BBF logo

How Apprenticeships Benefit Educators

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.

Building Bright Futures can guide high school and community college educators in establishing a pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship program. Once there is a registered pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship in place, Building Bright Futures will provide access to resources and funding support with ongoing guidance.

Pathway to Success

The foundation of an early childhood pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship is the Early Childhood Education class and work-based learning hours, which allow the student to progress toward further education and paid hours.

Pre-apprenticeships are designed for high school students interested in exploring the field. To start as a pre-apprentice in early childhood education, a participant needs to be signed up for, enrolled in, or have completed FE11: Early Childhood Education (high school class) OR EDU 119: Intro to Early Childhood Education (community college).


Pre-apprenticeship includes required coursework, work-based learning hours, and opportunities to complete health and safety trainings. Once pre-apprenticeship is complete, participants will have earned:

  • Academic and pre-apprenticeship course credit
  • Work-based learning hours
  • Key requirements for earning the NC Early Childhood Credential
  • Tuition waiver for community college
  • Receive stipends for performance, completion, and transportation

Participants can then move on to a paid apprenticeship where they receive:

  • Paid on-site training based on a progressive pay scale
  • Related coursework for earning certificates or an Associate’s Degree
  • College credit that can be used toward a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree

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. This program can provide resources and services to pilots, with the goal of creating additional learning opportunities and eliminating prohibitive costs for participating students, educators, and employers. Participants can receive year-round financial support for coursework and trainings, professional development, and access to a network of industry professionals and enrichment opportunities to advance their 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

BBF logo

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!