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Quality early experiences for children begin with a qualified, trained and consistent early childhood workforce. To support this key priority, the North Dakota Department of Human Services is offering stipends to help retain and reward early childhood professionals for their work caring for children, along with incentives to reward individuals for completing approved training and education milestones. 

Individuals who work directly with children in licensed child care settings can apply now for a career pathway incentive, workforce training incentives and early childhood workforce retention stipends.

To participate in these funding opportunities, an individual must be a member of North Dakota’s early childhood workforce registry, which supports training, professional development and recognition of early childhood professionals. Currently the registry has over 6,400 members.

The Early Childhood Workforce Retention Stipends are intended to help stabilize the workforce and retain staff in licensed child care settings by providing a financial reward for working in this important field. Individuals employed for the prior three months and still currently employed at the same licensed/regulated child care program in a direct care position for at least 15 hours a week can apply for a stipend every three months.

Retention stipends range from $150 to $600 per quarter based on the number of hours worked. Qualifying individuals may receive the stipend for up to 18 months or until reaching the individual maximum award of $3,600.

The incentives encourage professional development and reward child care workers for completing training and education.

The Career Pathway Incentive is a one-time incentive available to individuals who completed a recognized Early Childhood credential or degree that has been verified and is on file at the registry. Workforce Training Incentives are available to support training and professional development needed to earn credentials and degrees as well as complete training of high priority content.  

Details are online at www.nd.gov/dhs/services/earlychildhood/ec-stipends-incentives.html.

Incentives and stipends are considered taxable income. Funding is provided by the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

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