San Marcos, CA (April 17, 2023) – As leaders in Child Development and Early Education, MAAC has partnered with Palomar College and Early Care & Education Pathways to Success (ECEPTS) for the pilot of its Next Level: Early Care & Education Apprenticeship Program – the only one of its kind in San Diego County. 25 participants will receive free college coursework in Child Development, paid on-the-job training at MAAC’s Early Learning Centers, and additional support such as tutoring, technology and job-readiness training. At the end of the two years, the participants will have the qualifications to apply for an Associate Teacher Permit and will be prepared for full-time employment working with children in our local communities.

“Research has shown that early childhood education is highly beneficial for a child’s success in school and throughout their lifetime. Unfortunately, the high cost and low availability of childcare professionals is generating a crisis in the region that impacts working families.” said Arnulfo Manriquez, President and CEO of MAAC. “To strengthen San Diego’s early childhood education system, we are providing no-cost training to prepare individuals, including guardians or parents that MAAC serves through its Child Development Program, to start their careers and teach children from birth to age 5. Through this partnership with Palomar College, we will increase the early care and education workforce, ensure children get quality education, and set up the graduates of this program for economic mobility.”

The educational component of the Next Level: Early Care & Education Apprenticeship Program will be delivered by Palomar College, through a required weekly course at MAAC’s North Campus, along with additional ongoing professional training. As Apprenticeship Sponsor and Intermediary, ECEPTS will provide ongoing technical assistance and support to MAAC and Palomar College to ensure successful program development, implementation, and sustainability. Participants who complete this program will receive support from MAAC to apply for their associate teaching credentials, to be a competitive candidate in the child development field.

Interested individuals can apply now until May 31. Participant selection will occur in June, and the program is scheduled to commence in late summer, accepting a total of 25 participants.

“We are thrilled to partner with MAAC on this initiative to provide access to the coursework and training needed to enter the essential field of early childcare,” said Palomar College Superintendent/President Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey. “This partnership removes financial barriers and enables those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to pursue a career in childcare services.”

Those interested in learning more about the program can attend one of the following informational sessions:

  • Monday, April 24: 12 pm @ MAAC North Campus (956 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084)
  • Wednesday, April 26: 6pm via Zoom (Link will be sent once participant registers)
  • Friday, April 28: 6pm @ MAAC North Campus (956 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084)

MAAC provides Head Start, Early Head Start, and State Preschool child development programs that promote school readiness of children from birth to age five. MAAC operates 22 early learning centers and a network of 20 home-based family childcare providers currently serving over 1,700 children ages 0-5 across the County.

For more information on MAAC’s Next Level: Early Care & Education Apprenticeship Program, visit


About MAAC

MAAC is the leading provider of comprehensive social services in San Diego County, transforming the lives of nearly 100,000 individuals every year. We create healthier and stronger communities by providing a space where individuals and families can find means to self-sufficiency, through advocacy and access to high-quality programs in five key areas of focus: Housing, Economic Development, Education, Health & Well-being, and Advocacy & Leadership Development. Collaboration with community partners ensures MAAC remains on the forefront of the community’s ever-changing needs. For more information, visit

About Palomar College

Palomar College is a public two-year community college. Palomar College has a main campus in San Marcos, three education centers, (Rancho Bernardo, Escondido, Fallbrook) and an education site at Camp Pendleton. Palomar enrolls approximately 20,000 full-time and part-time students. Residents of California are charged only $46 per unit. At Palomar, students may choose from more than 200 associate degrees and certificate programs while completing the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, training for a career, or enjoying personal enrichment classes for lifelong learning. Courses are offered onsite and online.  For more information, visit


ECEPTS has been a trailblazer in the development of Registered Apprenticeship programs for the Early Care & Education workforce. ECEPTS apprentices complete 2000 hours of paid on-the-job training, earn no-cost teaching permits and college degrees, and receive steadily increasing wages. ECEPTS sponsors apprenticeships for ECE workers in center-based programs, Head Start, Family Child Care, Home Visitors, and Expanded Learning. ECEPTS works with 15 Registered Apprenticeship Programs that involve 13 community colleges, 35 employers, and more than 325 apprentices in nine counties.