To provide the youngest Pennsylvanians with the very best start on their educational and developmental journey, it's imperative that we support early childhood workers with career training and advancement opportunities as to retain these skilled employees.

With that in mind, we partner with regional Institutions of Higher Education to meet the following goals:

  • Increase overall completion rates of BAs, AAs and CDAs in the ECE workforce
  • Increase overall participation rates in BAs, AA and CDA programs for the ECE workforce
  • Increase number of teachers who transition to the next degree after graduation
  • Address equity-based gaps in the credentialing system


Participant Eligibility

To receive PDO funding, participants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a Pennsylvania resident
  • Be a current employee at a certified child care program for 3 months or more or demonstrate employment history of 6 months in child care if newly hired. Participants actively enrolled in PDO activities will not be impacted by change of employer as long as the new employer is a certified child care program
  • Work a minimum of 25 hours per week directly in a certified child care program 
  • For child care directors make no more than $25.00 per hour; for child care teachers, asst. teachers and aides make no more than $21.63 per hour
  • Be interested in pursuing coursework at a participating college toward an AA or BA degree or a CDA credential 
  • GPA and course grades meet transfer requirements; a watch plan is developed for participants not meeting transfer requirements
  • Sign a Pennsylvania Early Childhood Education Commitment Form  


How to Apply

If you have reviewed the eligibility and are ready to apply for PDO funding, CLICK HERE to complete the PDO Eligibility Application.

If you are unsure of your next steps on the Career Pathway, CLICK HERE to visit our Career Advising page for information on how the ECE PDO at PHMC can provide resources to support your journey. 

This website is supported by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) of Pennsylvania's Department of Human Services (DHS) and Pennsylvania's Department of Education (PDE). For more information, visit and

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