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Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Announced

Recently, Executive Director Debbie Green was in State College with Early Learning Director Kharma Hicks and PIC infant teachers Chelsea Reichert and Monica Williams for the the three-day PA Early Childhood Education Summit.

The Governor was there to announce the beginning of the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program, which will make college degrees a more realistic goal for nearly 2,000 early childhood educators across the state.

The program will cover 95 percent of tuition upfront while staff commit to pay the balance and remain at their center for two months for every college credit earned. For some, this program will be an opportunity that would not have been available otherwise.

This is wonderful news for early educators and young children in our state and it accompanies a growing movement in the field toward all early learning teachers having a minimum of an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. While Rising STARS Tuition Assistance promises educational opportunity and higher quality child care, it is worth noting that this "new" program bears a close resemblance to the TEACH scholarship program that lost its funding last year.

For more information, read the Rising Stars Tuition Assistance Program fact sheet or visit www.pa.gov.