Our Mt. Clemens Career Center is permanently closed. Please visit one of our other career centers.

Early Care and Education
Registered Apprenticeships

Grant funding from the Early Childhood Investment Corporation’s (ECIC) Child Care Innovation Fund will expand access to quality child care and increase the number of available and credentialed early educators in Macomb and St. Clair counties.

Interested in helping children reach their potential?

An early care and education registered apprenticeship program combines paid on-the-job training with technical classroom instruction.  This training model, registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), is flexible and customizable to meet every employer’s needs. Apprenticeships help to lift up the community, grow the workforce, and train the leaders of tomorrow.

Registered Apprenticeship Occupations

Early Childhood Educator

  • 1-year program
  • Minimum of 144 contact hours of Related Technical Instruction
  • Minimum of 2,000 hours On-the-Job Training for a time based program

Child Care Development Specialist

  • 2-year program
  • Minimum of 288 contact hours of Related Technical Instruction
  • Minimum of 4,000 hours On-the-Job Training for a time based program

What commitment is involved in registered apprenticeship?

How can Michigan Works! help?

Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! is happy to assist with talent recruitment, intermediary services, and grant funding to offset the costs of training.

Talent Recruitment

  • Candidate search & resume collection
  • On-site recruitment spaces
  • Social media promotion


Intermediary Services

  • Build the registered apprenticeship program with the employer
  • Certify the program with the DOL
  • Manage records, compliance, and tracking


Grant Funding

  • Incentive when registered apprentice starts classes
  • Reimbursement for On-the-Job Training hours
  • Support Services to help apprentices maintain employment
  • Additional incentives or reimbursements based on availability

Our Goals

  • Understand the current and forecasted needs for Child Development Associate certificate and Associates degree for child care staff in our region
  • Generate awareness, interest, and further participation in Early Care and Education careers and registered apprenticeship programs
  • Assist Employers in registering an Early Care and Education registered apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Provide support to Employers and Apprentices throughout the training process

Frequently Asked Questions

Related Technical Instruction (RTI) is the classroom training every apprentice completes to learn the theory behind their work. In Early Care and Education, apprentices will earn the Child Development Associate (CDA). The CDA is grouped into 8 basic categories that are based on core competencies and include the following:

  1. Planning a safe and healthy learning environment
  2. Advancing children’s physical and intellectual development
  3. Supporting children’s social and emotional development
  4. Building productive relationships with families
  5. Managing an effective program operation
  6. Maintaining a commitment to professionalism
  7. Observing and recording children’s behavior
  8. Understanding principles of child development and learning


Brain science highlights the importance of high-quality care to a child’s development and eventual lifetime success. Early educators are professionals with the ability to affect a child’s opportunity to develop their full potential. Researchers have demonstrated that high-quality care not only leads to better academic outcomes but also can mean a more healthful, stable, and productive life.

High-quality care happens when caregivers are trained in how to best support a child’s physical, mental, and social development in a safe, effective environment. Earning a CDA and participating in a structured apprenticeship lays a strong foundation for the apprentices’ professional life.  

On-the-Job Training (OJT) happens when apprentices receive hands-on training from an experienced mentor at work. During OJT, apprentices work while learning the skills and knowledge required to be fully proficient in their job.

Please visit our Apprenticeship pages in the header under For Job Seeker or For Employer.

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Interested in learning More?

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