use its funds in the most effective ways.
Choosing the right scholarship program for your goals is a key step. Consider your ultimate career goals and the education you need to get there. And if you’ve already completed part of a degree program, make sure you’re applying for the scholarship that will meet you where you’re at. Don’t count yourself out just because you’re not starting out your journey toward teaching in Missouri! People at many stages can find great scholarships through T.E.A.C.H. Missouri. If you’re still not sure, check out the scholarship selector tool. It’s a brief quiz that can help you find the right T.E.A.C.H. scholarship for you.
Scholarship Counselors are also available to help you navigate the whole process. Child care is an incredibly complicated industry, and the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grants can be equally tricky to navigate if you’re not sure what you’re doing. A Scholarship Counselor should be able to answer any remaining questions you have, get you on the right track, and offer any other guidance on the process that you might need. If they don’t have the help you need, they can surely point you in the right direction.
After You’ve Applied
There is a continuous waiting list for T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grants, and everyone eligible who completes the application gets added to this list. How many people are granted scholarships every semester depends on the availability of funds. Whether or not there are funds available for you, you’ll get a call a month and a half before the semester begins. You can stay on the waiting list for up to 12 months, and you can apply again after that time period to get back on it.
You’re required to submit your FAFSA before you apply for one of these scholarships for teaching in Missouri, and you should continue exploring any other financial options after you apply, too.
Find the right T.E.A.C.H. Missouri grant for you.
Endeavoring to get better at teaching in Missouri is a great goal, and now you’ve got some promising places to start looking for help toward that goal. Any of these choices for a scholarship might be the right fit for your needs; you just need to narrow down what your goals are.
A good place to start is to decide whether you’d like to earn a degree or a credential. If you’re only looking to take a class or two for your own development, that will considerably narrow your scholarship options for teaching in Missouri. Follow all the advice we’ve laid out here, contact Child Care Aware® of Missouri if you have any further questions, and ultimately, apply for a scholarship that’s going to make a big difference in your professional life.