As research demonstrates, the quality of teaching is a critical ingredient of the quality of early education and care programs. Research also indicates that children benefit from early educators with bachelor’s degrees and specialized training. Acting on this evidence, in 2005 Massachusetts established the Early Childhood Educators Scholarship, which has awarded more than 5,000 grants to early educators pursuing college degrees.
Applications for the coming 2012-13 academic year are now available. Here is the notice from the Department of Early Education and Care:
Dear Early Childhood and Out-of-School-Time Educators,
The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) and the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) are pleased to announce the release of the 2012-2013 Early Childhood Educators (ECE) Scholarship application. The ECE Scholarship is accessible through OSFA’s website (www.osfa.mass.edu) under the Financial Aid Programs heading.
The scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance for currently employed early childhood and out-of-school-time educators and providers who enroll in an associate or bachelor degree program in early childhood education or a related field. The ECE Scholarship is awarded on a first come, first served basis; educators who have received the scholarship in the past must still complete the new online application for the 2012-2013 academic year. Educators interested in the ECE Scholarship must also complete the 2012-2013 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/).
All required application forms must be submitted by the June 1, 2012 priority deadline to be considered. Applications received after the June 1, 2012 priority date will be considered based on the availability of funds. For more information please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions posted on the application website or contact the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance at 617-727-9420.