Project Pathfinders

Recognizing that one of the most important factors in school success is the capabilities of the adults who promote young children’s growth and learning, VECF is pleased to be part of an exciting new initiative to support one of Virginia’s most valuable workforces – early childhood professionals. VECF will administer a scholarship program - Project Pathfinders - designed to increase the skills of early childhood professionals in preschool and child care settings by accessing community college coursework and credentials. Thanks to funding made available in the 2019-2020 biennial budget by Governor Northam and the 2018 General Assembly, we look forward to the opportunity to ensure that Virginia has the best trained early education workforce.

Project Pathfinders Materials

(Click links below to view documents)
Project Pathfinders Overview and Updated FAQs
Application Materials - Community College EC Programs  (Fall Semester 2020 Applications are CLOSED)
Application - Bachelors Degree (Select Programs: JMU, GMU, Bluefield College and Longwood University)
(Fall Semester 2020 Applications opened through August 7) If you are interested in applying, please contact for access code to the online application.
Project Pathfinders Information Sheet
If you are a current SNAP recipient and interested in finding out more about our SNAP program, contact


Registered Apprenticeship Materials

Along with Project Pathfinders scholarships, early childhood professionals have access to the Registered Apprenticeship program administered by the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry. Registered Apprenticeship allows professionals who are working at least 30 hours a week to talk with their employer to set specific professional development goals. Apprentices are then assigned a veteran teacher at their site to act as a mentor, and take coursework at a local Virginia Community College utilizing the Pathfinders scholarships. At the end of each year of the Apprenticeship – usually 2 to 3 years – the employee receives a wage increase that is pre-determined by the employer. The Apprentice also receives a nationally-recognized Certificate of Completion. Click here to learn more about the Registered Apprenticeship program and how sites can enroll.

Meet your Scholarship Advisor - Mila Spaulding

To learn more about the people behind the workforce, check out the profiles below.