Qualified Workforce Incentives (QWI)

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

Get rewarded for your education in Early Childhood with a Quality Workforce Incentive up to $2,600!

Who is eligible? 

QWI is available to teaching staff and administrators in OEC-licensed centers or group homes.

There are also specific requirements related to your employmentget more details about eligibility in our FAQ.   ​​

Spread the word about QWI

Let teachers on your staff know about QWI funding. Share these easy-to-print flyers, checklists, and posters:
QWI flyer (English)
QWI checklist (English)
QWI poster (English)

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. Base awards range from $250 to $2,000.

On top of the base award, you’ll be awarded up to $600 in 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.

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to access the application right away. First, you need to submit documentation to establish that you’re eligible. Once OEC has time to process and code that information to confirm your eligibility, you’ll be able to access the application.

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 January 9, 2024