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NJ First Steps Infant Toddler Initiative Scholarship Information

Image_njfirststepsThe New Jersey First Steps Infant Toddler Initiative is pleased to announce the availability of scholarship funds for infant and toddler practitioners employed in New Jersey licensed child care centers. The funding is made available through the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The funding is designed to increase the number of infant and toddler practitioners obtaining the New Jersey Infant/Toddler Credential in child care centers throughout New Jersey. All funding is subject to federal and state auditing and monitoring.

ARRA funding must be expended by June 30, 2011. Scholarship funds are available for infant and toddler practitioners in licensed New Jersey child care centers to cover the tuition, fees and book stipend of the two approved college for-credit classes (six credits) leading toward the New Jersey Infant/Toddler Credential. Approved topics are Social and Emotional Development: Infant Mental Health for Practitioners and Supervised Field Work in Infant and Toddler Settings.Scholarship funds will be distributed as long as funds are available or until the end of the program. See www.pinj.org or www.njcite.org for a listing of approved New Jersey in-class three credit courses.

Eligibility Requirements

Infant and toddler practitioners in licensed New Jersey child care centers may be eligible to receive up to $4,000 to cover the tuition, fees and book stipend of the two approved college for-credit classes (six credits) leading toward the New Jersey Infant/Toddler Credential. Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Candidate works directly with children, birth through age three as a head teacher, group teacher or assistant teacher in a licensed New Jersey child care center 
  • Candidate works full-time (at least 30 hours per week) currently, for one year prior to application and for one year following completion of the NJ Infant/Toddler Credential in a licensed child care center serving infants and toddlers 
  • Candidate must have completed the training/education requirements of the New Jersey Infant/Toddler Credential, which include: 120 hours of non-credit training related to the Infant/Toddler Credential Key Indicators or the Infant/Toddler CDA or 15 college credits related to the Infant/Toddler Credential Key Indicators or an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Child Development or a related field 
  • Candidate must successfully obtain the NJ Infant/Toddler Credential upon completion of the scholarship-funded coursework 
  • Candidate must obtain a grade of B- or better in both classes taken on scholarship

Interested infant/toddler practitioners who meet the eligibility requirements should contact the New Jersey First Steps Agency for the county in which they work.

For more information and to apply, please download the documents below.

Scholarship Brochure

Scholarship Application