Early Childhood Educators of Hawaiʻi

Pipili no ka pīlali i ke kumu kukui. #2662 (Pukui, 1983, p. 292)

Said of one who remains close to a beloved kumu.

Serving keiki and ‘ohana as an Early Childhood Educator is one of the most noble professions you could choose.  It is a career full of joy, wonder, and aloha.  It is also a career that requires commitment, perseverance, and hope as the field of Early Childhood Education (ECE) continues to advocate for equitable pay and recognition as a well-educated, effective, and coherent profession in our society.  Going to school for your ECE credentials is an important step in professionalizing the ECE field and developing a highly qualified workforce dedicated to giving our keiki and ʻohana the best care and education.

Paying for coursework required to become a qualified Early Childhood professional in Hawaiʻi can be costly. Challenges to pay tuition should not be a barrier to join the ECE workforce. This website has been created to help you navigate the various financial assistance available to those earning (and seeking to earn) degrees and credentials in early childhood education within the University of Hawaiʻi system, and to students living and working in Hawaiʻi.

Getting Started

Find some step-by-step basics to begin applying for various financial supports that fit your unique needs.

ECE programs at UH

See an overview of the different generalist ECE programs in the UH system that can help you earn the ECE credentials you need.

The following funding opportunities are open now for all eligible applicants. Check to see if you meet the criteria and apply today!

The Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation offers scholarships for ECE students at UH campuses both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Deadline to apply for the 2024-2025 academic school year is May 1, 2024.

The Hawaiʻi Early Childhood Educator Stipend Program out of the state’s Executive Office on Early Learning will continue to receive applications for each academic term: Fall, Spring, and Summer. You must be registered for courses in an eligible ECE program within the UH system to qualify. Deadlines to apply are:

Fall – July 15 / Spring – December 1 / Summer – April 15

The UH Common Scholarship Application is now open for all UH system students! Learn about the different scholarships you may qualify for using the UH Common Scholarship application by visiting Find Other Funding Sources within UH and List of ECE-Related Funding Sources. Begin your application today! Deadline to apply is March 1, 2024 at 4:00pm HST.

Quick Links

You may already be familiar with the financial aid process and are ready to jump right in to apply to other funding sources in addition to what you’d typically receive through your college’s Financial Aid Office. If so, click below for a quick view of some funding sources available for individuals pursuing Early Childhood Education (ECE) credentials, whether it’s a degree, certificate, and/or licensure.