Tuition Assistance Programs

Tuition assistance programs, financial aid and Scholarship Resources

Regional Key Funded Credit and Credentialing Courses

Using OCDEL funds, the regional keys award subcontracts to institutes of higher education and community based organizations to provide Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) coursework, School Age Professional Credential Coursework and Director's Credential Coursework. Regional Keys also awards subcontracts for credit bearing courses in ECE topics for the renewal of these three credentials and the attainment or maintenance of PA Teacher's certification. These courses are fully subsidized by the Regional Keys and participants typically pay a small registration fee and the cost of books to participate (varies by each regional key).

Please visit the regional key map for each regional key's contact information or click below on the name of each regional key to obtain more information about each regional key's funded courses.

Northeast Regional Key

Northwest Regional Key

Mid-State Regional Key

Southeast Regional Keyy

Southwest Regional Key

CDA Voucher

The CDA Assessment Fee Voucher Program supplies payment for the CDA Assessment Fee that is required to complete the CDA Assessment process. The full CDA Assessment Fee of $425 is paid directly to the Council for Professional Recognition. The Voucher Program for the CDA Assessment Fee is a two-step process. The first step is to apply for a voucher and submit the application to the Pennsylvania Key. Applications are then reviewed. Individuals whose applications are approved receive a voucher in the mail, which they must send to the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, DC, along with the CDA Application. The Council is then paid directly by the PA Key.

Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program

The Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program is an initiative announced by Governor Corbett on October 22, 2013.This initiative’s goal is to support early childhood practitioners by eliminating barriers to enrolling in higher education courses and degree programs. Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program will support eligible applicants enrolling in CDA or other college-credit bearing courses by covering 95 percent of the tuition cost of a class; providing applicants with the tuition assistance prior to the beginning of the course(s); providing annual support for credits up to $6,000 (July 1st through June 30th); and partnering with institutions of higher education to develop cohort classes, distance learning opportunities and additional discounts where possible. The program covers tuition costs only, and does not include books, materials, or fees. Tuition costs include the net cost , less other funding sources such as scholarships, stipends, discounts or grants (except Pell Grants).

Rising STARS Facility Supplement

For students receiving Rising STARS Tuition Assistance for two or more concurrent classes in the same semester, their program director or administrator can apply for $800 in additional support. These funds must be used in one or more of the following ways: paid release time for a student applicant to attend class, paid release time for the student to complete classroom related activities such as homework, studying or field placement, or the cost of substitute coverage while the student is attending classes. As part of the application the following information will be required: documentation of the Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program student’s enrollment in two or more classes including the class days and times; plan for paid release time; and demonstrated need for classroom coverage. Early learning programs in which students utilizing Rising STARS Tuition Assistance are required to take classes on their own time, or where classes are scheduled evenings or weekends and no program release time is needed, will not be eligible to submit for this supplemental support. Program administrators may apply for the $800 for each student taking two or more classes concurrently as long as they are using the funds as listed above.

For more information about the CDA Voucher, Rising STARS Tuition Assistance or the Rising STARS Facility Supplement please visit the PA Keys website:

Financial Aid and Scholarship Resources

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Scholarship Search Engine:
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U.S. Department of Post-Secondary Education:

T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® PENNSYLVANIA Scholarship Program offers scholarship programs and support systems that improve the education and compensation of child care workers.  T.E.A.C.H. scholarship has four key components:

Scholarship. The scholarship covers most of the cost for tuition and books. Recipients also receive a travel stipend each semester they are enrolled in class. T.E.A.C.H. requires that the sponsoring child care program offer paid release time for the student to attend class, study, or handle personal needs. Participants are assigned a counselor to assist them in scholarship management and career development.

Education. In one scholarship year, each participant must successfully complete a required number of credit hours (usually 9-15) toward a degree or credential in early childhood education.

Compensation. At the end of the scholarship year, if they complete their educational requirement, participants are eligible to receive either a stipend or a raise.

Commitment. Participants agree to continue working in their child care program for one year after each scholarship year. Click here for a comparison between T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Pennsylvania Scholarship and Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program.

For more information and to apply go to: