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governorec building bright futures

BUILDING BRIGHT FUTURES is a pilot program that supports early childhood pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships in North Carolina, providing guidance, resources, and financial support to participants. Combining hands-on training, related coursework, and specialized training creates a strong foundation for a high-quality workforce.

UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Institute Hosts Informational Session on Early Care and Education for Building Bright Futures

Participating apprentices and mentors of the BBF initiative attended BBF’s first event held at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute on July 28. Read the full article from FPG.

BBF August Newsletter

Read the BBF August newsletter, where we highlight our field trip to UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, the Summer CTE Conference, and a Spotlight Q&A with Child Care Center Director, Heather Fidler.

Building Bright Futures (BBF) is committed to eliminating prohibitive costs and providing additional learning opportunities to strengthen a participant’s industry knowledge, ensuring a pathway to long-term success. NCBCE is working closely with ApprenticeshipNC, school districts, community colleges, child care providers, and other partners to develop and scale this pilot program across the state.

Supports for Success

Early childhood educators are vital to our state’s current and future workforce, and Building Bright Futures’ mission is to ensure our educators are positioned for academic and career success - without risk of financial burden. Participants in this program can receive year-round financial support for wages, trainings, professional development, and access to a network of industry professionals and enrichment opportunities to advance knowledge in the field.

Find out how you can benefit from participating in this program:

Pre-Apprentices and Apprentices

  • Stipends for performance, completion, and transportation
  • High school credit, college credit, and industry-recognized credentials
  • Work-based learning experience in a child care center, with opportunities for paid hours
  • Free enrichment activities, such as guest speakers, field trips, and conferences
  • Personalized mentorship from experienced professionals in the Early Childhood field
  • Communication with peers as part of a cohort
  • Direct pathway for pre-apprentices to further education after high school with an Associate’s Degree at no cost


  • Mentorship from professionals and free enrichment activities for students above and beyond the basic curriculum, during the summer and school year
  • A supportive pathway for students to further education and a career
  • Communication of shared experiences and resources with peers as part of a cohort
  • Flexible financial support in key areas such as:
    • Materials and supplies
    • Transportation costs
    • Professional development
    • Trainings

Child Care Providers

  • Salary match of 50% of wages for apprentices
  • High-quality, trained, and dedicated workers, with potential to earn higher star ratings for your center
  • Communication of shared experiences with peers as part of a cohort
  • Flexible financial support in key areas such as:
    • Materials and supplies
    • Transportation costs
    • Child care
    • Professional development

See it in Action!

See students in McDowell County as they sign-on and work in their early childhood pre-apprenticeship program. There is nothing like taking what you learn in the classroom, and making it come alive by working directly with children in a child care center!

Get Started

To start a pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship in early childhood education, Building Bright Futures will work with schools and employers to update or create a registered pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship program with ApprenticeshipNC. If you are interested in more information or to register with us, simply contact us at or to get started.


For more information about how Building Bright Futures can support you, please contact:

Morgan Ford
Program Director

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Megan Johnson
Program Manager

Through apprenticeships in early childhood education, North Carolina is building bright futures
for our children, our educators and caregivers, and our workforce!