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Child Care Apprenticeship

The deadline has passed and applications are no longer being accepted for the January cohort. The next cohort begins July 3, 2023.

What if you were given the opportunity to Earn While You Learn? Harford Community College's new statewide child care apprenticeship program does just that.

The 18-month online program is designed to be completed while working full-time in licensed Maryland child care facility. You will start as an aide and work under a mentor who provides you with on-the-job training. Raises are built into the schedule and you must complete classes in a child development, early childhood education, and child health and safety.

If you are an employer who is interested in participating in the Child Care Apprenticeship program, contact Laura Hutton or Matt Baylis for more information.

Certificates Earned Upon Completion of the Apprenticeship

  • 90-hour Preschool
  • 90-hour Infant & Toddler
  • 90-hour School-Age
  • 45-hour Child Care Administration
  • Medication Administration
  • Including All Children and the ADA
  • CPR and First Aid
  • 9-hour Communication Skills
  • Basic Health & Safety

Details about the Child Care Apprenticeship


All applicants must:

  • be 18 or older (17-year-olds will be considered as long as they will turn 18 during the apprenticeship);
  • have earned a high school diploma or GED®;
  • be a Maryland resident;
  • have reliable transportation;
  • be able to pass a medical evaluation and be cleared to work with children; 
  • be able to pass a background check to work with children (fingerprinting and child protective services check).

All applicants are required to be employed while in the apprenticeship program.

  • No experience is necessary.
  • Individuals accepted into the apprenticeship are matched to a participating employer for hiring.
  • Individuals currently working for a participating employer may also apply for the apprenticeship.
  • Apprentices will receive a raise every six months provided they are successfully completing the apprenticeship.
  • Apprentices are encouraged to work with the same employer throughout the apprenticeship but may apply to work with a different, participating employer.
  • Apprentices must complete 3,000 hours of employment over the course of the 18-month apprenticeship. Prior work experience may be used to meet this requirement as long as apprentices are working full-time during the apprenticeship program.
  • Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) provides grant funding that covers costs for apprentices.
  • The grant requires apprentices to continue to work in licensed child care in Maryland for a specified time after successful completion of the apprenticeship program.
  • Applicants who choose to participate in the grant must sign a separate grant agreement after being accepted into the apprenticeship program.
Additional Supports
  • Apprentices are supported by Harford Community College through site visits, networking, and support
  • Apprentices are supported by their employer through a mentoring relationship with an experienced teacher.
  • The College's teacher education faculty and staff assist apprentices in successfully navigating the coursework and assist apprentices with their application to the Maryland Child Care Credentialing program. This program provides funding for future training and bonuses to some child care employees.
  • Apprentices interested in continuing their education after completion of the apprenticeship receive support from the College in applying for the CCCPDF grant which covers 100% of tuition, books, and fees for select child care providers. 
  • Apprentices are eligible to articulate 21 credits toward a degree program after successfully completing the apprenticeship and one 3-credit course with a C or better.
Application Process
  1. Complete an online application online. Application for the July 2023 cohort will open in 2023.
  2. Applicants are screened using a name-based criminal background check (Maryland Judiciary Case Search). Individuals unlikely to pass a fingerprint check will be removed from the applicant pool.
  3. Applicants are contacted to set up a virtual interview.
  4. The top 25 applicants are selected for the apprenticeship cohort beginning July 2023.
  5. Apprentices are matched to employers to complete the hiring process (unless currently employed by a participating employer).
  6. Apprentices sign an apprenticeship agreement, register for classes, and sign a grant application (if requesting grant funding).
  7. Apprentices begin work no later than January 2, 2023.
  8. Coursework begins January 17, 2023


January 2023 Apprenticeship Cohort 

Apprentices who have taken equivalent courses at another institution may be able to receive credit for that work. Contact the program coordinators for more information.

All courses are delivered in an online, asynchronous format with the exception of Medication Administration and CPR & Frst Aid. Those courses will be in person on the Harford Community College campus in Bel Air, Maryland. Those who hold a current certification do not need to retake these courses. Those choosing to complete these courses at an alternate location may do so but they will not be paid for through the MSDE grant.


Child Care Apprenticeship 1 (Online)
JAN 17–JUN 11, 2023  |  $900

  1. Including All Children and the Americans with Disabilities Act
    (3-hour certificate required of all child care employees in Maryland)
  2. 90-Hour Preschool Certificate
    (required of lead teachers of children ages two through five in Maryland)

Child Care Apprenticeship 2a
Fall 2023 (Saturdays, TBD), in-person  |  $225 + textbook

  1. CPR & First Aid
  2. Medication Administration

Child Care Apprenticeship 2b (Online)
JUL 3–DEC 17, 2023  |  $675 + textbook

  1. Communication Skills for Child Care Providers
    (9-hour certificate required of lead teachers)
  2. School-Age Child Care
    (45-hour certificate required of lead teachers of school-age children (before/after school care, not K-12)
  3. Positive Discipline Techniques for Early Childhood Professionals
    (3-hour certificate)
  4. Supporting Children with Challenging Behavior
    (3-hour certificate)

Child Care Apprenticeship 3 (Online)
JAN 2–JUN 2, 2024  |  $900 + textbook

  1. Infant & Toddler Curriculum
    (45-hour certificate required of lead teachers of children under age two)
  2. Introduction to Child Care Administration
    (45-hour certificate required of administrators)

A second cohort of apprentices will form in spring for a July 3, 2023 start date.