T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®

T.E.A.C.H. RI makes college affordable

Earning relatively low wages and working long hours, many early childhood educators have viewed college as out of reach. Thanks to T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®, higher education is now more affordable and accessible for our early-care providers.

New Applicants

RI’s Race to the Top funding for T.E.A.C.H. expired in December 2016 and we are  not accepting new applicants. If you are interested in being placed on a waiting list for possible January 2018 scholarships, please email Maura Pearce at mpearce@rwu.edu.

T.E.A.C.H. awards scholarships to center-based educators, administrators, and home child-care providers across the state who are pursuing coursework in early childhood education or seeking degrees degrees at the Community College of Rhode Island or Rhode Island College. It then connects this increased education with increased compensation, which leads to better teacher retention.

Thanks to funding from the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, T.E.A.C.H. RI now pays 80 to 90 percent of tuition and 90 percent of book costs for staff working in classrooms or home-care settings.

Depending on the scholarship model, scholars also receive bonus pay, a travel stipend, and paid release time.

  • Students can earn degrees or take courses for professional development.
  • Scholarships are not currently based on financial need or family income.
  • CCRI students can enroll at any one of four campuses, or mix them.
  • Tuition is paid in advance by T.E.A.C.H. Out-of-pocket expenses are minimal.
  • Scholars receive personalized academic advising and mentoring.
  • The minimum expectation is nine credits of coursework in a year.

If  you work a minimum of 30 hours with children birth to five, in a DCYF-licensed child-care program, and wish to be placed on a waiting list for possible January 2018 scholarships, please send an email to Maura Pearce mpearce@rwu.edu that includes the following information: Full name, home address, phone number, program name and phone number of the location where you work, position and age group you work with, number of hours you work each week and your hourly wage. Additionally, please include how many years you have worked in early childhood education and how many years you have worked for your current employer.  Please attach a copy of an unofficial transcript showing all completed college courses (clearly showing your current name), and indicate whether you hope to start or continue an AA degree or are looking to earn a bachelor’s degree.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Rhode Island is a project of Ready to Learn Providence and a licensed program of Child Care Services Association in North Carolina. It is currently funded through the RI Department of Human Services.


Shown at top are some of the T.E.A.C.H. scholars who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Rhode Island College. Standing with them (back row, l-r) are RIC instructor Pat Maris and T.E.A.C.H. Director Maura Pearce.

teach coverT.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood published its annual national program report in December 2015. The book, including the cover, features many Rhode Island scholars and sponsoring centers. Click here to see the full report.