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Bright Horizons today announced that more than 2,000 childcare teachers and staff members have enrolled in its Horizons Teacher Degree Program, a no-cost degree program for all full-time employees in the company’s early education centers and preschools. The first-of-its-kind in the early education field, the program allows employees to earn an associate and bachelor’s degree in early childhood education for free. Bright Horizons employees taking advantage of the program do not have to pay for any expenses out of pocket, including tuition, fees and books.
Launched in July 2018, the program has seen widespread adoption among employees over the last three years as employees see a path to continuing their education and advancing their role within the company. To date, most participants of the Horizons Teacher Degree Program have been with the company 5 years or less (70%), are of Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity (50%) and are between 20-29 years old (41%).
"It opened a door I didn’t think I was capable of being able to walk through," says Lauren Floyd, Health & Safety Director of Bright Horizons at Braker Lane in Austin TX, who just received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in September 2020 through the Horizons Teacher Degree Program.
In 2020, Bright Horizons added St. Philip’s College, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS), to the list of higher education institutions available to participants of the Horizons Teacher Degree Program. As part of its commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Bright Horizons is partnering with HBCUs through the EdAssist Education Network and Horizon Teacher Degree Program. St. Philip’s is the first HBCU to join the list, and is now one of five higher education institutions supporting the Horizons Teacher Degree Program.
"We can’t begin to express how thrilled we are to have so many of our educators enrolled in this program," says Stephen Kramer, CEO of Bright Horizons. "We believe this program is not only important for our teachers and their careers, but for the early childhood field as a whole. This first-of-its-kind program can provide tremendous opportunity for individuals interested in early childhood education. Our goal has always been to raise the bar for quality in the field, and create an environment for teachers where they can build a lifelong career."
In December 2020, Bright Horizons held a virtual graduation to celebrate the 2019 and 2020 graduates of the Horizons Teacher Degree Program, which included over 100 Bright Horizons educators from 91 cities across the country, ranging in age from 21 to 62 years old. More than 260 program participants in total have graduated since the launch or the program.
The Horizons Teacher Degree Program is managed by Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions, a division of the company that partners with employers to develop education benefits programs tailored to their talent needs.
About Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons® is a leading global provider of high-quality child care and early education, back-up care, and workplace education services. For more than 30 years, we have partnered with employers to support workforces by providing services that help working families and employees thrive personally and professionally. We operate approximately 1,000 child care centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and India, and serve more than 1,300 of the world’s leading organizations. Bright Horizons’ child care centers, back-up child and elder care, and workforce education programs, including tuition program management, education advising, and student loan repayment, help employees succeed at each life and career stage. For more information, go to www.brighthorizons.com.
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