Program helps early-childhood teachers
In its 10th year providing childcare for Basehor and surrounding areas, Little Angels Learning Center Inc. is helping its third teacher expand her education.
Through a project called T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood KANSAS (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) associated with the Kansas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, childcare staff members at centers such as Little Angels can receive financial assistance in earning their associate's degree in early childhood education.
The increased knowledge will better equip the employee and benefit the children under their care.
Full-time employees at state-licensed centers are eligible for this project, in which the state pays 80 percent of tuition and books, the employer contributes 10 percent and the employee is responsible for the remaining 10 percent.
Little Angels administrator Dave Delladio said he gave employee Ashley Walker the head's up on the project after she graduated from high school and started taking classes at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
"We told her about the program because she's a good employee," Delladio said. "Ashley was a Care Cats volunteer in high school so she's very personable and very good with kids."
Walker, a 2006 graduate of Basehor-Linwood High School, will start the T.E.A.C.H. project at KCKCC this fall and plans to go on to earn a bachelor's degree in early child care. She has been an employee at Little Angels for about a year and a half and would like to be a preschool teacher. She said she chose to work at Little Angels because of its level of education for children.
"I heard their education was really good and it also fit around my schedule with school and everything," Walker said.
The T.E.A.C.H. project encourages employers to support employees involved in the program by giving them paid time off to study and attend classes.
"I will come to work during the day and they'll release me for an hour three days a week to study," Walker said. "I'll also be taking night and online classes."