Apprenticeship Program Description


This is a training program which combines classroom instruction with on-the-job-training and support. Paid internship (work experience) during apprenticeship (Work Experience or Field Training). Building a talent pipeline into early childhood education related fields. The program consists of three (3) ways to be eligible for the registered apprenticeship.

Level 1 A:    School-to-Registered Apprenticeship – Enter through Education for Employment’s Teacher Academy course upon successful completion

Level 1 B:    Pre-Apprenticeship – Enter through Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Level 2 C:    Direct Entry into Apprenticeship – 18+ years old with a high school diploma or GED

The Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship program content includes obtainment of the Child Development Associate (CDA), Instruction in Early Child Education, Employability Skills, Behavior Guidance Techniques, Interpersonal Relations, and Health & Safety.

This is the first nationally registered multiple employer and county-wide early childhood apprenticeship program in the state of Michigan! Complete the apprenticeship and the certification will follow you anywhere in the U.S.!

Level 2: Development


Program Requirements

Step 1: Complete ECE Registered Apprenticeship Application

Include in your application:

(1)   Driver’s License or Birth Certificate

(2)   High School Diploma or GED

(3)   Completed ICHAT Release Form and Central Registry Request Forms

(4)   Resume

Return application and attachments to Child Care Resources.

If completed application is received and approved, the applicant will be scheduled for an interview


Step 2: Interview

i)       Provide Verification of Education and Related Experience Hours (if applicable)

If accepted into the ECE Apprenticeship program, an orientation will be scheduled.


Step 3: Orientation

Review of:

(1)   Employment Guidelines

(2)   ECE Registered Apprenticeship Standards

(3)   CDA Hybrid Course

(4)   Field Training

Upon completion of the orientation, the applicant is required to sign an Apprenticeship Agreement


Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate

  • $250 (includes Material fee and Textbooks)

  • Complete 144 hours of educational training

  • Complete 480 hours of experience working with children

  • Develop a professional portfolio

  • Observation from Professional Development Specialist

  • Apply for T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship

  • $500 CDA Exam

Program Schedule

CDA Hybrid Course

  • Classes meet monthly

  • 6 – 8 pm

  • Held at Child Care Resource, 5250 Lovers Lane Suite LL 120 Portage, MI 49002

Field Training

Hours assigned by Mentor or Employer


Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate


Level 3: Achieving

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Early Childhood Apprenticeship Certificate

Application and Analysis

  • Professional Development

  • Reflective Supervision

  • Field Training

  • Work Experience

Complete 2000 hours to include Work Experience, Field Training and Professional Development

Program Schedule

Hours assigned by Mentor or Employer


Early Childhood Apprenticeship Certificate

Apply Today!

 Question or concerns, please contact:

Southwest Child Care Resource

5250 Lovers Ln Suite LL 120

Kalamazoo, MI 49002

269-349-3296 (office)

269-349-6822 (fax)


Program Instructor

Amy Lason

269-349-3296 ext. 235


Executive Director

April Goodwin

269-349-3296 ext. 238

Program Partners

Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency

Head Start
Great Start Readiness Program
Youth Opportunities Unlimited
Education for Employment

KC Ready 4’s
New Genesis

Michigan Work’s Southwest