Ticket2Teach is designed to inspire future Early Childhood Educators by providing tuition assistance while completing Cuesta College’s Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education, guiding participants through the Early Childhood Education permit process, and supporting access to pathways to advance to a Bachelor of Arts Degree. 

Ticket 2 Teach is an earn and learn apprenticeship designed to support current and future educators by providing work based learning opportunities that are paired with meaningful support and resources such as educational opportunities, skill development and mentoring. 

Virtual Information Session

Virtual Information Sessions will be held on the first Wednesday of the month (with limited exceptions). Participants will be required to register through Zoom.

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted continually.

Educators working at early care and education sites in SLO County Current College or University Early Childhood Education students High School students interested in a future career in education


Why Join This Program

Early Childhood Educators are urgently needed in San Luis Obispo County and the surrounding rural communities. The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education (SLOCOE), Cuesta College (and the Early Childhood Education Department), Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County (CAPSLO), and San Luis Obispo County First 5 are teaming up to address the labor market demand with early childhood education apprenticeships, in high-quality early childhood programs, coupled with educational support. 

Ticket to Teach FAQs

Why Ticket to Teach in SLO County?

There is a critical shortage of early childhood educators, with the demand for care far exceeding the current workforce capacity. Individuals are reluctant to enter the ECE field when starting pay is barely above minimum wage. The Ticket to Teach Apprenticeship program is a local initiative to address the challenge of increased demand for early care and education and low wages. 

To support qualified ECE professionals in SLO County, those who are entering the field, or current educators building their professional credentials, all participating Ticket to Teach Apprenticeship program sites have agreed to offer wages at/above $15/hour. Grant funds will be used to assist selected employers to meet the minimum $15 per hour wage requirement of the program. Read more at Earning While Learning with Early Educator Apprenticeship Programs.

How will Ticket to Teach benefit my Early Learning Center?

Current Center employees and new Center staff, as Ticket to Teach Apprentices, will have the opportunity to complete ECE coursework through Cuesta College, grow professional skills and knowledge, complete an A.A. and/or A.S.T. in ECE, earn Child Development permits, and meet state licensure requirements. The outcome – more qualified ECE professionals in our Early Learning Centers and our community.

Apprentices will be employed at designated Early Learning sites and will receive academic support, course materials assistance, and career guidance at Cuesta College to complete their Early Childhood Education degree(s) and coursework for the Child Development permits. 

Ticket to Teach sites can invest in their current workforce, as well as receive the needed support to identify and hire qualified staff. Additionally, Early Learning Centers participating in Ticket to Teach (Ticket to Teach Mentor sites) will be connected to the greater ECE community via a cohort of Ticket to Teach classroom lead teachers (Ticket to Teach Mentors) and Administrators.

As a Center Administrator/Director or Owner, designated a Mentor site for Ticket to Teach, what will my time investment be?
Center Administrators, Directors and/or Owners will be required to attend an onboarding orientation, participate in quarterly cohort meetings, and support their current and future employees to meet their professional goals.
What will be expected of my current teaching staff?

Qualified teachers who serve in a Mentor role will support the Apprentice in their educational and professional goals. Mentors will be in the classroom with the Apprentice at least 80% of their work schedule and will participate in professional development opportunities. Additionally, Mentor Teachers will be expected to attend an onboarding orientation, participate in quarterly Mentor teacher cohort meetings, and communicate any concerns regarding the Apprentice to their Supervisor.

What program costs should I anticipate?

The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education and Cuesta College were awarded funding through the California Apprenticeship Initiative which will cover student educational costs and gaps in employer wages.

What outside support will I receive?

Apprentices will have access to dedicated support specialists, Quality Counts resources, and academic student resources, as well as specially designed experiences to support all areas of professional development.

What do I need to do as the employer to identify apprentice candidates?

Employers are asked to encourage potential Apprenticeship candidates, who are currently working at your Center, to apply to the Ticket to Teach program. Candidates can be current employees that are interested in upskilling, continuing their education, and upgrading Child Development permits.

When are applications due?

We are currently looking for Early Learning Center employers, who are interested in bringing the benefits of Ticket to Teach, to their Center.

  • Interested ECE students and Early Childhood Educators are invited to apply on a rolling admissions timeline.
  • Applications for the Ticket to Teach Apprenticeship program are available online at the top of this page.

Are you interested in starting a career in education?