State Launches Home-Based Childcare Apprenticeship Program
Connecticut is launching a new apprenticeship program to train workers for home-based childcare jobs.
The first-of-its-kind program in the state aims to help fill high-demand jobs in the industry.
“Our nation is experiencing a childcare crisis—one where spots are scarce and costs are increasingly climbing,” said Gov. Ned Lamont. “Connecticut is not immune.
“Affordable childcare shouldn’t be a privilege or a perk.
“Expanding the workforce in this field means increasing access to childcare for all workers and helping parents pursue meaningful and successful employment.”
The federally backed Family Childcare Registered Apprenticeship Program is a coordinated partnership between the Department of Labor, Office of Early Childhood and SEIU.
The administration said the goal is to partner with families and communities to create appropriate care, improve the quality of early care and education, and value the work that childcare providers perform.
Participants will work a minimum of 2,000 hours and spend hundreds of hours in the classroom.
Upon completion, they will have the Child Development Associate and National Association for Family Childcare credentials.
Officials say those credentials raise the wages for providers, improve future earning power, and lift the quality of home-based early childhood education programs.
OEC commissioner Beth Bye said the program will “help address a significant workforce shortage in the industry.”
A report from Ready Nation found the nation’s economy loses $122 billion annually from a lack of infant and toddler care.
Connecticut’s economy alone loses $1.5 billion annually due to diminished access to infant and toddler care.
“This is a good step to help solve one of the state’s biggest challenges,” said CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima.
“The childcare industry is the workforce behind the workforce. Without access to quality, affordable childcare, businesses will struggle to attract new workers.”
In March, Lamont established Connecticut’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Childcare.
The panel, composed of early childhood providers, business leaders, policymakers, and community leaders, is developing a strategic plan for an accessible, equitable, high-quality, and affordable childcare system for all families in Connecticut.
“For Connecticut to reach its full economic potential, we need to address the childcare crisis,” said DiPentima, a member of the panel.
“That means looking at all solutions to create a sustainable system that will not only lead to meaningful careers, but also make childcare more affordable for businesses and families.”
The panel is expected to release its recommendations by January 2024.
Last month, DOL reported that center-based child care payrolls reached employment highs of 15,700 workers employed in the state, which is above pre-pandemic levels.
Data from OEC identifies 1,822 home-based family care centers in Connecticut.
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