After almost 20 years as a career service specialist for ITT Tech, Madelyn Hall decided it was the time to finally open her own family child care center in Southern California. “My mother-in-law has been a family child care provider for almost 30 years and had always encouraged me to take a chance and try the career. So I decided it was the time.” Since opening her daycare in 2013, Madelyn nurtures and educates 10 children ranging from 8 months to 10 years old.
Madelyn enrolled in the Early Educators Apprenticeship, a partnership between the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and theChild Care Resource Center (CCRC). The apprenticeship helps early childhood education workers to simultaneously earn industry credentials and make progress toward earning college degrees, earn higher wages, and receive on-the-job training and mentoring by leaders in their field.
“At first I was worried,” Madelyn recalls, “how would I balance my day care, school and my family? And the thought of starting school all over again? It was very intimidating.” Almost a year later and two semesters in, Madelyn feels very differently now. “My whole perspective of children and day care has changed. The curriculum is dead on. Now I see children in a whole different way.”
Madelyn credits the programs free courses, materials and monthly stipend as one of the major motivating factors. “You can make excuses and say I’ll do it later. The program motivates you to keep going, there is no later. The time is now.” In addition to becoming more knowledgeable in her field, Madelyn also credits her close relationship with her classmates, “ we get to network and collaborate. Anytime we can get together, the connections and networking opportunities are profound.”
“I went to traditional college and took out student loans. I learned that nothing is given to you. I worked in a college for 18 years, and they didn’t give away anything. So to be able to be a part of this apprenticeship tuition free? This is a blessing.”