We understand that earning a living in early childhood education can be difficult. This is why the REWARD$ Program was created. The Professional REWARD$ Program is a First Things First statewide initiative offering a financial incentive to child care professionals working with children birth through age 5. Professional REWARD$ is administered by Central Arizona College, Early Childhood Education Department. Before you learn more about Professional REWARD$, take the eligibility quiz to see if you qualify for this program.
2019-2020 Application Cycle
- Applications are accepted once a year in the fall. The start date for the application cycle opens October 1, 2019.
- An applicant is eligible for one (1) REWARD$ incentive payment per fiscal year (July 1st – June 30th)
- An applicant cannot receive a REWARD$ incentive and an FTF College Scholarship Bonus in the same fiscal year.
- REWARD$ funding will be prioritized for teachers and reacher assistant positions.
REWARD$ Application Process
If you can answer “Yes” to each statement below, then you have met the eligibility criteria to apply for the Professional REWARD$ Program.
- I have a Registry profile account.
- I have submitted official college transcripts to the Registry.
- My Registry Participant Education and Professional Development Report (PD Report), Registry Career Lattice Level is “B” or above.
- I am at least 18 years of age and lawfully present in the United States.
- I am employed at a child care program or family home provider regulated by a Federal, State or Tribal authority and in good standing.
- I am employed in one of the following First Things First Regions below. To find out if the program you work at is in one of these regions, click here.
- Navajo Nation
- San Carlos Apache Tribe
- White Mountain Apache Tribe
- I am currently working at least 30 hours per week (teachers, assistant teachers and family child care providers must work directly with children ages birth to 5 years).
- I am employed at current place of employment for past 12 consecutive months.
- I earn $20 or less per hour based on a 40-hour work week.
- My employer is demonstrating a commitment to quality by meeting one of the following criteria:
- Enrolled in or on the wait list for Quality First or
- Accredited by a national organization which is recognized by the Department of Education or Department of Economic Security
REWARD$ will utilize each applicant’s Registry Participant Education and Professional Development Report (PD Report) and Registry Career Lattice Level to determine REWARD$ incentive amount (see chart below).
CAREER LATTICE ATTAINMENT
Successful completion of coursework with a grade of C or better is required at all levels.
Master’s degree in ECE
Master’s INCLUDING either 30 undergraduate credit hours or 18 graduate credit hours in ECE or a related field
Bachelor’s degree in ECE
Bachelor’s INCLUDING at least 24 credit hours in ECE or a related field
60 College Credits
Associate degree in ECE
Must move to Level F in 4 years or no longer eligible.
HS Diploma PLUS 24 credit hours in ECE or a related field
Current Child Development Associate (CDA)
Certificate of Completion in ECE or a related field
3 Years to move to Level E
HS Diploma PLUS 12 credit hours in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or a related field
3 Years to move to Level D
HS Diploma plus 6 credit hours in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or a related field
2 Years to move to Level C
Please follow the steps below to PREPARE for REWARD$:
- Create a Registry account at www.azearlychildhood.org. To learn how to create a Registry account click here.
- Request your official transcripts to be sent to the Registry to verify the credits you have earned (even if transcripts have been provided to a QF Coach, have them submitted directly to the Registry)! Learn how to submit documentation click here. This process can take several weeks!
- Ask your employer to verify your employment information including: start date, salary, title, and assigned age group.
- Your employer will need administrative access to the Registry to verify your employment.
- Your employer must verify your employment within the Registry. Learn how here.
- Confirm your Registry Participant Education and Professional Development Report (PD Report). Note: REWARD$ eligibility and incentive level are determined from the information on this document, make sure it is up to date!
- Complete Statement of Lawful Presence Form which can be found in the Registry or by clicking here: Statement of Lawful Presence
- Complete REWARD$ online Application form.
- Submit the following application documents to REWARD$ by emailing them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- W-9 form with written signature (no electronic signature).
- Professional Development and Education Report (PD Report) from the Registry.
- Statement of Lawful Presence and Identification Document “Driver’s License, Passport or Work Visa”.
- Continue checking your email account for updated communication.
IMPORTANT! Applications review will NOT begin until the application cycle has closed at midnight March 31st. Allow at least 4 to 6 weeks for application review and payment processing.
¡Importante! La revisión de la solicitud comenzará después del cierre de este ciclo de solicitud el 31 de marzo. Permita de 4 a 6 semanas para el procesamiento y pago de incentivos.