Professional Career Pathway Project helping fund education for childcare providers at Central Arizona College
By Guy Harrison
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – Childcare providers needing a Childhood Development Associate (CDA) credential or looking to take early childhood education (ECE) courses toward an associate degree may do so with the assistance of the state of Arizona’s Professional Career Pathway Project (PCPP) at Central Arizona College.
Shirley Harter is the PCPP program specialist for Central Arizona College and helps oversee the operation of the program for CAC and the entire state as the college coordinates the statewide program.
“The intent of the program is to provide professional development for childcare providers,” Harter explained. “PCPP has raised the bar for childcare professionals.”
To be eligible for the funding, the student must work in a childcare center or be a family childcare provider, or be a family group home provider or employee. Volunteers may be eligible for the program as well.
In addition, students are required to identify a goal and pursue ECE coursework to accomplish that goal. Students must complete all courses funded by PCPP with a “C” grade or better to continue receiving funds. Only ECE courses can be funded through PCPP.
The funds cover one to six credits per semester and 12 total credits per school year, a textbook stipend of $10 per credit each semester for use at the college bookstore, and multiple CDA assessment fees for DES and DHS certified providers.
In addition to tuition funding, PCPP provides a CDA mentor service to eligible participants.
“The mentor will help the student with their application, observation and preparation of a portfolio for the credentialing processing,” Harter said.