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Incentives
About Incentives

Quality care, salary bonus.

Did you know? Increasing your level of education plus staying longer at your job means higher quality care for the children you work with. And, there’s a statewide program that supports this by rewarding eligible Georgia ECE professionals with salary bonuses!


Education + tenure = $.

INCENTIVES is a salary bonus program that rewards education and tenure (the length of time you stay at one job). The more you increase your education level, and the longer you stay at your job, the more bonus! You can get up to 2 payments for an entry-level credential and up to 4 payments for higher academic credentials and degrees.

Teachers are appreciated. Let us show you how to be rewarded for your hard work and dedication.

INCENTIVES Levels


Level Credential/Degree Amount Max. payments
Entry Level CDA $250 2
Intro to Child Care TCC $250 2
HigherLevel Technical Certificate of Credit $375 4
Technical College Diploma $500 4
AAS, AAT $750 4
BA, BS $1000 4
BA in Birth Through Five $1150 4
MA, MEd, MS $1250 4

Apply for INCENTIVES.

What’s required? You must have earned an ECE credential or degree in the past 5 years, work in an eligible ECE position and work setting, and have worked with your current employer for at least 12 months. See the FAQ below for details. INCENTIVES is administered by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

INCENTIVES applications must be dated and postmarked between February 15 and April 15 for the spring payment, OR between August 15 and October 15 for the fall payment.

Frequently asked Questions
What are the employment requirements?
What is the wage requirement and how is my hourly wage calculated?
What is the tenure requirement?
What are the work setting requirements?
What is Quality Rated?
What national accreditation agencies are accepted by Bright from the Start to meet the work setting requirement?
Are all ECE degrees accepted?
How many ECE-specific credit hours must my associate or bachelor's degree have in order to qualify for INCENTIVES?
What are the INCENTIVES award amounts and number of payments per education level?
What is the application process? 
What documentation must be sent with the application?
I received an INCENTIVES payment in the past. Am I eligible for future payments?
What is the Professional Development System (GaPDS)?
What is an "Affidavit for Lawful Presence Verification"?
What documents are considered "secure and verifiable?"
How often do I have to submit a notarized "Affidavit for Lawful Presence Verification"?
Apply online today for the Decal Scholars Incentives