Step Up to WAGE$ – Application

Step Up to WAGE$ is an education-based wage supplement initiative that pays semi-annual stipends to Birth-5 teaching staff in centers and family homes.ย  These stipends are based on the level of education as well as continuous work hours in the same child care program during a six-month certification period.ย  AECA will be using our American Rescue Plan Act funding to begin this program.ย  While it is a temporary fix (and what we hope will transition into permanent funding), we believe it is necessary to act now with some sort of plan to raise wages and help our programs keep qualified staff.

๐—ฃ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—”๐—˜๐—–๐—” ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฏ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฝ ๐—จ๐—ฝ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ชAGE$ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—”๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜€. ๐—ข๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—”๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜€.

Have application questions? We can help!

Call 1-501-680-1930 or email


  • You must be a teacher, assistant teacher, floater, director, assistant director, or family child care provider at a licensed child care center or family child care home in Arkansas.
  • You must have a CDA or at least 12 credit hours of birth to 5 formal coursework
  • You must work at least 10 hours per week with children ages birth โ€“ 5.
  • You must earn below the income cap of $20 per hour.


  • Download our application or give us a call at 479-287-6236 to request one be mailed or scanned to you. When filling out the application please make sure you complete the entire form. Please note your employer is also responsible for filling out and signing a portion of the application.

Income Verificationย 

  • Employee: Send a copy of a current paystub (we only need one) that accurately reflects your normal schedule. If you regularly work 40 hours a week, your paystub should reflect that.
  • Family Child Care Educator: Submit your Schedule C from the most recent tax year
  • Facility owner: Please supply your most recent 1040 tax form, all supporting schedules, and the W-2 form. If you file jointly, the W-2 forms from both parties must be submitted. Additional tax documentation may be requested if necessary.


  • Participants must submit official transcripts by mail for ALL college coursework completed at a regionally accredited college or university. Official transcripts are generally printed on special school paper for security purposes and may also feature a stamped school seal.โ€ฏCopied or faxed transcripts cannot be accepted. Workshops and training hours are not acceptable documentation.
  • Please be sure to include any name your college transcript(s) could be associated with on your application.

Send your completed applications and required documents to:

Step Up to WAGE$ Arkansas
Arkansas Early Childhood Association
P.O. Box 2520
Bentonville, AR 72712

Phone: 501-680-1930

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