VICTORIA - Government will provide $1 million to continue a bursary fund for students enrolled in early childhood education programs, Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux announced today at the BC Early Years Forum in Richmond.
The Early Childhood Educators of BC established the ECE Student Bursary program in April 2014 with support from a provincial investment of $513,000.
Through the bursary, students attending early childhood education programs in British Columbia can apply for up to $300 per course, to a maximum of $1,500 per semester. Priority is given to Aboriginal students, students attending programs with an Aboriginal focus and students working to achieve an infant/toddler educator designation.
Government’s investment in the bursary program is part of a commitment under the BC Early Years Strategy to increase access to Early Childhood Educator and care-provider training.
The Provincial Office for the Early Years hosted the first BC Early Years Forum, bringing together stakeholders from across the province to discuss elements of the BC Early Years Strategy and how best to work together to improve the delivery of early years programs and services for B.C. families.
Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development -
“Under the BC Early Years Strategy, we’re improving access to child care by creating up to 13,000 new licensed spaces by 2020. With the increase in spaces comes the need to hire qualified early childhood educators across B.C. Investing in the ECE Student Bursary program will continue to provide a valuable incentive and increased support for those looking to enter the field or refine their skills as an early childhood educator.”
Emily Mlieczko, executive director, Early Childhood Educators of BC -
“The number of applications The Early Childhood Educators of BC processed for the Fall 2014 ECE bursary has shown how incredibly important this bursary program is to the sector. The bursary fund is supporting the development of qualified educators, which in turn supports quality early care and learning programs in community.”
- A total of 33 approved B.C. post-secondary educational institutions currently offer early childhood education programs. Of those, five schools offer Aboriginal ECE programs.
- Since the launch of the bursary program in April 2014, 330 students have shared $336,000 in funding to help them with the costs of attending early childhood education programs.
- To be eligible for the bursary, a student must:
- Be enrolled at an approved public or private educational institution and program of study;
- Have Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status with proof of B.C. residency;
- Demonstrate financial need;
- Achieve a satisfactory course standing of C or better; and
- Submit a copy of his or her student transcript or record of grades after the semester is over.
- In November 2014, child-care providers shared a total of $7 million to create approximately 1,000 new spaces in 28 B.C. communities throughout British Columbia. A second phase of major capital funding under the BC Early Years Strategy will create a further 1,000 new licensed child-care spaces in 2015-16.
- The BC Early Years Strategy is a long-term plan to make high-quality programs and services for families with young children more accessible and affordable.
- The Provincial Office for the Early Years was established in January 2014 to ensure that early years services across government and throughout B.C. are co-ordinated and effective.
- The BC Early Years Strategy builds on the $1 billion per year government spends on early learning and childhood development initiatives, services and supports, including:
- Success by 6, Children First and Aboriginal early childhood development programs.
- Full-day kindergarten.
- Programs that support healthy pregnancy, birth and infancy.
- Early childhood development care and learning program investments, including public health nursing, Ready, Set, Learn programs and StrongStart BC early learning programs.
- A variety of programs, services and supports to address the specific needs of children and youth with special needs.
- Starting in April, the B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit will provide $146 million annually to approximately 180,000 families with children under the age of six years (up to $660 a year per child).
For more information on the bursary program and how to apply, visit: www.ecebc.ca/index.php. The Early Childhood Educators of BC can also be reached toll free at 1 800 797-5602, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn about becoming a licensed Early Childhood Educator in B.C., visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/ece/training.htm
To learn more about the current range of early years services in B.C. and the strategy to make programs and services more integrated, accessible, affordable and higher quality, read the BC Early Years Strategy: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/early_childhood/pdf/FamiliesAgenda_EarlyYearsStrategy_web.pdf
For more information on early childhood development programs funded through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/early_childhood/index.htm
For more information on Early Learning programs through the Ministry of Education, such as full-day kindergarten and StrongStart BC, visit: www.bced.gov.bc.ca/early_learning/
For information about applying for a student loan, visit: https://studentaidbc.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Children and Family Development