Edison early childhood education Career pathway

An innovative Approach to Developing an Effective Workforce

People who want a career in early childhood education now have a clear path to a good paying job thanks to an innovative program based in the Edison neighborhood. The Edison Early Childhood Education Career Pathway provides a sustainable career pathway that increases the availability of qualified Early Learning Professionals (ELPs) in Kalamazoo. The program expands access to childcare and early learning options for residents that lead to strong and resilient families through multi-generational learning approaches. 

Job-seekers who want to work in childcare but need support and guidance
to reach that goal are encouraged to contact us. We welcome non-traditional candidates, meaning those who may not have a GED, are still working to improve their English fluency, or who just need additional guidance to enter this much needed profession. Immediate job openings are available! 

Have questions? Call Tameca at (269) 382-0490 ext. 253 or email her at tblack@kalamazooliteracy.org (if you are age 25+). Contact Y.O.U. at (269) 775-1660 or email careernow@kresa.org (if you are age 18-24).

To get started, please click the button below to fill out the interest form. 

This program has three key components:
‚óŹ Career Pathway and Program Development: Aligns workforce development and adult learning activities in ways that support job seekers in their pursuit of careers as ELPs and in other childcare-related careers.

‚óŹ Participant Success: Individuals who participate in the program will have access to gainful employment, paid training, and support that leads to greater financial stability and economic opportunity.

‚óŹ Neighborhood Capacity: Increases the capacity of the Edison neighborhood to support the well-being of families and improves the local economy. Also increases equal access to quality child care services in the neighborhood and sparks entrepreneurial and economic growth as a result of leveraging the programs provided through the new YWCA Edison Children‚Äôs Center and other sites in the Edison neighborhood.

get paid to gain classroom experience

This full-time, paid apprenticeship has many benefits: 

Hire Into Employers at $15/hr Starting Wage
You will work in the classroom, take leadership roles, and develop relationships with families.

Access To High-Quality, Professional Training
Work hands-on with children, lesson planning, note-taking, eating with children, and observing.

Educational Service
Receive educational instruction in child development, equity, social emotional development.

Earn Licenses & Certificates
Earn the Child Development Associate Credential through training provided by Southwest Child Care Resources.

Paid Research opportunity

Are you an Early Learning Professional or interested in becoming one? Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine and the YWCA Kalamazoo are conducting a research study and want to hear about your experience in the Early Childhood Education Career Pathway. We also invite those who are working as childcare providers, or perhaps are newly exploring careers in the area of early childhood education. This is a voluntary study and you can earn up to $350 in Amazon gift cards for your participation.

The study includes: 

  • Five online questionnaires
  • Two phone interviews¬†
  • Participation for 12 to 14 months

With your help, we aim to understand how programs like this reduce barriers to employment in childcare careers and improve the lives of childcare providers. If you’re interested, please click the button below to sign up. We’d love to talk with you!

edison ece university

The Edison ECE University is a professional development series featuring content by program partners that serves the unique and diverse needs of Early Learning Professionals. Content includes areas such as adult learning and navigation strategies, DEI, trauma-informed training, Spanish as a second language, and entrepreneurship leadership development. Please stay tuned for upcoming opportunities. 


December 22, 2021
Parents encouraged to share ideas in upcoming early childhood education summit
On January 28, program partners will host a summit focusing on attaining input from local parents, and learning their priorities and concerns regarding early childhood education.

November 15, 2021
The Edison Early Childhood Education Career Pathway Partnership launches Phase 2 of program with a $300,000 Child Care Innovation Award
The Edison Early Childhood Education Career Pathway has received a $300,000 Child Care Innovation Award from the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC). The funds will be used to launch Phase 2 of the program and scale up efforts to develop a sustainable career path that addresses the growing need for qualified early learning professionals in the Edison community of Kalamazoo. 

June 15, 2021
Child Care Legislation Aims to Grow Access, Create Incentives for Industry
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and a group of bipartisan lawmakers held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to unveil a package of bills aimed at increasing access to child care services, particularly for working families.

March 22, 2021
State Programs Working to Address Shortage of Childcare Workers, Providers 
While work is being done on the state level to address these problems, local communities are also taking action. It’s one of the reasons the Edison Early Childhood Education Career Pathway was started. It’s a partnership between the Kalamazoo Literacy Council, Southwest Childcare Resources, and YWCA Kalamazoo to help people pursue a career in early childhood education. A major part of the program is a full-time, paid eight-month apprenticeship that will result in a childcare development associate credential.

March 8, 2021
Kalamazoo Opens First 24-hour Child Care Center in Edison Neighborhood
In partnership with Kalamazoo Literacy Council and Southwest Child Care Resource, the YWCA of Kalamazoo prepared to open a new expansion to their childcare program in the Edison Neighborhood.

February 8, 2021
Career Pathway Aims To Fill Shortage of Childcare Providers in Kalamazoo
The Edison Early Childhood Education Career Pathway program was created to fill a childcare shortage officials said became very apparent in specific neighborhoods throughout the city of Kalamazoo.

February 4, 2021
YWCA in Kalamazoo Creates Career Pathway to Staff 24-hour Childcare Center

This program partnership will create an employment pipeline in Kalamazoo County. Apprentices will train as early learning professionals at YWCA’s new Edison Children’s Center, on the lower level of The Creamery apartment building at the intersection of Portage and Lake streets in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood.

February 1, 2021
Edison Early Childhood Education Career Pathway Press Release
People who want a career in early childhood education now have a clear path to a good paying job thanks to an innovative program based in the Edison neighborhood.

Program partners: