Sweeping changes on the way:

REWARD and
T.E.A.C.H. Programs
Set to Expand

Big, meaningful changes are on the way! WECA is excited about several upcoming changes to the REWARD Wisconsin Stipend and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin programs, thanks to significant funding increases. The new funding allows us to implement enhanced supports for Wisconsin’s early childhood educators (ECE) and their educational and professional journeys.

To stay informed, please visit and bookmark this webpage, which will be regularly updated with details you’ll need to know. Please also ensure you are following WECA on our social media channels.

REWARD Wisconsin LogoREWARD program eligibility is set to expand significantly, allowing the program to financially support a majority of Wisconsin’s early childhood educators at higher stipend amounts. There are several eligibility changes, including all levels of The Registry being eligible, no wage cap and educator longevity at current program being reduced to six months.

Changes will begin to take effect this summer, but there are steps you can complete now and some details to keep in mind to prepare. Staying informed and engaged will assist you in reaping the benefits of the much-anticipated enhancements. Please review the FAQ section below for key details and steps you can take.

To be notified when the new REWARD application is live, please join our e-newsletter mailing list!

REWARD FAQs

Generally speaking, what do the upcoming changes include and mean for early childhood professionals?
WECA has received significant funding to expand the programs to serve even more early childhood educators. REWARD eligibilities are expanding so that we can serve nearly all early childhood educators in Wisconsin at higher stipend amounts. Several T.E.A.C.H. program reimbursements, stipends and bonuses will increase to make qualifying educational pathways nearly free for early childhood educators pursuing credit-based education.

What are some of the key changes coming to the REWARD program?
Key upcoming changes include:

  • The wage cap will be eliminated.
  • Increased stipend amounts
  • Longevity at the current child care program will reduce to 6 months.
  • All levels of The Registry will be eligible.
  • Applicants will no longer need program representative approval on application.

I want to ensure I receive the increased REWARD stipends. What can I do?
First, current REWARD recipients and those new providers interested in the program should make sure their individual Registry certificate is updated to reflect their highest level of education as soon as possible. Do not delay – please complete this at your earliest convenience. This is separate from the REWARD application, which you will also need to submit.

I want to apply for this ASAP. Can I apply now? Should I apply now?
If you apply right away, you will be processed at current eligibilities and amounts, so it’s possible you may be found ineligible. We suggest waiting until the new eligibilities are live, which will likely take place sometime in June. Please wait until you receive formal communication from WECA/REWARD about the new eligibilities going live and the application opening.

I applied for REWARD too early. What can I do?
Please reach out to a member of the REWARD program team, who will be happy to assist you. You can email reward@wisconsinearlychildhood.org or use the chat feature on WECA’s REWARD program website page here during regular business hours.

I’m a current REWARD recipient. What can I expect in terms of the stipend I receive before the changes take effect?
REWARD applications are currently being accepted and renewals are occurring with the current eligibilities. At some point, there will be a “cut over” to the new eligibilities. The cut over date has not yet been determined, but information on that and how it will impact current recipients will be shared as soon as it is available.

When will the new REWARD eligibilities be live?
We do not know the exact date that the new eligibilities will be live but will share information as soon as we know. Stay tuned.

How do I make sure my information is updated with the Registry?
You need to log in to your Registry Profile. Follow all the steps to update. Individuals employed at a regulated program can use the coupon code “PDG2022” to join Wisconsin Registry or renew membership for free. Take a look at this helpful document from the Registry with more detailed information.

How do I make sure my information is updated with the Registry?
You need to log in to your Registry Profile. Follow all the steps to update. Individuals employed at a regulated program can use the coupon code “PDG2022” to join The Registry or renew membership for free.

When can I expect WECA to share additional information?
We will be sharing much more information in the coming weeks and months. If you’re a current recipient of either program, it’s important to read all WECA e-mails you receive, follow us on social media and regularly check our website to make sure you have the most updated information. We will be in regular contact with all those enrolled in WECA programs to ensure they have all the information they need on the changes.

Who can I talk to if I need clarification on information I’ve received?
Please reach out to a member of our REWARD and/or T.E.A.C.H. program teams on any questions you have. They will be happy to clarify and assist you.

It’s great to hear there is additional financial support for these programs. Where is the money coming from?
The Department of Children and Families and state Legislature allocated federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to T.E.A.C.H. and REWARD to support the early childhood workforce and child care programs in Wisconsin through June 2024. We are appreciative of this and know how important it is to support early educators, children and families. 

It’s also an incredibly important reminder on the importance of continued advocacy to ensure we can sustain funding sources moving forward.

T.E.A.C.H. WISCONSIN LogoT.E.A.C.H. is set to make qualifying educational pathways nearly free for early childhood educators pursuing credit-based education because of these upcoming changes. Several key program reimbursements, stipends and bonuses will increase, making T.E.A.C.H. participation an even more powerful package of supports to assist ECE professionals with higher education.

Changes will begin to take effect this summer and apply to the fall semester, but there are details to keep in mind to prepare. Staying informed and engaged will assist you in reaping the benefits of the much-anticipated enhancements. Please review the FAQ section below for key details.

T.E.A.C.H. FAQs

Generally speaking, what do the upcoming changes include and mean for early childhood professionals?
WECA has received significant funding to expand the programs to serve even more early childhood educators. REWARD eligibilities are expanding so that we can serve nearly all early childhood educators in Wisconsin at higher stipend amounts. Several T.E.A.C.H. program reimbursements, stipends and bonuses will increase to make qualifying educational pathways nearly free for early childhood educators pursuing credit-based education.

What are some of the key changes coming to the T.E.A.C.H. program?
Key upcoming changes include:

  • 90% book reimbursement
  • Release time reimbursed at $15.00/hour (15 hours per semester)
  • $100 travel stipend each semester
  • Bonuses increased by $100
  • Full payment of Registry commission fee
  • One-time technology stipend
  • Stipend to each sponsoring center and family child care program

Note, recipients and centers continue to be responsible for only 5% of tuition.

I already submitted my T.E.A.C.H. application for the fall semester. Will I miss out on the enhanced benefits?
Do not worry – any applications submitted for fall semester will qualify for the expanded program benefits.

I am a current T.E.A.C.H. participant. What can I expect?
Current recipients who will be active in the fall semester will have their contracts adjusted to reflect new percentages and stipends. If you have more detailed questions, please reach out to your T.E.A.C.H. counselor. They will be happy to assist.

Are there any changes to the educational pathways the T.E.A.C.H. program covers?
Scholarships continue to cover all the educational pathways we have been supporting with T.E.A.C.H. funds. A full list of those options are on our website here. We prioritize educational pathways that support individuals to access courses, credentials and degrees for family child care providers, assistant and lead teachers, program directors and administrators in foundational early childhood education. We recognize there are additional educational options that also support this field to provide improved practices, like business courses/degrees, masters degrees and other credentials – we do not cover those options on T.E.A.C.H. scholarships.

When can I expect WECA to share additional information?
We will be sharing much more information in the coming weeks and months. If you’re a current recipient of either program, it’s important to read all WECA e-mails you receive, follow us on social media and regularly check our website to make sure you have the most updated information. We will be in regular contact with all those enrolled in WECA programs to ensure they have all the information they need on the changes.

Who can I talk to if I need clarification on information I’ve received?
Please reach out to a member of our REWARD and/or T.E.A.C.H. program teams on any questions you have. They will be happy to clarify and assist you.

It’s great to hear there is additional financial support for these programs. Where is the money coming from?
The Department of Children and Families and state Legislature allocated federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to T.E.A.C.H. and REWARD to support the early childhood workforce and child care programs in Wisconsin through June 2024. We are appreciative of this and know how important it is to support early educators, children and families.

It’s also an incredibly important reminder on the importance of continued advocacy to ensure we can sustain funding sources moving forward.