WEST CHESTER (November 1, 2019) – Delaware County Community College (DCCC) will receive $250,000 in state funding to better prepare students for careers in early childhood education, state Senator Andy Dinniman announced.

“Quality early childhood education starts with quality teacher education and professional development. That’s why we need teachers who are prepared, passionate and practiced in the latest research around childhood learning and development,” Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, said. “This grant program supports investments in effective educators in our early childhood programs – investments that will benefit children and families in Chester County and the surrounding region for years to come.”

The Preschool Development Grant program will provide Early Childhood Education (ECE) professionals and students the opportunity to complete credit-bearing coursework towards a Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and/or Pennsylvania PreK-4 teacher certification.

DCCC, which serves residents of both Chester and Delaware Counties and the surrounding area, will use the funds to support the Higher Education Consortium, a partnership between higher education across the state to develop a statewide model for delivering associate and bachelor’s degrees in ECE using Apprenticeship in degree delivery.

DCCC was one of 10 colleges and universities across the Commonwealth awarded more than $1.5 million in total funding through the program, which is a partnership of the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Human Services Office of Child Development and Early Learning and the Pennsylvania Department of Education Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education.

The grants allow the universities and colleges and their project partners to design specific courses related to Pennsylvania’s Learning Standards for Early Childhood Infant and Toddlers and Pre-Kindergarten; ECE subject matter focusing on infants and toddlers; and developing knowledge and skills for educating young children whose primary language is not English, are not part of the dominant culture, and children who have special needs or come from vulnerable populations.

The grant program also enables the institutions to closely align their programs with the knowledge and skills required for the ECE workforce by engaging in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Higher Education Accreditation process.