Grant covers cost of degree for childcare providers

Published on September 7, 2023

Cecil College logo.

NORTH EAST, Md. – With the ever-growing need for childcare providers in the region, Cecil College provides a pathway for current caretakers to earn a degree in the field of education at no cost to them.

Cecil College is the recipient of a $50,514 grant from the Maryland State Department of Education Division of Early Childhood to fund the Child Care Career and Professional Development Fund (CCCPDF). The CCCPDF covers all tuition, books, and fees for childcare providers interested in pursuing an Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degree in Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education. This is the sixth year for this grant at Cecil College.

To qualify for this program, students must work in a licensed childcare center or be a licensed family childcare provider in Maryland, working for at least 10 hours per week. Additionally, participants must commit to 10 hours per week working in childcare in Maryland, a service commitment following graduation. The number of years of service is determined by how many credits the State pays for during the degree completion period with a maximum of two years for an associate degree.

“Increasing the level of education for our valued early childhood professionals in Cecil County is beneficial for individual personal growth and building a community of highly trained educators. The caretakers who value professionalism want to create quality early learning environments and advocate for the children and families they serve are the most impactful,” said Alyssa Ehrsam, Coordinator – Child Care Career and Professional Development Fund.

While participating in the program, students have access to guidance and counseling from the coordinator of the CCCPDF who provides support with the application process, maintains grant requirements, mentor students, oversees the degree process, and serves as a liaison in connecting students with support services offered through the college. The new applicant deadline is March 1 each year, and accepted students will receive funding the following fall semester.

Cecil College is centrally located in Maryland’s most northeastern county with campuses in North East and Elkton. The College features a diverse student population, with approximately 2,200 credit students and 2,300 non-credit students. Cecil College offers associate degrees, certificate programs, and non-credit classes.

To learn more about this opportunity, contact Alyssa Ehrsam, Coordinator – Child Care Career and Professional Development Fund, at or call 410-599-5263.