Upskilling the Early Learning Workforce


Recognizing that one of the most important factors in school success is the capabilities of the adults who promote young children’s growth and learning, VECF is pleased to be part of an exciting new initiative to support one of Virginia’s most valuable workforces – early childhood professionals. In partnership with the Virginia Community College System, VECF will administer a scholarship program - Project Pathfinders - designed to increase the skills of early childhood professionals in preschool and child care settings by accessing community college coursework and credentials. Thanks to funding made available in the 2016-2018 biennial budget by Governor McAuliffe and the 2016 General Assembly, we look forward to the opportunity to ensure that Virginia has the best trained early education workforce.

Project Pathfinders Overview

Project Pathfinders Scholarship Application (Summer Semester 2017 Application period: March 15-April 20, Fall Semester 2017 Application period: June 15 – August 1.)

Preview of Project Pathfinders Scholarship Application - (pdf version)

Registered Apprenticeship: A Win-Win Strategy for Early Childhood Employers and Practitioners

Registered Apprenticeship: Frequently Asked Questions

To promote this scholarship opportunity with potential applicants, below are one-page information sheets in print and electronic versions.

Project Pathfinders Application Information Sheet - print version
Project Pathfinders Application Information Sheet - electronic version

Frequently Asked Questions - updated June 9, 2016

Meet your Scholarship Advisor - Mila Spaulding



Meet Quenton Turner-Gee – He is a lead teacher at Kids World Learning Center in North Chesterfield, Virginia. Quenton has been working with kids for about 5 years and he loves his job. He made a decision to follow a career in the Early Education field because he wants to be a role model to his students and help them prepare for kindergarten.

While pursuing an associate’s degree in early childhood at John Tyler Community College, Quenton seeks to increase his skills as an educator; however he faced some financial hardship along the way. “I had been paying for classes out of pocket and because they were so expensive, I could only afford one class at a time. I have also been borrowing other people’s books to do my work,” says Quenton. After he discovered the Project Pathfinders Scholarships through his advisor, Quenton applied and received funding for his education. He says the scholarship has made his academic work easier now that he can afford to buy his own text books. He finds his coursework in Introductory into Early Childhood to be most applicable in his classroom because it has helped him create activities that target his students’ needs.

Quenton inspires his students to succeed in the classroom as he continues to succeed as a student. He has come to an agreement with his students that if they get A’s, he will too.



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