Frequently Asked Questions

Recipient FAQ

You may apply for the scholarship at any time. If you have a course in mind, we suggest that you apply two to three months before the course begins to allow ample time for completing the paperwork. Once you have submitted your scholarship application, you can expect a 3-4 week response time.
It is not advised that you register for courses before your acceptance into the scholarship and it could be financially risky to do so. If you begin courses and then are found ineligible for a scholarship or you are placed on a waiting list, you will need to fully cover the expenses.
CDA training, Associate Degree, Bachelor Degree, and Master Degree scholarship contracts are for one academic year. During that time, scholarship recipients must successfully complete at least 9 credit hours toward their credential or degree. T.E.A.C.H. will cover a maximum of 6 credits each semester. Therefore, recipients could potentially take a maximum of 18 credit hours each year on their T.E.A.C.H. contract. After successful completion of a contract, some recipients are eligible for a bonus dependent on their scholarship type, and all recipients will begin their commitment period.
No. As long as you have successfully completed your contract and your sponsor is willing to continue sponsoring you, we will issue a new contract for the following year. If you change scholarship options, or do not take classes for two semesters in a row, we will ask you to re-apply for the scholarship.
Yes, we still need to verify your employment setting and therefore your administrator or supervisor is required to sign your application.
No, your application will not be reviewed without all required attachments accompanying it. For the list of required attachments specific to the scholarship type you are applying for, please see the first page of our application (link to pdf of application).
Currently, we utilize your personal income in order to determine your eligibility. We require that you disclose your household income on your application to determine eligibility if our scholarship were to become competitive due to a decrease in funding.
In order to be eligible for a scholarship that requires sponsorship, you must work a minimum of 20 hours per week in your sponsor’s licensed or registered setting.
No. The Part-Time Scholarship option is for applicants who work 20-29 hours per week in an early childhood setting. Applicants who work 30 or more hours per week should not apply for a Part-Time Scholarship option.
Sponsorship is required for many of our scholarship options. CDA Assessment scholarship applicants and home based providers may sponsor themselves. Some applicants working in a setting that prohibits participation with the scholarship may apply for a stipend-based scholarship model with appropriate documentation.
Your sponsor must be your current employer. Sponsors must have an active license with Michigan Child Day Care Licensing. The individual signing your application and contract as your sponsor must be designated as someone who can make financial decisions for the organization.
Once you are accepted for a scholarship, you must sign and return your scholarship contract (with employer signature if required) and Personal Responsibility Agreement. Each semester prior to registering for your course(s), you must contact your assigned counselor to give them your anticipated registration. Once classes begin, you must submit your Form B, schedule, tuition statement, book receipts (not applicable for stipend models), sub-reimbursement form (for family and group home providers only). At the end of every semester, you must submit your grade report from the college or university to your assigned counselor. At the completion of your contract, you must submit an Information Update Form (Form U) and a copy of your most recent paystub.
T.E.A.C.H. is not able to issue book vouchers. For scholarships that include book reimbursement, T.E.A.C.H. will reimburse the purchaser for 90% of required textbook costs once a Form B is submitted with detailed book receipts. You may purchase or rent your textbooks from any retailer. T.E.A.C.H. cannot reimburse for borrowed books, or books purchased from an individual. T.E.A.C.H. also cannot reimburse books that were purchased using a PELL Grant. If student loans are used, you must provide proof of loan dispersement with your book receipts.
For scholarships that are eligible for a travel stipend, it is awarded at the time of tuition and book claim processing. The $50 travel stipend will be applied to any balance owed and the remaining balance will be paid to the recipient.
For most scholarship options, T.E.A.C.H. covers 80% of the cost of tuition, fees, and books. We typically pay the college 100% of up to 6 credits of tuition upfront for scholarship recipients each semester. The recipient and sponsor portions due are billed directly from our office. We will apply applicable travel stipend and book reimbursements to recipient portions due before sending out an invoice. Any remaining balance on the recipient’s account is the responsibility of the recipient.
Once we receive all required documentation, our payment processing time is typically 8-12 weeks.
In order to receive your bonus for completing a CDA Assessment scholarship, you must submit a copy of your CDA Credential to the T.E.A.C.H. office once you receive it. You can submit it by fax to 517-351-0443, e-mail to, or by mail.

Sponsor FAQ

By sponsoring an employee on a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship, your program will benefit by gaining staff who are knowledgeable about appropriate early childhood practices, cost-effective staff professional development, reducing staff turnover, gaining an advertising tool, and increasing your Great Start to Quality Star Rating. Children in your program will benefit by forming relationships with teachers who are committed to the field, and having teachers who are specialists in early childhood development and sensitive to young children’s needs.
To sponsor an employee, select the scholarship you wish to sponsor them on, and submit your program information and signature on the participation agreement portion of the scholarship application. You will agree to pay a portion of tuition, fees and books up to 6 credit hours each semester, or a portion of the CDA Assessment fee. You will also agree to provide paid release time to eligible employees.
The average cost for tuition and books per semester to sponsor one employee on an associate degree scholarship is $100. The average cost for tuition and books per semester to sponsor one employee on a bachelor degree scholarship is $285. A wage increase of 2% or a bonus is required at the completion of each contract. CDA Assessment sponsors will contribute $63.75 toward the CDA Assessment fee.
An essential component of most T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® scholarships is paid release time. Because most T.E.A.C.H. scholarship recipients work full time and often have children of their own, paid release time helps them balance the responsibilities of going to school with their work and family obligations. Paid release time is only for employees working 30 or more hours each week. Employees requiring release time during their regularly scheduled work hours should be paid at their regular rate by their employer. At the end of each semester, T.E.A.C.H. will reimburse the employer for half of the total release time taken over the semester at a rate of $10/hour once a claim form is submitted. The form must be signed by both the employer and the recipient. Remember, recipients are only eligible for the number of credit hours T.E.A.C.H. is paying for that semester in release time hours each week. For example, if T.E.A.C.H. pays for a 3 credit hour course, the recipient may take up to 3 hours of paid release time each week. As a sponsor or potential sponsor, you may recognize the importance of paid release time, but you also may be challenged with how to balance this requirement with your need for full staffing in your programs. Below are some creative solutions that can help with the struggle of providing paid release time and increase the likelihood that your teachers are successful in school.

  • Offer release time during rest time so scholarship recipients can study or use the center’s computer for papers and class projects.
  • Schedule release time at a time when teacher: child ratios go down. Scholarship recipients can leave work early with pay and, if necessary, other qualified staff can substitute.
  • Allow scholarship recipients to come in late or leave early while receiving usual pay.
  • Pay scholarship recipients for their lunch breaks. But remember, recipients cannot work over 40 hours without overtime pay.
  • Hire a substitute to specifically cover T.E.A.C.H. recipients’ leave time. This usually works best for centers that sponsor several employees.
  • Bank leave time and give scholarship recipients a whole day off before a major test, or give them half days off so it is easier to bring in a substitute.
  • Use release time reimbursements to help with other T.E.A.C.H. related costs. Center reimbursements for release time are paid based on the time given as documented by signed statements from the teacher and center director. If release time can be given without additional costs, then centers can actually bank resources that can be used to help pay for their costs for tuition or a compensation raise or bonus, or to help with other T.E.A.C.H. related costs. Many centers find ways to offer release time when enrollment is lower and substitutes are not needed.

Remember: Sponsors have complete flexibility for how release time is managed within their early childhood setting. But under no circumstances should providing release time be done at the detriment of maintaining appropriate teacher: child ratios. Don’t forget. You can always contact your T.E.A.C.H. counselor to discuss release time strategies.

For Associate and Bachelor degree scholarships, sponsors provide the recipient with a 2% raise or a bonus amount dependent on scholarship type upon the successful completion of each contract. Once the recipient has met the contract requirements, their T.E.A.C.H. counselor will notify their sponsor of contract completion and the requirement to issue a raise or bonus. This compensation award is outside of any cost of living or performance pay increases and should not be treated as such.
You will receive an invoice from the T.E.A.C.H. office for your sponsorship portion. You do not need to pay the council, college, or recipient directly.
For each license or child care site, employers can sponsor up to 2 Associate or Bachelor degree scholarship recipients at a time. CDA Assessment and Building Foundations scholarship models are not included in this limit. Once an employer has successfully sponsored 2 recipients for one year, they may request an increase to their sponsorship limit by two additional recipients with a letter of request.