Qualified Workforce Incentives (QWI)

OEC is launching a new initiative to help recruit and retain a qualified early childhood teaching workforce. We’re using Preschool Development Grant (PDG) funds to give cash awards to eligible applicants.

Who is eligible? 

The first round of QWI is available for OEC-funded (School Readiness, Child Day Care contract, State Head Start) licensed centers and group homes (DCCC/DCGH). 

In addition, there are specific requirements related to your employment (you must have confirmed employment in your program for at least 6 months) and your degree or credentials in early care and education. Get more details about eligibility in our FAQ.   ​​

A second round of funding (date to be announced) will add non-OEC-funded licensed center and group home teaching staff. 

How much funding will I receive?

If you’re eligible, your award will have 2 parts: the base award and the bonuses.

The base award is related to your employment status. If you work full-time for the full year, you’ll get the full amount. If you work less than that, you’ll get 50% of the base amount.

On top of the base award, you’ll be awarded bonuses if: 

  • Your program has current NAEYC Accreditation or Head Start Approval
  • Your program is located in an area where children face additional barriers to success (specifically, areas with a Social Vulnerability Index rating of 0.6 or higher)
  • You work directly with infants and/or toddlers on a daily scheduled basis at least 30 hours per week and at least 40 weeks per year

Get more details about calculating your base award and bonuses.

How do I apply?

To apply, just go to the OEC Registry. You’ll be able to follow the process there.

Checklist: Before you apply

Make sure your OEC Registry account is up to date. For example, is your degree listed in your Education and Training Report? Is your one-time Care 4 Kids health and safety completion noted?

Check in with your supervisor. Ask if the program’s Registry administrative access user has updated the Staff Confirmation page within 60 days of the application. This is where your job title, age group you work with, and hours per week and weeks per year are confirmed. The “Last Updated” date is on the bottom of the Staff Confirmation page. 

Have your bank account information handy for setting up your direct deposit.

Make sure you have your social security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) — you’ll need it for tax purposes. If you don’t have an SSN or ITIN, you need to get one before you apply for this funding. 

Make certain your information is correct before you apply — once you apply, you can’t reapply. When you’re ready, go log in to the OEC Registry to apply.

How will I get paid?

OEC’s vendor will deposit your funds directly into the bank account you share with us. Our vendor won’t deduct any fees, so you’ll get the full amount.

You can use the funds however you want — just like your paycheck. However, keep your records, because this funding is considered taxable income. 

Have questions?
Last updated February 1, 2022