To help celebrate Child Care Month in May, the Province is providing $500,000 to the Early Childhood Educators of BC to continue a bursary fund for students enrolled in early childhood education programs.
Students participating in early childhood education programs can apply for up to $300 per course, to a maximum of $1,500 per semester. Priority will be given to Aboriginal students, students attending programs with an Aboriginal focus and students working to achieve an infant/toddler educator designation.
Applications are now being accepted for the fall 2016 semester. The deadline to submit an application will be approximately six weeks prior to the end of the semester.
To be eligible for the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) bursary program, applicants 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 when the semester is over.
A total of 32 approved B.C. post-secondary educational institutions currently offer early childhood education (ECE) programs. Of those, four schools offer Aboriginal ECE programs. To date, 757 students have received the bursary to help them with the costs of furthering their education.
The Early Childhood Educators of BC established the ECE bursary program with support from the provincial government in April 2014. The total investment from government is now just over $2 million.
Government’s investment in the ECE bursary program is part of an ongoing commitment under the B.C. Early Years Strategy to give families more choice in a range of affordable, safe and high-quality child-care programs.
Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development –
“As we continue to build more child-care spaces and support programs like full-day kindergarten, StrongStart BC and a network of BC Early Years Centres, the need for passionate and hardworking early childhood educators continues to grow. Programs like the ECE bursary grants help to ensure that our youngest learners have the support they need to reach their full potential.”
Alexandra Hamilton, Childhood Education Bursary recipient –
“Being an adult student and a single mom, I didn’t know how I was going to get back into the workforce without support. The ECE bursary enabled me to return to school and pursue my passion for childcare. I could not have done it without this program!”
Carla Hees, president, Early Childhood Educators of BC –
“The ECE Student bursary continues to be a crucial support for many students who face a huge financial burden while attending post-secondary studies and helps them continue on their professional journey in Early Childhood Education.”
- Since November 2014, the Ministry of Children and Family Development has invested $15.2 million to support the creation of 2,400 new licensed child-care spaces. An additional 1,850 new spaces are expected by late 2017, as part of government’s commitment to create 13,000 spaces by 2020. This builds on the more than 111,000 licensed child-care spaces that are currently funded throughout the province.
- To help with the costs of child care, the ministry provides Child Care Operating Funding directly to child-care providers to help them keep costs down so fewer costs are passed on to parents.
- The ministry invests up to $119.9 million annually on the Child Care Subsidy program, which currently supports approximately 20,000 children and their families each month throughout B.C.
- Effective April 1, 2016, child support payments no longer influence eligibility for parents already receiving or applying for monthly child-care subsidies. This means that more B.C. parents will get additional help with the cost of child care each month.
- To further help with the costs of raising a young child, government introduced the new BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit in April 2015. The benefit provides $146 million annually to approximately 180,000 families with children under the age of six years (up to $55 a month per child).
For more information on the bursary program and how to apply, please 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 British Columbia, please visit: www.gov.bc.ca/earlychildhoodeducator
For information about applying for a student loan, please visit: www.studentaidbc.ca/
For more information about the BC Early Years Strategy, please visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/early_years/strategy.htm