AWARDS for Early Educators,

As a follow up to last week's announcement about the new Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) program called AWARDS for Early Educators, I am pleased to also announce  enhancements to the SCHOLARSHIPS and INCENTIVES programs effective as of July 1, 2014 that were approved by DECAL.

1.  SCHOLARSHIPS, as of the summer 2014 semester, is available to eligible applicants pursing a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and will cover up to $1,000 per semester in tuition and mandatory fees and provide the student with a $500 stipend for other educational expenses.  (SCHOLARSHIPS for all other levels remains at 80% of tuition and mandatory fees at public institutions and up to $1,910 per semester at private institutions after HOPE, Pell and any other grants and awards have been applied).  In addition, GA Pre-K Assistant Teachers in public school settings are now eligible for SCHOLARSHIPS through the Bachelor's Degree level.

2.  INCENTIVES, as of the fall 2014 application period, will now award four payments per education level for those who earn a credential or degree above the CDA to encourage early educators in Georgia to continue their education.  Eligible applicants can receive payments at each educational level for having earned early childhood education credentials and degrees as follows:

  • CDA = $250 x two payments
  • Technical Certificate of Credit = $375 x four payments
  • Technical College Diploma = $500 x four payments
  • Associate of Applied Science = $750 x four payments
  • Bachelor's Degree = $1,000 x four payments
  • Bachelor's Degree Birth - Five = $1,150 x four payments (New Level)
  • Master's Degree = $1,250 x four payments

These payments are distributed over a two year period to eligible applicants.  Applicants who progress to a higher level of credential or degree before all four payments are made are automatically increased to the higher payment level.

3.  The wage limit requirement for applicants to all three programs has been increased to $15.50 or less from $15.00 or less per hour.

All program information and applications are available on the new website  For your convenience, I have also attached a new flyer about the AWARDS for Early Educators Program, a DECAL Scholars Flyer which gives an overview of all our programs and the applications for the three programs.  The applicant and work setting eligibility requirements are listed on the first page of each application.  We also encourage you to provide a link to on your institution's website.
The three programs offer early educators in Georgia a unique opportunity to be supported and rewarded for increasing their level of ECE education. If you are interested in co-hosting an informal Saturday session to invite potential students on to your campus to learn about your programs in early childhood education, please contact me.   We would be happy to distribute the invitations to teachers and assistant teachers and family child care providers in your area, manage the RSVP list and bring a light breakfast and door prizes.  The presentation might include information about the admissions process and financial aid, the early childhood education options available and DECAL program support.

The DECAL Scholars staff are here to support your ECE programs and help your students reach their goals.

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Contact: Jane Brown
Vice President, Program Consulting

Care Solutions, Inc.
1117 Perimeter Center West, Suite W-300
Atlanta, GA 30338
770-642-6722 & 1-800-227-3410 (p)
770-640-6073 (f)