Bright Horizons, one of the nation’s largest child care providers, announced it will be offering free college tuition to nearly 20,000 early educators within the company, allowing employees to earn an associate and bachelor’s degree in early childhood education for free. The tuition assistance program is the first of its kind within the early childhood education field, broadening opportunities for teachers through expanded education and pay and elevating quality education and care for the children and families they serve.

“We are rooted in the belief that everyone at every age deserves a great education,” said Bright Horizons CEO Stephen Kramer. “Our goal has always been to professionalize the field and create an environment for teachers where they can build a lifelong career. We recognized that for many, the cost of education has been a barrier to pursuing their goals. This program will give teachers at every level and stage the ability to continue their education, grow their careers and ultimately improve the quality of education for the youngest children across North America.”

Quality early learning and care is vital for children to achieve success in school and throughout their lives.  Research shows both short- and long-term benefits for children who attend high-quality programs, including lasting gains in both IQ and social-emotional skills. These gains prepare individuals to earn higher wages as adults, live healthier lives, avoid incarceration, raise stronger families, and contribute to society. By offering this program, Bright Horizons is helping more individuals expand their careers in early education and further provide the quality care that families seek from child care programs.

Learn more about the importance of high-quality child care here.