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Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) Launches the Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program for Early Childhood Professionals in Rural Communities

Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) is excited to announce the launch of the Rural Reskilling, Upskilling, Next-skilling (R.U.N.) Scholarship Program. The Rural R.U.N Scholarship Program provides career counseling and tuition support to current and incoming early childhood professionals in rural communities seeking to reskill, upskill, or next-skill.

On June 23, 2021, Colorado House Bill 21-1264 was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis. The bill appropriated $75 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan through the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program to support talent development. This Bill created the stimulus investments in reskilling, upskilling, and next-skilling workers program as an initiative of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) to facilitate training for unemployed and underemployed workers in the state during times of substantial unemployment. This Bill appropriated funds and directed the CWDC to use these funds to support individuals in need of:

  • Reskilling, which supports unemployed and underemployed workers to change industries in order to return to work or obtain more appropriate work based on their skills;
  • Upskilling, which assists workers in increasing skill levels to retain or advance in their employment; or
  • Next-skilling, which supports workers in developing future-ready skills necessary for employment in the twenty-first century.

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Participant meets the age requirement of 16 or older
  • Participant resides in an area covered by the Rural Workforce Consortium
    • Including Eastern Sub-Area, Southeast Sub-Area, Pueblo Sub-Area, Upper Arkansas Sub-Area, South Central Sub-Area, Western Sub-Area, Southwest Sub-Area, Rural Resort Sub-Area, and Northwest Sub-Area (the Broomfield Sub-Area is not an eligible sub-area)
  • Participant is unemployed and available for work in the early childhood field (this includes those who have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months) OR is currently employed but seeking to move to a job within the early childhood field that provides better opportunities for career advancement
  • Participant experienced an economic loss within the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lost or adverse changes in employment, increased food or housing insecurity, had to withdraw from college after March 13, 2020, or suffered another form of economic loss OR participant currently qualifies for any of the following federal assistance programs:
    • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
    • Childcare Subsidies through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Program
    • Medicaid
    • National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) – for affordable housing programs only
    • Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) – for affordable housing programs only
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Free and Reduced-Price Lunch (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast (SBP) programs
    • Medicare Part D Low-income Subsidies
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Head Start and/or Early Head Start
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
    • Section 8 Vouchers
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • Pell Grants

Scholarship Models
The Rural R.U.N. Scholarship Program works with several early childhood credential programs:

Supports Offered
Participants will receive a one-time scholarship award applicable towards the cost of their credential. Additionally, participants are offered the following supports:

  • Career counseling and support
  • 1:1 support to ensure progression toward the completion of your credential
  • Support in connecting to resources, careers, and transitioning back into the workforce

How to Apply
Visit our website to learn more and click here to apply!

To learn about ECCLA’s other early childhood funding opportunities, such as the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship, the Back to Work: Early Childhood® Colorado Scholarship Program, and the Family Child Care Home Facilities Improvement Grant, please visit

The Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance (ECCLA) is an equal opportunity scholarship provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in any of its activities or operations. Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are welcome to apply!

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