Society benefits in so many ways from early childhood education professionals. Teachers and daycare providers are the people who commit to caring for and shaping our children and preparing them for a lifetime of learning. So it’s no wonder that so many organizations focus on making early childhood education degrees more accessible by providing scholarships for early childhood education students.
Whether you want to pursue an associate degree or a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education, scholarships can make the prospect much more attractive.
#1. Early Childhood Education Professional Associations
A number of organizations dedicate themselves to the profession of early childhood education in one capacity or another, like Childhood Education International and the National Head Start Association. Some of these groups offer scholarships. The National Association for the Education of Young Children, for example, offers a number of Lasting Legacy Scholarships; Teacher.org offers the “Inspire Our Future” Scholarship; and the National Education Association (NEA) offers the Jack Kinnaman Scholarship. Plug into a few of these groups, look for opportunities, and apply!
#2. State Organizations
States have a vested interest in seeing their young children receive quality early childhood education. So many scholarships are state-specific.
More than two dozen states participate in T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®, which is dedicated to “creating a professional, educated, and fairly compensated early childhood educated workforce.” The Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (MIAEYC) administers the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Michigan Scholarship Program, which can pay for up to six credit hours of tuition for undergraduate students pursuing a degree in early childhood education or child development in Michigan.
MIAEYC also offers two Brian White Scholarships:
- The Brian White Early Childhood Education Scholarship awards $1,000, a one-year membership in NAEYC and Michigan AEYC, a Michigan AEYC Early Childhood conference registration with one night’slodging, and an invitation to attend the Michigan AEYC Annual Membership meeting at the Early Childhood conference.
- The Brian White Leadership Scholarship for Men in Early Childhood provides $2,000, a one-year membership in NAEYC and Michigan AEYC, and registration to the Michigan AEYC Early Childhood conference with one night’s lodging. It also provides an opportunity to work with leaders in the field of early childhood education and child development.
#3. The Federal Government
You’ll find many federal scholarships to apply for on the Federal Student Aid website. As the site says, “Find and apply for as many scholarships as you can—it’s free money for college or career school!”
Many philanthropic foundations and other nonprofits offer scholarships to help students attend college, particularly those students who plan to give back to society in a job like the education of young children. Some examples include the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, dedicated to promoting academic excellence, providing opportunities, and reducing financial barriers for students of color, and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund (SCSF).
#5. Businesses and Corporations
This can require a bit of research, but many companies do provide scholarships, and some of them are appropriate for early childhood education students. For example, Bright Horizons offers the Bright Futures Scholarship, a “national program for aspiring ECE teachers,” and Coca-Cola offers the Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship.
Depending on the college you attend, you may have additional scholarship opportunities. Baker College offers scholarships for every kind of student: high school seniors, transfer students, new students, current students, undergraduate and graduate students. The following may be of particular interest to early childhood education students:
- Deans Scholarship: $1,500/semester ($4,500/yr. max.), up to 4 years
- Regents Scholarship: $3,000/semester ($9,000/yr. max.), up to 4 years
- Transfer Scholarship: $1,500/semester ($4,500/yr. max.), up to 3 years
- Trustees Transfer Scholarship: $3,000/semester ($9,000/yr. max.), up to 3 years
#7. Scholarship Aggregators
Not all scholarships will be appropriate for your circumstances, so you’ll have to look at quite a few before you find the ones that fit. Online scholarship aggregators pull in a high quantity of scholarships for you to review and choose from. For example, Scholarships.com has compiled a list of more than 100 education scholarships.
Financial aid for early childhood education is out there! Keep an organized spreadsheet of all the early childhood education scholarships you find, complete with due dates and award amounts, and start applying. You’ll be on your way to launching your early childhood education career!