Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Expands Camp Fire First Texas Early Education Apprenticeship Program

Fort Worth, Texas (June 20, 2022) – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is committed to removing barriers preventing people from gaining employment and has identified workforce shortages in the early childhood industry as an area of focus. TWC is investing in the child care workforce through two strategies centered on child care apprenticeship programs to address the lack of available, qualified employees. These initiatives will help child care employers to locate and retain skilled teachers.

“Apprenticeship programs deliver results for the Texas economy by providing opportunities for growth for both employers and employees,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “Child care apprenticeship programs also benefit Texas families by ensuring our state has enough qualified and dedicated professionals to care for their children.”

The first strategy is to develop a pipeline of qualified staff through child care apprenticeship programs. TWC is awarding three grants for a total of $793,401 to create two new early childhood apprenticeship programs and expand one existing program. The initiatives include expanding the Camp Fire First Texas program in Tarrant County, a new program at Dallas College, and another new program at the Heart of Texas Workforce Development Board, Inc. in Waco. Apprenticeship serves employers and job seekers by training teachers for jobs with diverse career paths and promising futures. Apprentices are full-time, paid employees who earn while they learn. TWC has approved a further expansion of this program and will release a second grant opportunity later this year.

“Apprenticeships that address child care worker shortages are vital to growing a much-needed workforce and allowing Texas families with young children to have highly-skilled people caring for their children,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “As I’ve shared before, apprenticeship programs are not game-changers. They’re life-changers!”

The second strategy will assist child care teacher-apprentices who have completed their Registered Apprenticeship Program. These individuals would be eligible to have their completion certificate articulated into college credit hours. The articulation usually means they are then within three to five classes of earning an associate degree. TWC will convene a workgroup of representatives from existing early childhood registered apprenticeship programs, colleges, and universities. The group will develop a framework to streamline the awarding of college credit for students who have completed early childhood apprenticeship programs and are earning early childhood certificates and degrees at different levels. It is common for child care teachers to have some college or a nationally recognized certification, and streamlining credits will help teachers grow in their profession. The initiative complements the apprenticeship programs, which help child care teachers stay in their child care setting longer than they typically would.

“Apprenticeships provide yet another option for Texas employers, and are employer-driven, earn-while-you-learn programs that focus on high-demand occupations needed here in the great state of Texas,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “Here at TWC, we support and help create partnerships that allow Texas employers and higher education entities to collaborate and build future talent pipelines for business.”

TWC and its local Workforce Solutions partners serve families and child care providers. Visit the TWC Child Care and Early Learning Services website for more information. TWC grants funds to local public educational institutions and apprenticeship committees to reduce the costs of related classroom instruction in registered apprenticeship training programs. To learn more, visit the TWC Apprenticeship Program website.

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About Camp Fire First Texas 

Camp Fire First Texas is one of the largest Camp Fire councils in the country and invests in North Texas communities by providing out-of-school time and outdoor learning programs for children and youth while also offering workforce development programs for the educators who care for them. 

Camp Fire programs stand out from others as they are uniquely focused on the two periods of greatest brain growth and development: early childhood and early adolescence; they leverage the impact of the outdoor environment on the brain to educate and connect children to each other and the world around them and maintain a continuous improvement loop to maximize community impact. 

We envision a community in which every child has equitable access to quality learning opportunities that cultivate the skills they need to succeed and thrive in a rapidly changing world. 

About Texas Workforce Commission 

The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers, and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and its services in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.

This press release was provided by Texas Workforce Commission.