Fort Worth, Texas (February 11, 2022) – Camp Fire First Texas Early Education Apprenticeship Program (EEAP) was awarded the Tarrant County Workforce Development & Workforce Government Board’s Apprenticeship Partner Award at the Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration on February 9. 

“Camp Fire EEAP acts as a system-change program impacting the way the North Texas early childhood education industry engages with educational and career pathway support for teachers, directors, and other early childhood education professionals,” explains program director Dr. Dana Brocks. 

The Camp Fire First Texas Early Education Apprenticeship Program (EEAP) is an educational and career pathway building program. The first U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program for early educators in the State of Texas; the EEAP includes paid on-the-job learning, coupled with educational courses and one-on-one coaching in the classroom from a Camp Fire mentor.

Other benefits include wage increases, stipends that recognize milestones, and earning up to 33 college credit hours. 

The program is on pace to graduate 20 early education apprentices this spring and will be enrolling a new Fall Class in the coming weeks. 

The value of apprenticeships is clear. 

An apprenticeship study published by Bank Street College of Education highlights that early learning is complex and requires skilled educator-caregivers and that high-quality apprenticeship programs can serve as a backbone for rebuilding the workforce. 

In Texas, as is seen nationwide, early educator wages fall in the bottom tier. This has a rolling negative impact on access to quality early education because those passionate about this career leave the industry to secure adequate income; the low wages limit access to advanced education, training, or degrees to positively impact professional knowledge and career advancement in this sector. With fewer qualified individuals in the position of early education, there becomes a shortage of quality program availability just as more working parents seek quality programs.  

Less than 10% of child care programs nationally were operating at a level considered to be quality. In North Texas, only about 7% of programs can meet quality thresholds set by Texas Rising Star, Texas’ quality rating system. Early education apprenticeships that are widely available and adequately funded and supported have the potential to both rebuild the supply of care while also ensuring education receives high-quality practice and coaching required for the complex task of supporting early brain development.  

“This Apprenticeship Partner Award is fuel and support for our team and partners that the role we have in helping Texans learn, get back to work, and secure pathways to career advancement is working and valued,” added Brocks. 

Camp Fire First Texas Early Education Apprenticeship Program is offered in partnership with Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas, Tarrant County  CollegeTarleton State University and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Texas.


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. 

Camp Fire Apprenticeship Partner Award can be seen at 11:34 in the video.