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Earn & Learn: Early Educator Apprenticeship Program

East Bay Innovations (EBI) empowers individuals with disabilities to live independent lives through supported and independent living, as well as employment services. Based in Alameda County, the EBI team has supported individuals with disabilities to live as independently as possible in their own homes, and to have career opportunities in multiple employment sectors, for almost 30 years.

Through the California Department of Rehabilitation’s (DOR) Demand Side Employment Initiative (DSEI), EBI has developed an accessible, childcare-specific Earn and Learn opportunity for businesses and job candidates: the Early Educator Apprenticeship Program.

The Early Educator Apprenticeship Program, in partnership with the YMCA and Berkeley City College, gives participants the skills and experience needed to begin a career in early childhood education. Throughout this program, individuals with disabilities in each of the two cohorts will receive support to successfully complete four required college courses and a paid apprenticeship. Adapted materials, tutoring, and on-the-job coaching are individualized to best meet each participant's needs.

Woman tutoring another woman on her upper education studies

The first two cohorts for the Early Educator Apprenticeship Program are underway: the first began their courses in July, and the second began in October 2023. California-based small businesses in the childcare industry and prospective students can learn more about this program and how to get involved by visiting


Image by Nick Karvounis

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