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The New York State Department of Labor Apprenticeship and Training Program: Early Childhood Associate Credential

The Early Childhood Associate Credential apprenticeship program is designed to provide a reflective and guided experience in working with children and families. One can earn this credential through the participation of the sponsoring child care facility where an individual is employed. The compensation to the apprentice by the sponsor progresses in accordance with their skill level.

The mentor (journeyworker in Department of Labor terminology) who guides the registered apprentice must be the Head of a Group, or a higher-level staff person. It is strongly recommended that the mentor have a minimum of an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education, the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential or a Certificate of Completion in the Early Childhood Associate registered apprenticeship program.

The DOL Apprenticeship training staff monitors the variety and the quality of the apprentices work experience. The apprentice must demonstrate competence in specific training areas as outlined by the Department of Labor (DOL), including the completion of 3,500 hours of related work and a yearly minimum of 144 clock hours of related instruction. Apprentices may qualify for educational scholarships.

The child care facility will certify that the apprentice has satisfactorily completed the required on-the-job-training. An agent of the New York State Education Department will certify that the apprentice has satisfactorily completed the related instruction component of the program. The DOL will then issue a Certificate of Completion, signifying that the apprentice has met all the requirements of apprenticeship.

The requirements for apprenticeship vary in localities throughout the state. Apprentices must be at least 18 years of age and employed in a child care facility.

Now, the apprenticeship program is non-credit bearing. However, college courses, which are credit bearing, can be used to meet the requirement for the related instruction.

For more information about being an apprentice or a sponsor, contact Mary Erickson, NYS Department of Labor (518) 457-1412