Head Start & Early Learning Programs
Infant/Toddler Teacher Apprentice Program
Research is clear that the first three years of life are critically important for long term developmental outcomes, and that consistent and emotionally responsive out of home care is a significant protective factor for vulnerable young children and families. In order to ensure the ongoing availability of qualified educators for infants and toddlers, Head Start & Early Learning Programs (HS & ELP) has designed a workforce development (“Apprenticeship”) program to provide opportunities for parents, substitutes, and community members to obtain their Child Development Associate (CDA), which, upon completion, will also result in the award of Lead Teacher certification from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).
We anticipate that the outcomes of this effort will be that:
Description of Program
The CDA is a national credential recognized by the Office of Head Start as an indicator of child development knowledge and expertise. Individuals with CDAs can specialize in Preschool, Infant/Toddler, Family Child Care, or Home Visiting. While the primary focus of this program is the attainment of Infant/Toddler center-based certification, those seeking other CDA awards may be considered. Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care awards Lead Teacher certification to any applicants who have earned a CDA.
Teacher Apprentices must:
Current Head Start/Early Head Start parents will be prioritized. Multi-lingual, multi-cultural Teacher Apprentices will also be given priority, as well as those living in the service area. A committee will review interviews and references to determine eligibility and selection decisions.
Teacher Apprentices will be categorized under the job description “Substitute” and must comply with all requirements of that position, including keeping up to date with physicals, BRCs, First Aid training, personnel file information, and adhering to all agency policies and procedures.
Teacher Apprentices will be paid at the hourly wage of substitute teachers. Teacher Apprentices may ask to work additional hours, beyond their program apprenticeship, if substitute work is needed in the program. NOTE: Any additional substitute work may be in any classroom or age group, while the apprenticeship will focus on one classroom.
Teacher Apprentices must be able to complete study assignments independently and be able to attend regular classes (approximately monthly for two hours) conducted by HS & ELP.
Classes are designed to support and organize Teacher Apprentices as they work independently to complete assignments. Course materials are available in English or Spanish.
Structure & Requirements
The program requires a 2-year commitment. Upon hire, Teacher Apprentices must participate in the HS & ELP Substitute Teacher Orientation and complete First Aid training within 6 months of hire. Teacher Apprentices will be:
In Year 1, HS & ELP will hold regular classes to support the Teacher Apprentices to complete tasks on schedule. Teacher Apprentices will focus on:
During Year 2, Teacher Apprentices will focus on:
Training Materials, Paid Time, and Funding
Distance learning courses will be dispersed to Teacher Apprentices one course at a time. Upon successful completion of each course, the next will be distributed. HS & ELP will provide the CDA Competency Standards Book for each individual. During Year 2, Teacher Apprentices will create their online CDA account and apply for certification electronically. HS & ELP will provide a Purchase Order for payment of the credential. All payments will be made directly to the Council for Professional Recognition.
Teacher Apprentices are paid for their time when the activity is considered “work time.” For example, Substitute Orientation, First Aid training, and apprenticeships with children are considered work time. HS & ELP also pays the fee for First Aid training, provided Teacher Apprentices attend the class. Teacher Apprentices are expected to attend class (approximately two hours) monthly. Time spent in the monthly class and working on the CEUs is not paid time. Classes and CEUs are a benefit of the Apprenticeship, delivered at no cost to the Apprentice.
Teacher Apprentices will also be considered for additional high quality training opportunities (additional class instruction time) as funding and space allows. For example, HS & ELP offers the Touchpoints 3-day Individual-Level Training in-house for staff, and Teacher Apprentices may be eligible to participate. The Brazelton Touchpoints Approach is an evidence-based and relational professional development model that gives staff tools to improve their practice while building deep partnership with families.
Teacher Apprentices are expected to commit to the two-year program. After the CDA is awarded, the Teacher Apprentice will apply to MA Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) Teacher Qualifications (TQ) and will be awarded Lead Teacher certification. At that time, the Teacher Apprentices will be eligible to apply for vacant regular positions that require a CDA. Upon completion of the program, Teacher Apprentices will provide feedback so that HS & ELP can continue improving the quality and responsiveness of the CDA program.
Successful CDA Retention
Teacher Apprentices who achieve the CDA must renew the CDA every three years for the credential to remain valid. Within the three years, the Teacher Apprentice must:
If the Teacher Apprentice has worked for HS & ELP consistently during the 3-year period, HS & ELP may support CDA coursework and renewal fees. Teacher Apprentices are responsible for completing the renewal training work independently and on time. Teacher Apprentices interested in renewing should contact the Director of Education no later than 6 months prior to renewal date.
Teacher Apprentices hired into regular status HS & ELP positions will have renewal fees and coursework paid for by the program.
Position: Classroom Substitute/Apprentice/ Bus Monitor/Volunteer/Temporary Employee/Youth Worker
Supervisor: Director of Education
Hours Per Week: Varies
Site: HS & ELP Center Based Classroom, as assigned
Position Summary: In coordination with the education staff, support children and educators in carrying out the daily curriculum and
routines. Engage with children and follow the direction of the lead educator in the classroom. Follow policies and protocols of HS &
Essential Qualifications: Must be 16 years of age. Must complete a BRC before beginning assignment. Attend HS & ELP orientation
regarding basic childcare safety and protocols. Must work under direct supervision of a HS & ELP regular employee with a current
EEC Teacher credential, BRC, and required qualifications at all times. The non-teacher qualified substitute/apprentice/volunteer/
temporary employee/youth worker may not have unsupervised contact with children, except when fully trained and functioning
solely in the role of Bus Monitor (bus driver also present).
? Demonstrate a commitment to quality early care and education programs. Candidate must be sensitive to diverse cultures
and backgrounds, including families with lower incomes.
? Produce documentation of a physical exam, MMR’s and TB risk upon hire and subsequently every two years.
? Obtain First Aid certification within 6 months of employment.
? Become knowledgeable about Early Education and Care Childcare Regulations, as well as Head Start requirements for early
care and education.
? Support the educator/adult supervisor in the management and supervision of the group of children.
? Assist with set up and clean up of activities as appropriate.
? Assist with food preparation and clean up, as appropriate. Follow state guidelines regarding food handling, such as using
food service gloves when handling food and ensuring proper serving temperatures and covered dishes, etc.,
? If on the bus as the Bus Monitor, complete daily passenger logs, pre and post bus trip inspections as required by EEC
regulations. If not regularly scheduled, fill in for bus monitor as needed, completing daily passenger logs, pre and post trip
? Follow HS & ELP Standard of Conduct
? Adhere to agency confidentiality policies.
? Maintain good in-house relationships with all other staff members.
Teacher Certified: EEC Teacher certified substitutes/temporary employees may be asked to change diapers, or be alone with
children if HS & ELP has adequately trained the substitute on the protocols of the individual site, or is functioning as a temporary
employee. These extra duties will be at the discretion of the site supervisor, and with permission of the Education Management
Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment described below are representative of
those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations
may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The employee is frequently required to sit,
stand, walk, talk, use a keyboard and climb stairs. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 40 pounds. Must be able
to engage in activities that include bending, floor activities, and lifting young children 2 months to 5 years of age. The employee
must have the ability to drive a personal vehicle and program vehicles, as needed. The noise level in the classroom is lively.
The work environment is primarily an indoor classroom environment, with daily exposure to outdoor weather.
This list of responsibilities is not meant to be all-inclusive and may be adjusted to meet the operational needs of the agency.
Employment is contingent upon the following: a satisfactory Background Record Check (BRC) which includes Criminal Offender
Record (C.O.R.I.), Department of Children and Families (DCF) background check and effective September 1, 2013 a Sex Offender
Registry Information (SORI) and fingerprinting-based national and state criminal history check. BRC and fingerprinting-based
national and state criminal history check is to be completed every three years. In addition, employment is contingent on evidence of physical exam within the past year, plus verification of MMRs. Documentation of subsequent physical exams must be submitted exam every 2 years.