Georgia's Early Care and Education Professional Development System encourages and supports continuous learning through academic pursuit, training, technical assistance, and mentoring to develop and maintain a skilled early education workforce. This commitment is reflected through major investments in teacher preparation and career advancement, ongoing professional learning opportunities, and through strategies designed to reduce workforce turnover.

The DECAL Scholars programs include:

  • Educational Counseling: A free service of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning for Georgia professionals in early care and education.  DECAL Scholars staff help early childhood professionals locate colleges/universities that offer early childhood programs; identify the steps to enroll in a college or university; and navigate the financial aid process.
  • SCHOLARSHIPS:  Georgia's statewide educational assistance program for early care and education professionals pursuing credentials or degrees in early childhood education or child development. It is funded by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) through the federal Child Care and Development Fund, and is designed to increase the number of well-qualified and credentialed professionals in early care and education in Georgia. 
  • INCENTIVES: A salary bonus program that encourages early care and education (ECE) professionals to increase their level of education and that rewards job stability. 
  • AWARDS for Early Educators: Funded by the federal Early Learning Challenge (ELC) Grant, rewards early care and education (ECE) professionals for increasing higher early childhood education (ECE) credentials and degrees than the credential or degree they currently hold. 

For more information go to www.DECALscholars.com or call 800-277-3410.


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5490 McGinnis Village Place, Suite 215
Alpharetta, Georgia 30005
Phone: (770) 752-4117
Fax: (770) 752-4207