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Early Care & Education

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Child Care Assistant / Associate I Educational Paraprofessional
Child Care Site Coordinator / Associate II  
The Work

Early Child Care Education is a very rewarding career. During the period of apprenticeship, the apprentice shall receive instruction and experience in all branches of the occupation as may be available, as is necessary to develop a practical and skilled worker who is versed in the theory and practice of this occupation. He/she shall perform such duties as are commonly related to an apprenticeship in this occupation and shall at all times be under the supervision of a competent journeyperson. Safe working practices shall be a prime consideration in every work operation.

The Apprenticeship Program is sponsored by industry and supported by labor and education. It combines on-the-job training with theoretical instruction to produce certified child care specialists and educational paraprofessionals. Apprenticeship programs are a proven success in Washington State. The programs offer key benefits not normally found in other education and job training programs.

Earn while you learn! - Apprentices earn a living wage with health care, retirement and other benefits while learning skills in a trade. Wages increase progressively as your skill level increases by learning the trade both in the classroom and working under the guidance of a journey level worker on the job site.

Working Conditions

The work is very physical and involves a good deal of kneeling, lifting, squatting, and walking. The work is done indoors and outdoors and always involves caring for children.

The Apprenticeship

This program is progressively structured through three levels as follows:

Child Care Assistant / Associate I, Child Care Site Coordinator / Associate II, Educational Paraprofessional.

  • Child Care Assistant/Associate I: Term of 2000 hours of reasonably continuous employment and be at least 16 years old.
  • Child Care Site Coordinator/Associate II: Term of 3000 hours of reasonably continuous employment and be at least 18 years old.
  • Educational Paraprofessional: Term of 6000 hours of reasonably continuous employment.

The Early Care and Education Apprenticeship combines classroom studies (144 hours per year) with on-the-job training under the supervision of a journey level craft person or trade professional.

Apprenticeship Entry Requirements:
  1. Be employed at a participating center or school.

  2. Be at least 16 years of age for Child Care Assistant.

  3. Be at least 18 years of age for Child Care Site Coordinator and Educational Paraprofessional.

  4. Have a High School diploma or equivalent or be enrolled in high school.

  5. Must be physically able to meet the requirements of the occupation.

  6. The applicant must be able to read, write, and speak English well enough to complete the necessary application form and interview.

  7. Criminal Background Check, including fingerprinting is required.

The Child Care Site Coordinator / Associate II must have completed an apprenticeship to journey level status as a Child Care Assistant/Associate I or document equal education & experience.

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