SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's Department of Workforce Services’ Office of Child Care has released $4 million in scholarships to encourage careers in early childhood education and support child care hiring.
Utah’s Early Education Payback Program will provide reimbursement for the cost of degrees in these and related fields.
“We looked at the hiring challenges happening across so many industries, especially in child care, and saw a unique opportunity,” said Office of Child Care director Rebecca Banner. “This scholarship program gives college students a head start by paying for their education while they earn valuable work experience.”
They also hope it will serve as an incentive for child care employers in hiring and retaining employees.
Payback scholarships are available to students with declared majors in early childhood education, elementary education, child development and early childhood special education. They can earn up to $3,500 per semester while working at least 15 hours per week at a Workforce Services-eligible and licensed child care program in Utah.
Additional college scholarships are available through the Office of Child Care for professionals already working in child care programs but not majoring in the field. Students can be reimbursed up to $750 per semester for each qualifying course up to 12 credit hours.
There are also scholarships for professionals to attend conferences and expand their knowledge in the field.