Scholarships for Early Childhood Educators 

Program Summary 

Project Pathfinders is a scholarship program designed to support current child care and preschool teachers and providers with financial support to pursue credentials, certificates, and degrees through Virginia’s Community College System. It is funded through a state appropriation and administered by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.

Who Is Eligible? 

To be eligible for a Project Pathfinders scholarship, an applicant must:

  • Be currently employed in a Virginia child care or preschool setting working directly with young children [infants-prekindergarten]. Possible settings include family child care homes, centers, faith-based programs, and/or schools.
  • Be motivated individuals who are seeking to complete a credential in early childhood education or child development through the Virginia Community College System [limit of two courses per semester].
  • Have a letter of support from their employer.
  • Prioritization will be given to applicants who are working with at-risk children based on socioeconomic factors [for example, eligibility for child care subsidy, free or reduced-price lunch, Head Start, VPI].

How Do I Apply? 

All applications must be submitted through our online system. You can start the application process here. A Project Pathfinders Scholarship Advisor is available to assist all applicants.

View information about the initiative here. General questions may be directed to

 “One of the most important factors in learning outcomes for young children is the capabilities of the adults who support their growth and learning.”

§2.2-208.1 Code of Virginia