Employer Opportunities in Early Childhood Apprenticeships

governorec building bright futures

BUILDING BRIGHT FUTURES is a pre-apprentice-to-apprenticeship program in early childhood education that provides a supportive pathway for students to earn a degree, while gaining valuable hands-on experience through work-based learning opportunities. NCBCE is working with school districts, community colleges, child care providers, and other partners to develop and scale pilot pre-apprenticeship programs across the state.

To help strengthen and rebuild the early child care workforce in our state, the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) is partnering with local school districts, community colleges, child care providers, and non-profit organizations to pilot a pre-apprenticeship to apprenticeship program in early childhood education. Employers can benefit from this structured process that combines hands-on training with related coursework, creating a highly-trained workforce.

Employer Benefits

Sponsoring a pre-apprenticeship and/or apprenticeship can offer many benefits, including:

  • Access to a highly qualified and educated workforce
  • Potential to earn a higher star rating
  • Increased retention
  • Customized skills training
  • Opportunities to meet future staffing needs

Financial Support

As part of the Building Bright Futures program, employers can receive funding to support pre-apprentices or apprentices with:

  • Salary match of 50% of apprenticeship wages
  • Required DCDEE health & safety trainings
  • Transportation costs
  • Materials and supplies
  • Child care
  • Health screenings
  • Background checks

Professional Development

In addition to coursework and work-based learning, program participants are offered career enrichment opportunities to enhance their industry knowledge. These are provided at no cost to pre-apprentices and employers:

  • Industry-recognized credentials
  • Guest speakers, field trips, and conferences
  • Personalized mentorship from experienced professionals in the early childhood field
  • Communication with peers as part of a cohort

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

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

Morgan Ford
Program Director


Megan Johnson
Program Manager

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