Frequently Asked Questions

What is Early Educator INCENTIVE$ Florida?

Early Childhood Educator INCENTIVE$, an affiliate of Child Care WAGE$®, rewards early childhood educators with financial incentives based on their education and continuity of employment.  By retaining the early childhood workforce, INCENTIVE$ provides children with more stable relationships and better-educated teachers. INCENTIVE$ addresses individual professional development efforts and low wages, but does not affect budgets, regular wages or parent fees within the child care program.

Where does the funding come from?

INCENTIVE$ is licensed by Child Care Services Association of Chapel Hill, NC and administered by the Children’s Forum. The program’s funding is provided through partnerships and contracts with local early learning coalitions, children’s services councils, and private contributors.

Who is eligible to participate in INCENTIVE$?

Early childhood educators working directly with children for at least 20 hours per week (in the classroom) and earning less than $17.50 per hour may be eligible for INCENTIVE$ if they have some formal child care training and/or education beyond a high school diploma. *Individual county requirements may differ.


How much can I receive through INCENTIVE$?

The value of each INCENTIVE$ award is determined by the level of education and the position held by the early childhood educator. INCENTIVE$ annual award amounts range from $200 for possessing a Florida Staff Credential up to $3,000 with a bachelor or master’s degree in Early Childhood Education or Child Development (ECE/CD) or other field with ECE/CD credit hours. The amount of the INCENTIVE$ award increases as the level of education increases. INCENTIVE$ award amounts for part-time teachers are prorated based on a 40 hour workweek.

How do I sign up to participate in INCENTIVE$?

Interested early childhood educators must complete the INCENTIVE$ application and provide verification of: (1) current employment in a participating county’s eligible child care or early learning program, (2) current salary, and (3) educational credentials and/or unofficial transcripts. Family child care providers will complete and submit a Monthly Income Worksheet.

When will I receive an INCENTIVE$ award check?

Each participant who meets the requirements for INCENTIVE$ and remains eligible will receive an incentive check in the seventh month, after the completion of a six-month commitment period. The commitment period means that the early educator has remained continuously employed in the qualified child care or early learning center or family child care home. The commitment period is established for each individual participant based on the application date, date of employment and documentation of education. The amount of the INCENTIVE$ award is based on one-half of the annual award amount and reflects the schedule worked during the six-month period (part-time prorated or full time). All payments are contingent upon funding availability.

How can I increase the amount of money I receive with INCENTIVE$?

INCENTIVE$ participants may increase their incentive award amounts by successfully completing additional education. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program offers scholarships to early educators to earn credentials or degrees in early childhood education.

How can I find out more information about INCENTIVE$?

Contact Early Childhood Educator INCENTIVE$ by email at or call toll-free (888) 352-4453 or visit You can also contact your Early Learning Coalition for other information.