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Funded by the TN DHS

We give salary supplements to early childhood educators

Apply and receive an annual salary supplement based on your education level and employment. Do what you love for a living while being able to financially support yourself.
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We care for children
by caring for teachers

A young girl plays in a playground.
An infant boy crawls in a playground outdoors.
Ellwanda White
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Ellwanda White

I love seeing the light bulb go off in children's brains. I just love nurturing children and ensuring they have the early start they need so once they leave us, they'll be prepared for any school their parents take them to. This is important work we do and it means a lot that WAGE$ recognizes that.

Janice Burnett
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Janice Burnett

I am an owner of a family home. The money I've received from WAGE$ has really helped me in times when my enrollment was down, I had bills due, I needed extra resources for my classroom, just for starters. When I first heard about WAGE$ I thought, "WOW, they're going to pay me for the education and knowledge I already have?!" They don't have to do this for us, but the fact that they did makes me feel so valued for the work I do.

Lindsey Pritchett
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Lindsey Pritchett

It was important to me to go for my Bachelor's degree because this field is always changing. I love learning and the more you learn the more you can adapt and be flexible with the children. It means a lot that WAGE$ has rewarded me for having my degree. Because of WAGE$ my overall quality of life is much better.

An infant boy sits while a child care professional reads to him.

Educator retention is a primary goal of WAGE$.
Creating a more stable learning environment aids in a child's development during their early years.

By prioritizing the welfare of teachers, WAGE$ nurtures the future of Tennessee's youngest learners, fostering a brighter educational landscape for all.

Our impact

Educators should never have to choose between doing what they love and financially supporting themselves.

child care centers participating
educators paid
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salary supplements distributed
Apply now

Educators give WAGE$ a gold star

How to qualify

You’re eligible for a salary supplement if you:

  • Work in a TN DHS licensed child care program

  • Earn $20 or less per hour

  • Have one of the education levels listed in the Salary Supplement Scale

  • Have worked at least 6 months in the same child care program with children ages birth - five, at least 10 hours per week in the classroom

  • Are employed at the same child care program when funding is available, and a final confirmation has been completed

What you’ll need to apply

Applications are evaluated once all three requirements are met.

Apply Online
You will need your banking information and a contact for your director.
Income Verification
Submit income documentation to verify you fall under our salary cap for eligibility.
Order an official college transcript OR submit your CDA certificate of completion.

Get an
annual salary supplement

Apply now

Our state partners

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Apply to receive up to $7.8k a year

The work you do matters. Get acknowledged now for your education and commitment to the early childhood field.

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