Kentucky Early Childhood Development Scholarship

The Early Childhood Development Scholarship provides a seamless system to upgrade the professional development of those working in early care and education. The state legislature and the Governor created the Early Childhood Development Scholarship as part of the KIDS NOW early childhood initiative.


The scholarship provides financial assistance, to the extent of available funds, in the form of non-repayable tuition scholarships for Kentucky students who are pursuing one of the following:

  • Commonwealth Child Care Credential
  • Child Development Associate
  • Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education or related program
  • Director's Credential

Eligibility Requirements

Those applying for the scholarship must meet the following

Residency Requirements

Scholar must be a Kentucky resident and U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident.

Courseload Requirement

Enrolled in nine hours or less a term at a participating Kentucky institution, pursuing an approved credential, and maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

Employment Requirement

Be employed at least 20 hours/week in a participating early childhood facility

  • or provide training in early childhood development at least 12 times/year for an organization approved to offer training by the Office of the Inspector General of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
  • or be employed as a preschool associate teacher in a state-funded preschool program


  • Not be eligible to receive state or federal training funds through Head Start, a public preschool program, or First Steps.
  • Have no unpaid financial obligation to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
  • Agree to a service contract based on the credential pursued.


Must submit the scholarship application, for each term, by the deadline to the Professional Development Coach.

# SemesterDeadline
1 Spring
2 Summer
3 Fall

"Obtaining my CDA helped me tremendously in preparing for early child care education. Without my CDA, I would never have gained the amount of experience I did."

Brittany Slone, Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center


Two early care and education professionals share their experiences with the Early Childhood Scholarship program.

Moving up the Ladder

KDE Scholarship Video 1 from Kentucky Partnership on Vimeo.

Scholarship as a Stepping Stone

KDE Scholarship Video 2 from Kentucky Partnership on Vimeo.

Find your Professional Development Coach



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