Early Childhood Associate Apprenticeship Program (ECAAP)
The Early Childhood Associate Apprenticeship Program is a program of the Kansas Department of Commerce. It is an innovative certification program that serves individuals working in childcare and early education. It provides workers with quantifiable skills and portable, industry-recognized credentials that meet Kansas' early care and education requirements. It combines related technical and theoretical instruction with planned on-the-job training (OJT) under the supervision of a skilled mentor. In simplest terms, registered apprenticeship is applied education.
The Registered Apprenticeship training model links increased knowledge and competency to higher wages. This helps employers attract and retain professionals who are prepared to work with children. By offering incremental wage increases as apprentices complete training, ECAAP provides a structure for a comprehensive career and workforce development system.
Since its inception, ECAAP has partnered with community colleges across the State. These colleges have tailored their curricula and service delivery to meet the needs of child care businesses. With 7 educational partners, including an online option, ECAAP is available statewide.