SAN DIEGO – As leaders in child development and early education, MAAC, or Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee, partnered with Palomar College and Early Care & Education Pathways to Success for the pilot of its Next Level: Early Care & Education Apprenticeship Program – the only one in San Diego County.
Twenty-five participants will receive free college coursework in child development, paid on-the-job training at MAAC’s Early Learning Centers and additional support such as tutoring, technology and job-readiness training. At the end of the two years, the participants will have the qualifications to apply for an associate teacher permit and will be prepared for full-time employment working with children in our local communities.
“Research has shown that early childhood education is highly beneficial for a child’s success in school and throughout their lifetime,” Arnulfo Manriquez, president and CEO of MAAC, said. “Unfortunately, the high cost and low availability of childcare professionals is generating a crisis in the region that impacts working families.
“To strengthen San Diego’s early childhood education system, we are providing no-cost training to prepare individuals, including guardians or parents that MAAC serves through its child development program, to start their careers and teach children from birth to age 5. Through this partnership with Palomar College, we will increase the early care and education workforce, ensure children get quality education and set up the graduates of this program for economic mobility,” Manriquez said.
The educational component of the Next Level: Early Care & Education Apprenticeship Program will be delivered by Palomar College, through a required weekly course at MAAC’s North Campus, along with additional ongoing professional training.
As apprenticeship sponsor and intermediary, ECEPTS will provide ongoing technical assistance and support to MAAC and Palomar College to ensure successful program development, implementation and sustainability. Participants who complete this program will receive support from MAAC to apply for their associate teaching credentials, to be a competitive candidate in the child development field.
Interested individuals can apply until Wednesday, May 31. Participant selection will occur in June, and the program is scheduled to commence in late summer, accepting 25 participants.
“We are thrilled to partner with MAAC on this initiative to provide access to the coursework and training needed to enter the essential field of early childcare,” Star Rivera-Lacey, Ph.D., superintendent and president of Palomar College, said. “This partnership removes financial barriers and enables those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to pursue a career in childcare services.”
Those interested in learning more about the program can attend an informational session, Friday, April 28, at 6 p.m. at MAAC North Campus, 956 Vale Terrace Drive, in Vista.
MAAC provides Head Start, Early Head Start and State Preschool child development programs that promote school readiness of children from birth to age five. MAAC operates 22 early learning centers and a network of 20 home-based family child care providers currently serving over 1,700 children ages 0-5 across the county.
For more information on MAAC’s Next Level: Early Care & Education Apprenticeship Program, visit https://maacproject.org/NextLevel-ECE/.
Submitted by MAAC and Palomar College.