Bright Horizons Family Solutions® – a leading provider of high-quality early education and preschools, employer-sponsored child care, back-up care, educational advisory services and other work/life solutions – recently announced that it would provide free college tuition for all full-time employees in the company’s early education centers and preschools. Bright Horizon’s Early Education Degree Achievement Plan is the first of its kind and will eliminate the financial barriers to higher education that many early childhood educators face.
Bright Horizons employees taking advantage of the program will not have to pay for any expenses out of pocket, including tuition, fees and books. Unlike a traditional tuition reimbursement program, employees will not need to find a way to pay for the expenses up front. Bright Horizons has been offering employees a free Child Development Associate (CDA) credential for employees since 2007. The CDA, together with the Early Education Degree Achievement Plan, offers those interested early education careers a path to a full college degree, whether they are already committed to their career or straight out of high school, with no financial barriers.
It is well known that effective early childhood educators are the essential ingredients to quality early childhood programs. This move by Bright Horizons makes it easier for educators to enroll and pay for college, and increases the quality of early childhood education across the country. It supports an ongoing nationwide effort to professionalize the early childhood education field and Power to the Profession (P2P). P2P is a national collaboration designed to define the early childhood education profession by establishing a unifying framework for career pathways, qualifications, standards and compensation. The collaboration is led by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and supported by affiliate organizations and early childhood providers across the U.S.
Advocacy & Communication Solutions, LLC (ACS) is a technical assistance provider to five NAEYC state affiliates that conduct outreach and elicit feedback about P2P from the early childhood education field.