Project Pathfinders

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 initiative to support one of Virginia’s most valuable workforces – early childhood professionals. VECF administers 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 2020-2021 biennial budget by Governor Northam and the 2018 General Assembly, we look forward to the opportunity to ensure that Virginia has the best trained early education workforce.

Project Pathfinders

The application window is now closed for Fall Semester funding. The application window for Spring Semester 2022 funding will be October 15 – December 1, 2021.

Registered Apprenticeship Materials

Along with Project Pathfinders scholarships, early childhood professionals have access to the Registered Apprenticeship program administered by the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry. Registered Apprenticeship allows professionals who are working at least 30 hours a week to talk with their employer to set specific professional development goals.

Apprentices are then assigned a veteran teacher at their site to act as a mentor, and take coursework at a local Virginia Community College utilizing the Pathfinders scholarships. At the end of each year of the Apprenticeship – usually 2 to 3 years – the employee receives a wage increase that is pre-determined by the employer. The Apprentice also receives a nationally-recognized Certificate of Completion.