T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarships

The Need

Educators with higher education have been shown to possess a better understanding of child development and be more responsive to the needs of young children. Scholarships make this professional development pathway financially accessible to more prospective educators.

The Strategy

This activity provides funding to eliminate the waitlist and expand access to the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship Program, which offers early childhood education professionals working in a licensed program scholarships and stipends to pursue higher education.

This program is affiliated with the national Teacher Education and Compensation Helps Early Childhood® initiative of the Child Care Services Association, and the Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) holds the state license to offer scholarships in Colorado. 

Key Outcomes and Learnings 


The average participant took nine credits per reporting period (fiscal year quarter). Sixteen participants completed their degrees in 2023. In 2022, 94% of associate-level participants and 100% of bachelor-level participants were retained in their degree program. One in five scholars identified as people of color and/or Latinx, and 5% identified as male educators. 92% of scholars were retained by their early childhood employer throughout the required work commitment. In 2023, the T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship awarded scholarships to 153 early childhood professionals impacting over 6,300 children statewide. Of those recipients, 52% were first generation college students. Associate-level participants reported a 9% increase in wages and 97% were retained in their sponsoring programs. Bachelor-level participants reported a 14% wage increase and 100% stayed with their sponsoring programs. One in three scholars identified as people of color and 4 percent identified as male. For all T.E.A.C.H. models combined, 97% of scholars reported staying at their sponsoring program and an average of an 8% increase in wages.


The large number of applications demonstrates the need and interest in this programming. Additional technical assistance shifted to help applicants complete the application process, which increased application completion rates, and ultimately, scholarship award rates. 

With several scholarship opportunities available, protocols are in place to ensure that funds are managed equitably across participants.

blue gear labeled workforce


Amount: $3,000,000 


  • American Rescue Plan Discretionary 
  • American Rescue Plan Stabilization

Expiration: September 30, 2024

Next Steps

CDEC is working to streamline and connect ECCLA T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarships and TEACH Colorado programs for improved communication about the two programs. 

ECCLA will be adding an apprenticeship pathway to their T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship model opportunities.

TEACH Early Childhood Colorado and ECCLA Lockup

Additional Data and Demographics


bar chart showing teach scholarship recipients by pathway

pie chart showing race reported by scholarship recipients

pie chart showing scholarship language reported