New Grant Expands Training Program 

The Journey Conference: March 9

drawing of teacher with children in circleFamily child care providers and apprentices will join early childhood educators for a day of learning, sharing and networking at the first annual Journey Conference

  • Saturday, March 9: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • VPAC Auditorium, De Anza Campus

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With help from a three-year, $1.2 million state grant, De Anza’s Child Development and Education (CDE) Department is expanding an innovative apprenticeship program that offers students the opportunity to get paid while they work and take classes in their field.

teacher showing book to group of childrenStudents in the apprenticeship program will also have access to teaching materials and supplies, as well as resources such as food and child care for their own families. They will be paid a stipend to work with a child care provider in the community, as they take classes that help them qualify for a state permit to become a child care teacher or associate teacher.

The new grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office will help support four apprenticeship cohorts, each with 20 students, and the creation of a dedicated classroom and collaborative makerspace where students can find a variety of resources and take part in teaching simulations.

The grant will also fund an annual Family Child Care conference where students and professionals can share knowledge about the latest child care training and strategies.

Students in the program will be working with licensed child care operators who provide what’s known as “family child care” – generally in a private home setting rather than a commercial center. Family child care providers represent a large portion of the industry in California, explained CDE instructor Jayanti Roy, but the smaller size of individual family operations has made it more difficult for them to offer paid training positions in the past.

young male teacher with childrenThe apprenticeship stipends will help students cover their costs of living while they go to college, she added.

The first cohort of students began their apprenticeships last fall, with funding from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. De Anza is also working in partnership with First Five Santa Clara County, a local agency that supports education and health programs for families and children.

The state grant will allow the college to expand and sustain the program, beginning July 1, 2023.

"We are excited to expand our educational training and resources for our students, free of charge," said Elvin T. Ramos, dean of the Social Sciences and Humanities Division, which includes the CDE Department. "I am delighted that De Anza College will play a role in addressing the need for training more future teachers, capable of starting their own family child care centers."

The apprenticeship program will be overseen by Ramos and Roy. Tim Harper, a Child Development and Education instructor, helped write the grant application and has been serving as a “success coordinator” for the first cohort of students.

The state program that provided the grant, known as the California Apprenticeship Initiative, was established to create new pathways for students to gain training and employment in a variety of “priority and emerging” industries that need skilled workers.

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