These new positions will work one on one with children of all abilities, support the varying needs of the children, and allow more children to be included in the child-care setting.
The YMCA of Okanagan created the project in response to an urgent need for qualified assistants to work alongside early childhood educators. The project, in a second iteration, gives participants 15 weeks of skills training, followed by six weeks of on-the-job work experience with local employers who are eager to train – and potentially hire – the successful ECE assistants.
“As our government creates more affordable, quality child-care spaces in B.C., we will see a high demand for trained early childhood educators and assistants,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, who attended the announcement at the Kelowna Family YMCA. “Through this project, the participants will develop the skills needed to help them build a brighter future and families throughout the region will benefit by having more qualified professionals to care for their children.”
A similar program ran last year and all participants who successfully finished the course were hired by child-care centres in the area.
The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction provided $123,120 in funding for this project through the Job Creation Partnerships stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program. CEP funds projects that increase employability levels and share labour market information.
Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care –
“This program and its support for early learning embodies one of the three pillars of our long-term child-care plan: quality. Ensuring that B.C. has qualified ECE assistants to support the vital work done by local ECEs will help to make child care, preschool, and other programs more accessible for all children, including those who may require a little extra attention or assistance along the way.”
Sharon Peterson, CEO, YMCA of Okanagan –
“At the YMCA, we know that supported families are healthy families. Child-care programs led by qualified staff play an important role in the healthy development of children and are critical to support working families in B.C. We believe this contribution from the Government of B.C. is a good investment in both children and in job seekers.”
Jeremy Welder, director of operations, Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs –
“Our greatest challenge in providing early years programs is finding qualified staff to deliver services. With recent investments in expanded child-care spaces in our region, this issue will continue to increase. Initiatives such as this are important to try to address this staffing shortage in the Okanagan.”
- To date, the Community and Employer Partnerships program has helped over 1,675 job seekers benefit from work experience and has funded more than 300 projects throughout the province.
- The September Budget 2017 Update included $352.5 million for early childhood development and child care. Of this:
- Nearly $120 million went in to the Child Care Subsidy program, which supports more than 19,000 children and their families each month throughout B.C.
- $92 million was invested in child-care operating funding for 166,000 licensed child-care spaces throughout B.C.
- $33 million was invested to support the creation of more than 3,800 new licensed child-care spaces throughout the province.
For more information about child care in B.C., visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
If you are a child-care operator and would like more information about funding, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcareoperatingfunding
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction: www.gov.bc.ca/sdpr
Learn more about the YMCA of Okanagan: www.ymcaokanagan.ca