Scholarship program helps those seeking degrees in early childhood education

Asian female teacher teaching mixed race kids reading book in classroom,Kindergarten pre school concept

On Tuesday, June 6, the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) said the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has opened the 2023-24 application for the ECACE Scholarship, now with expanded eligibility for those pursuing or interested in pursuing a credential or degree in early childhood education.

The scholarship will now be available at participating community colleges and universities beginning in a student’s freshman year, for certain associate and bachelor’s degree programs, and is also available for advanced degrees and endorsements.
Detailed information about eligibility and a link to the 2023-24 scholarship application is available on the ISAC website at
The ECACE scholarship is designed to help address the shortage of qualified early childhood educators and to build a strong, well-prepared workforce in the field.
The scholarship was developed in partnership with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), and the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD), and is funded by IDHS. To be eligible for the ECACE scholarship, those who are seeking credentials and/or a degree in early childhood education must currently be working or have worked in the early childhood field.
This includes applicants who work or have worked in family childcare and center-based care settings. Other eligibility requirements for the scholarship, and a list of participating institutions, are available on the ECACE Scholarship webpage.
The scholarship can cover as much as the total cost of attendance (which can include tuition and fees, room and board, books, and transportation) for an academic year (including summer) after other financial aid received. Recipients of the scholarship are expected to continue or return to teaching or direct services in the early childhood care and education field in Illinois after they complete their program of study.
To apply for the scholarship for the 2023-24 academic year, students should complete the 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) if they have not already done so, as well as the ECACE scholarship application, and should provide required documentation. Eligible students who are currently enrolled in a participating institution are encouraged to work with their financial aid advisor.