Frequently Asked Questions
What is Horizons?
Horizons is a benefit that enables Bright Horizons teachers and center staff to earn their CDA, associate, and bachelor’s degree in early childhood education completely free. Horizons includes three connected, progressive programs to support you on your journey to a college degree:
- The Bright Horizons eCDA Program, which allows you to earn a well-recognized and respected Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. The CDA will also be accepted for transfer credit toward an undergraduate degree at the Horizons partner schools.
- Bright Horizons FastTrack, which helps you complete the general education courses required for your degree in a self-paced, online format. FastTrack provides ongoing support from student success coaches to help you manage your workload and set yourself up for success.
- Horizons Partner Schools, where you will complete your early childhood education coursework and ultimately earn your degree.
Your starting point with Horizons will be based on your previous education. Individual coaching from EdAssist will help you determine your personal pathway to a degree through Horizons.
Is Horizons really free?
Yes! Tuition, fees, and books are paid for by Bright Horizons, at no cost to you. Bright Horizons covers the full cost of the eCDA Program, including course materials, and will pay the CDA assessment fee directly to the Council so you have no out-of-pocket expense. For coursework taken through FastTrack or one of our partner schools, Bright Horizons will pay the school directly.
Who is eligible?
Center-based employees at US centers and schools are eligible to participate in the Horizons Teacher Degree Program. Employees must be active (not on a leave of absence) and in good standing (not on a performance plan) at the time of their application for it to be approved.
Both part-time and full-time employees are eligible to earn their CDA at no cost. Employees must work full-time (30+ hours per week) to take college classes at no cost under the Horizons teacher degree program.
Are there any prerequisites?
To participate in the eCDA Program, employees must meet the Council for Professional Recognition’s requirements for earning the CDA credential. Employees must also complete a one-on-one coaching session before submitting an application to the program.
To take college classes through FastTrack and Horizons partner schools, employees must earn their CDA, have previously completed college coursework in early childhood education, or work at a location in New York City or the state of California. Employees must also complete a one-on-one coaching session with an EdAssist Education Coach before enrolling with Bright Horizons FastTrack or a Horizons partner school.
When can I apply?
You can schedule a coaching session beginning on your first day of employment at Bright Horizons. Based on your individual education history, EdAssist can help determine whether you should begin with the eCDA Program or college coursework. They can also help you schedule an individual coaching session, which is required before you may submit an application to participate in the Horizons program.