What is the Child Care WAGE$® FLORIDA Program?
The Child Care WAGE$® Florida Program is designed to increase stability and improve child care quality by reducing turnover and encouraging continued education of child care practitioners (teachers, FCCH assistant teachers in centers and family child care homes). This program provides education based WAGE$ incentives for low to moderate wage earners who work with young children ages birth to five.
Where Does the Funding Come From?
The Child Care WAGE$® FLORIDA Program funding provided by local contributors such as early learning coalitions and children services councils. The Children’s Forum is the licensee for Child Care WAGE$® in Florida and administers this program in participating counties in partnership with local funders.
Who is Eligible to Participate in the Program?
Child care practitioners working directly with children for at least 20 hours per week earning less than $17.50 per hour may be eligible for a WAGE$ incentive if they have some formal child care training and/or education beyond a high school diploma. * Individual county requirements may differ.
How Much Can I Receive Through Child Care WAGE$®?
The value of each WAGE$ incentive is determined by the level of education and the position held by the child care practitioner. For example, a teacher or family child care provider is eligible for a $450 annual incentive for possessing a national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and can earn $1,500 per year with an AS or AAS in Early Childhood Education. The amount of incentive increases as the level of education increases. WAGE$ incentives for part-time practitioners are prorated based on a 40 hour work week.
How Do I Sign Up to Participate in the Program?
Interested child care practitioners must complete the WAGE$ application and provide verification of: (1) current employment in a participating county’s eligible child care/early learning program, (2) current salary, and (3) educational credentials and/or unofficial transcripts.
When Will I Receive a Check?
Each participant who meets the requirements for the Child Care WAGE$® Florida Program and remains eligible will receive an incentive check in the seventh month, after the completion of a six-month commitment period. The commitment period means that the practitioner has remained continuously employed in the qualified child care or early learning center or family child care home. The commitment period is established for each individual practitioner based on the application date, date of employment and documentation of education. The amount of the WAGE$ incentive is based on one half of the annual award amount and reflects the schedule worked during the six-month period (part-time prorated or full time). All payments are contingent upon funding availability.
How Can I Increase the Amount of Money I Receive Through Child Care WAGE$®?
Child care practitioners participating in the Child Care WAGE$® FLORIDA Program may increase their incentive award amounts by successfully completing additional education. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program offers scholarships to child care practitioners to earn credentials or degrees in early childhood education.