Career pathway

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. Our free services include using the online platform Canvas for pre-employment professional development. 

Canvas is a self-paced platform meaning you work on your own with initial guidance from a KLC navigator. You will learn how to apply for employment at the YWCA, set up an Indeed account, gain interview tips and practice, learn resume and cover letter writing, and be able to practice with actual forms that the YWCA uses. 

Have questions? Email Rose at [email protected] (if you are age 25+) or Lisa at [email protected] (if you are age 18-24). 

This program has three key components:
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.

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.

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’s Center and other sites in the Edison neighborhood.

get paid to gain classroom experience

This full-time, paid apprenticeship has many benefits: 

Hire into the YWCA’s Edison Children’s Center
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.


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 26, 2021
Community Staffed, Community Served
“There is a demand for more childcare providers in Kalamazoo County and in the city of Kalamazoo,” said Rose Fetzer, KLC’s Adult Learning Services Navigator, “The program also provides learning opportunities. In the Edison neighborhood, we saw individuals who wanted to move into the ELP career path.”


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.