ECC addresses early childhood educator shortage with new scholarship

Elgin Community College is providing an Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship to address the shortage of qualified early childhood educators by encouraging the pursuit of credentials and advancement of already-held degrees in early childhood education to build a strong, well-prepared workforce.

"As an early childhood educator myself, I know it's hard to find time to explore these types of opportunities," said Kim Johnson, ECC student success specialist with the Early Childhood Access Consortium (ECACE). "This scholarship can make it easier financially to access a top-notch program and all of the resources and support ECC provides."

Along with a second student success specialist Allison Thomas, Johnson will help students get started with the scholarship by verifying eligibility and guiding them along the way.

The Early Childhood Education Scholarship is unique in that it is only available to educators currently working in this field.

The scholarship may cover the total cost of tuition after financial aid is received. Recipients are expected to continue or return to teaching or direct services in the early childhood care and education field in Illinois after they complete their program of study. Funds for the scholarship are provided through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and are available for a limited time.

"This scholarship provides an excellent opportunity for local educators to upskill," said Johnson. "Our communities need teachers to stay in the field, and one way to help them is by providing affordable options to earn additional credentials."

For more information about the scholarship, contact Kim Johnson at (847) 214-7312 or

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