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Supporting the Early Childhood Education Workforce

Pathways to Success Apprenticeship
Posted on Category General, Updates

Community Action Marin is proud to lead efforts to alleviate the childcare workforce shortage. Working with a multitude of partners and in collaboration with an expert state-wide intermediary, Early Care & Education Pathways to Success (ECEPTS), the agency recently launched a registered apprenticeship program called Pathways to Success. 

The program is an eighteen-month apprenticeship registered in the State of California that will help 19 individuals access jobs as Associate Teachers in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) field. The program provides participants with the credentials to help them launch a satisfying career in the field of early childhood education, supporting a dual-language approach to learning that helps to remove employment barriers. 

Participants earn 12 ECE units through College of Marin, complete 2,000 hours of paid work experience, and will be eligible for an Associate Teacher permit. Once trained, they will fill needed positions at child development centers throughout the county in support of increased well-being for families of low-income needing childcare to get to school or work.  

Michelle Fox, Director of Early Education at Community Action Marin highlighted the importance of this program:  

“The success of early childhood education programs depends on having well-trained and dedicated teachers. This Pathways to Success apprenticeship program will be vital to building a new generation of educators who can make a difference in children’s lives.” 

Pathways to Success began in May 2022 as part of a learning cohort with expert design support from ECEPTS. Agency leaders brought together partners from workforce development, ECE, and higher education to leverage learnings from a previous ECE workforce pilot Community Action Marin implemented in 2018-2020 with 31 enrollees.  

For example, that pilot was able to recruit parents from among its parent community and was able to hire and retain several through the pandemic. Several participants were also immigrants, able to apply their studies from their native countries for admission. Others completed classes in English learning spaces, and others were excited to not only receive their Associate Teacher Permit but to move on to the Master Teacher/Site Supervisor level. Explained former Workforce Manager, Maricruz Assefina, and the pilot’s coordinator:  

“The program helped people increase self-confidence among participants. Many experienced challenges in getting to the program—they may be domestic violence survivors, English Language Learners, single mothers, or immigrants new to this country. We recognize the need to support them with direct services and skills while also providing the space for them to increase their own agency.” 

Today, the Pathways to Success program is off and running, and its cohorts are already full. Michelle notes, “We welcomed job applicants who shared our passion for helping individuals and families of low income. A career at Community Action Marin is a lot more than just a paycheck. You’ll join a deeply committed and skilled staff, have opportunities for impact, and be on the frontlines of advancing equity locally. Our teachers receive a competitive benefits package, generous compensation, career development pathways, and leadership opportunities.” 

Pathways to Success  

  • Classes offered in English & Spanish  
  • Embedded academic tutoring   
  • Job placement with local employers (Community Action Marin or North Bay Children’s Center)  
  • Career Counseling  
  • Financial and Credit Coaching  
  • Free textbooks and no school fees 
  • Monthly peer learning cohort meetings to connect with and learn from others in the program 
  • Success Coaches work with participants step-by-step to help ensure success 
  • Access to other Community Action Marin services and county-wide resources   

Learn more by emailing or calling 415.526.7503.