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Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarships

Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship


The Mayor’s Office, Truman College’s Office of College to Careers, Chicago Public Schools, and the Department of Family Support Services collaborated to launch the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarships that will provide access for Chicagoans to pursue coursework in early care and education to earn a credential, degree, or licensure.

The scholarship serves an important role in Chicago’s efforts to expand access to early learning programs across the city and build a more robust workforce that can help the City expand high quality early learning programs.

The scholarship will also improve the lives of the recipients by giving parents a better understanding of child development and providing recipients with a meaningful career path.

Who is Eligible?

There are two intended recipients of this scholarship:

  1. Current Chicago Early Learning program staff who are looking to increase their credentials.
  2. Chicagoans interested in entering the early childhood workforce.

For Chicagoans who are not current early learning workers, applicants who are parents of children who are currently enrolled in one of Chicago’s early childhood programs and individuals with financial need will be prioritized.

Recipients must be eligible for employment in a Chicago Early Learning Center. (Recipients cannot have any felonies and must be able to pass an FBI, State of Illinois, and Sex Offender background check.)

DACA recipients are eligible.

How the Scholarship Works

  • Amount: The scholarship will serve as a “last dollar” scholarship; meaning it will cover everything that students’ federal grants don’t cover.
  • Education Partners: Upon scholarship award, recipients will be matched based on their credential need to a specific program at one of our partner institutions, which currently include City Colleges of Chicago, National Louis University, Roosevelt University, and University of Illinois Chicago.
  • How to Apply: Complete the survey to begin the application process and the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Team will follow up with you as opportunities become available.
  • Additional Supports:  CCC will also be providing additional staffing and supports for Chicagoans seeking support in navigating their professional pathway.  Individuals should sign up through the same website to indicate their interest in speaking one on one with a trained professional development coach.

Where Can I Learn More?

You can read more about City Colleges of Chicago’s Programs on Child Development and Human Development and Family Services on their website. More information on ECE Credentials can be found at the website of Gateways to Opportunities, a professional development support system for Illinois.