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Kansas' Early Childhood Associate Apprenticeship Program

Feb 9, 2016

The Kansas Early Childhood Associate Apprenticeship Program (ECAAP) is an innovative, employer-based certification program that serves individuals working in child care centers, preschools or for a group-home provider.

Employers who develop and register the ECAAP Standards of Apprenticeship and have them approved and registered with the Kansas Department of Commerce-Kansas Apprenticeship Council will be recognized as an ECAAP Sponsor. Individual employees of the sponsor are then registered as apprentices under the Sponsors ECAAP program.

Apprentices attend classes - either in a traditional classroom setting, online or via Telenet; obtaining 20 hours of early childhood college credit that is all part of the colleges AA or AS degree program. The first 10 credit hours are required courses that meet the content hours for obtaining the Child Development Associate (CDA), a nationally recognized entry level credential which is issued from the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington D.C. Obtaining the CDA credential after the first year in the program is a requirement of all ECAAP apprentices. Licensed child care centers, preschools and group home providers are the program sponsors providing On-the-Job Learning (OJL) and mentors that present the job tasks to tell - show - illustrate skills in each of the 8 content areas of the Core Competencies.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families provides funding from state set-aside dollars in the Child Development Block Grant for ECAAP. This funding provides for program administration costs as well as books, fees and tuition for the RTI, CDA assessment fees and mentor stipends for each apprentice. This system provides structured applied learning connections for the apprentices a well as a means to demonstrate mastery of both academic and workplace competencies while obtaining stackable credentials recognized with in the early childhood career pathway.

Updated January 2016

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