CITY OF CHICAGO: Mayor Emanuel to Announce Expansion of the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship
City of Chicago issued the following announcement on Jan. 2.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today will announce an expansion of the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship to support the development of the early education workforce across the City. The $4 million investment will expand the free access to college coursework for Chicagoans interested in the field of early education.
“Every child deserves a high quality education that gives them the opportunity to succeed, and that starts with our early learners,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The Early Learning Workforce Scholarship is proof that this is one of the best investments we can make in our students and our City. The scholarship recipients are not just pursuing a career for themselves; they will help ensure that every child in our City has a skilled teacher from the earliest years and help level the playing field for students of all backgrounds across Chicago from the very start.”
The Mayor, City Colleges of Chicago and the Department of Family and Support Services launched the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship in spring 2018 with an initial $2 million investment. The program has enrolled over 250 students across multiple partner institutions to-date. Given the program’s success, an additional $4 million investment in 2019 will support additional interested students to pursue a career as teachers and teacher assistants in early childhood education.
"The future of our city is directly tied to our ability to prepare highly-trained early childhood educators," said City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado. "This expanded scholarship commitment will ensure more Chicagoans from across our communities can launch or advance careers serving our youngest learners."
The Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship increases access to higher education certification programs for educators across the city to build a more diverse, trained workforce that meets the needs of the youngest learners across the city. Scholarship recipients are eligible to pursue credentials at City Colleges, University of Illinois at Chicago, the Erikson Institute, National Louis University and other local 4-year universities, depending on each program’s availability and capacity. Programs at these institutions will prepare educators to meet the rigorous standards and credential requirements to work in Chicago’s early learning programs in both community child care centers and Chicago Public Schools.
“We know the long-term benefits of early education,” said Department of Family and Support Services Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “The expansion of the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship is a smart, critical investment to ensure our City has the best and brightest educators prepared to support our children’s futures for years to come.”
Building the early learning workforce is integral to Mayor Emanuel’s plans to implement universal full-day prekindergarten for 4-year-olds. Since 2011, Mayor Emanuel has expanded access to high quality, full-day preschool and programming for children across the city. Last school year, more than 20,000 children across the city had access to a full-day of preschool – more than doubling the capacity of full-day preschool in Chicago since 2011.
In May, Mayor Emanuel announced his plan to ensure that all four-year-olds in Chicago have access to a full-day of pre-kindergarten by the fall of 2021. Once implemented, Mayor Emanuel will have added 3.5 years of classroom time since 2011, when he began shifting away from the shortest school day and the shortest school year in Illinois.
City Colleges offers early childhood courses at Truman, Daley, Harold Washington, Kennedy-King, Malcolm X and Olive-Harvey College. Truman College is City Colleges of Chicago's Center of Excellence for Education, Human and Natural Sciences, and convenes key partners in the early childhood space, K-12 partners, four-year colleges and universities, and community organizations to ensure its curriculum prepares students to succeed in high demand areas of education and to support the city’s effort to ensure every Chicago child is taught by a well-trained educator.
More information can be found at chicagoearlylearning.org/scholarship.
Original source can be found here.