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DC LEAD Scholarship and Incentive Application

Apply for an early child care educator scholarship or incentive.

If you are a child care educator in DC, you can apply to receive a scholarship to work towards your associate or bachelor’s degree through the DC Leading Educators toward Advanced Degrees (DC LEAD) program. You may also be eligible to receive a financial incentive through this program if you are already enrolled in a degree program or meet the minimum education requirements for your position. We—Southeast Children’s Fund, with the support of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)—want to support and celebrate DC child care educators in meeting the minimum education requirements for teachers, assistant teachers, directors and home/expanded home caregivers and associate caregivers in licensed child development centers and homes in the District of Columbia.

Scholarships will cover the cost of tuition and books for associate and bachelor's degrees at Southeast Children’s Fund partnering colleges and universities. You may also receive:
  • Help and guidance in applying to a college or university, if needed;
  • Mentorship and advisor support;
  • Technology, such as a laptop, to help you with your studies; and
  • Paid time off from work to attend classes while enrolled in college.

A financial incentive of up to $3,000 is available if you already meet or are working toward meeting the minimum education requirements. This incentive is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
How do I apply?
Fill out this application to apply for the scholarship and/or incentive. It typically takes around 10-15 minutes to complete. If you need to pause while completing the application, you can save your responses and return later by clicking the "Save and Continue Later" button at the top right of your screen. If you have them handy, please gather transcripts, foreign credential evaluations and/or college acceptance letters. If you don't have them, that’s OK. You can apply without them and we'll follow-up via email to gather them in the coming weeks. The documents that may be needed based on your application are included below: