Scholarships and Grants
During their first five years children are developing the tools – emotional and behavioral management, fine and gross motor skills, and resilience – they need to handle whatever life throws their way. Additionally, children need well-designed spaces to promote active learning. Qualistar Colorado awards college scholarships to early care and education professionals and capital improvement grants to nonprofit programs to ensure every child has effective teachers and a safe learning environment.
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Colorado
Early care and education teachers who have postsecondary experience have been shown to have a better understanding of child development and to be more responsive to the educational and academic needs of young children. However, with low wages, paying for college-level coursework is a challenge.
Qualistar’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® program provides college scholarships to early care and education professionals. T.E.A.C.H., which is affiliated with the national Teacher Education and Compensation Helps initiative, pays for 90 percent of the college tuition and fees for college classes to meet licensing requirements and to earn a credential, associate or bachelor’s degree.
With each T.E.A.C.H scholarship, Qualistar provides counseling and support services, a completion bonus and reimbursement for travel, textbooks, internet bills and unpaid time off from work.
- In a single year, more than 16,000 children are impacted by a teacher or director who has received a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship that same year.
- Turnover is just 5 percent for T.E.A.C.H. scholarship recipients, significantly lower than the industry average of 33 percent.
- 100 percent of T.E.A.C.H. scholarship recipients say they would not have taken college classes without support from Qualistar.
- Read the T.E.A.C.H. 2016 Report.
Capital Improvement Grants
All early care and education programs operate on tight profit margins and many lack the budgetary flexibility required for costly improvements to the building, classroom or playground. Oftentimes, health-and safety-related facilities improvements or emergencies – such as new sink plumbing or a broken HVAC system – make long-term budgeting a challenge.
Qualistar’s capital improvement grant program is a competitive grant opportunity for nonprofit early care and education programs. Read more about the grant application process.
Qualistar awards grants twice a year – in the spring and fall. All applicants must show evidence of a matching grant or other source of funding for the project, and applications with the required documentation must be received by the deadline. Qualistar hosts informational webinars to guide potential applicants through the process and to explain grant guidelines. Past grant-funded projects have included parking lot resurfacing, new lighting.
Why Learning Environments Matter
Environmental psychology and architectural research has shown a correlation between school design and both student achievement and teacher retention. Children need well-designed spaces to promote active learning and, in an industry challenged to retain experienced teachers, facilities can contribute to a positive work environment, enhancing job satisfaction.
High-quality learning environments also convey a sense of value while creating a setting in which children are able to thrive. Facilities improvements that may not be considered essential, such as replacing too-bright lighting, can dramatically change a child’s learning experience as well as a teacher’s experiences in the workplace.
A well-designed facility can:
- enhance child development and quality.
- encourage family involvement.
- provide a positive workplace in a field challenged by high turnover.