Childcare Resources celebrates success of Credentialing Program alumni

Childcare Resources recently celebrated the continued educational success of Credentialing Program for Early Educators alumni. Barbara Erege and Priscilla Perez, the first program alumni to earn degrees in early childhood education, graduated as part of Indian River State College’s Spring 2021 class.



A woman in a graduation cap and gown displays a degree.
Priscilla Perez displays her degree.


“Graduation was very exciting,” said Ms. Perez. “Being a teacher gives me the opportunity to make a change in someone's life.”


Initially established in 2017 through a grant awarded by Impact 100, the program has helped dozens of educators earn credentials in early childhood education by providing a supportive cohort learning model.


“One of our initial activities in the program is for each student to imagine how it will feel when they graduate with that credential,” said Elizabeth Swann, Ph. D, Credentialing Program Facilitator. “Right from the start, both of these ladies thought long-term about what it would feel like to graduate with a degree.”


A woman in a graduation cap and gown displays her degree.
Barbara Erege displays her degree.

Through the Credentialing Program, educators have access to dedicated study halls, special educational opportunities, one-on-one coaching, and an early education resource library. In addition to this academic support, the program also helps participants navigate registration, time management, and financial aid including T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps). Funded by the Florida Office of Early Learning, T.E.A.C.H. provides financial support for early childhood educators working towards earning credentials or a degree in early childhood education.


The back of a woman's head. The woman is wearing a graduation cap with the motto "She rose against all odds. Long live the rose that grew from concrete."
Priscilla Perez wears her decorated graduation cap.

“As future leaders in education, Barbara and Priscilla were able to complete their degrees through the T.E.A.C.H. program.” said First Presbyterian Preschool Director Lorie Rudolph. “Their growth as teachers in our VPK classrooms has enabled our children to benefit as well.”


The Credentialing Program accepts applications year-round. For more information, visit http://www.ChildcareResourcesIR.org/advance.


Childcare Resources of Indian River, a partner agency of the United Way of Indian River County and Indian River County Children’s Services Advisory Committee, elevates and promotes the highest quality early childhood development and education in Indian River County, focusing on economically challenged children and families. To learn more about Childcare Resources, visit ChildcareResourcesIR.org or call 772-567-3202