T.E.A.C.H. is a unique scholarship program that works to increase the education levels of Colorado’s early childhood professionals, reduce turnover, and increase wages within the field. ­­Early childhood teachers, assistant teachers, family child care providers, and center directors who meet the criteria may be eligible for a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship. Please visit our website for more information and eligibility requirements.

Currently we have funding for teachers and directors outside of the Denver Metro Area with the next semester starting summer 2018 and for the Denver Preschool Program T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship starting fall of 2018. During the spring 2018 semester, we awarded T.E.A.C.H. scholarships to 29 teachers, directors, and family child care providers across the state.

Concluding our fall 2017 round, Mrs. Mary Paul graduated from Adams State University with her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. Read her story below. Congratulations, Mary!

When I opened my first in-home child care operation in 1989, I often told people that I was a “babysitter”.  Beyond meeting the basic needs of the children, I knew very little about what the “business” of child care entailed.  I watched four children in addition to my own two and we played, napped, and ate.  My husband was in the Air Force and when we were reassigned from California to an overseas base in England in 1990, I took a 3-year break from child care as we enjoyed our overseas tour.  Upon returning to the States I again became licensed in Las Vegas, Nevada.  After about 4 years I realized that there was much more I could give to the children in my care.  Through trainings and with the assistance of local child care advocacy organizations, I earned my Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.  That was the start of a life-long love of learning about the mind of a child.

When we moved to Colorado in 2006 after my husband retired, I contacted Qualistar and the T.E.A.C.H. program to help me pursue an Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and further expand on the knowledge gained when I earned my CDA.  Not only did I achieve that goal, but I also went on to achieve a Bachelor of Arts in Early Child Education Non-Licensure with a minor in Business Management from Adams State University.  I could never have achieved these goals without the support of Qualistar, the T.E.A.C.H. program, and the supportive staff–especially Shannon Hall, Shannon LeBlanc and Lori Roxbury who helped me with constructive questions and gave pep-talks when the pressure and rigors of earning my degrees became difficult or seemed overwhelming.  My success was because you believed.

My hope is to continue my education with a major in child psychology.  I will also start mentoring and become a coach so I might be able to give back to the community what has been given to me.