Early Childhood Career Development Program

Save up to $12,000 in tuition

This 12-month, paid program is your gateway to a job or career advancement in early childhood learning in Central Oregon.

Apply now

The Early Childhood Career Development Program is designed for those interested in or currently working with young children. You’ll provide care and enrichment for infants to children age 5. A classroom teacher and your faculty mentor will help you learn skills in early learning that you can apply immediately to a job in Central Oregon.

Participating students receive:

  • $15.50/hour while working in your career field for 20 hours a week
  • Up to 45 academic credits, saving up to $12,000 in tuition and fees (based on enrollment)
  • Career placement advising after completion, helping you find a teaching position at a Little Kits Early Learning Center or partner child care center in Deschutes County
  • Experience that meets state ELD qualifications to be an early learning child care teacher

Application Deadlines

Summer 24 Start: 5/13 (priority), 5/27 (deadline)
Fall 24 Start: 4/22 (priority), 6/17 (extended priority), 8/12 (deadline)
Winter 25 Start: 11/25 (priority), 12/9 (deadline)
Spring 25 Start: 2/17 (priority), 3/3 (deadline)

Shape Futures

Impact the lives of our youngest children.


Up to $12,000

What you'll save in tuition and fees.

Early Childhood Career Placement

Put your skills to work in a Little Kits Early Learning Center or other area child care center right away.

Who Can Apply?

This program is for individuals who are committed to early childhood education and aspire to work at least 20 hours per week in the field for two years following completion.

  • High school graduates interested in a career in early learning
  • Teachers’ aides seeking to fulfill Oregon Early Learning Division requirements for teachers.
  • Initial preference given to students in:


  • Age 18 or older
  • Meet minimum admission requirements at OSU-Cascades or COCC
  • Complete a Criminal History Check

Little Kits Early Learning Centers

OSU-Cascades and COCC are developing Little Kits* centers to serve Central Oregon families. Locations are planned for OSU-Cascades and St. Charles Health System in Bend. The centers will leverage faculty expertise in early childhood at both campuses, provide care for infants to children age 5, and offer internships and employment. Until the centers are ready, Little Beavs, located at OSU-Cascades provides child care, as well as internships and employment for the Early Childhood Career Development Program.

*Kits are the young of beavers and bobcats, the schools’ mascots!