People in every part of the province have more opportunities to train for a career as an early childhood educator (ECE), creating career paths for students and providing much-needed relief for families seeking child care, with new seats at post-secondary institutions opening this fall.
“We’re opening hundreds of new training spaces for early childhood educators, so that more families will be able to find child care in their communities,” said Premier John Horgan. “Quality, affordable child care provides the best possible start for kids, peace of mind for parents, a rewarding career for practitioners and a stronger economy for everyone.”
Twelve public post-secondary institutions will add a total of 314 student spaces in early childhood education programs, ranging from part-time certificates to full-time diplomas. About two-thirds of the new student spaces are designated for institutions serving rural and remote communities.
This is the second phase of the Province’s three-year, $7.4-million investment in early childhood education. As set out in the Childcare BC plan, up to 620 more ECE students will graduate between 2018 and 2021.
“Better access to early childhood education training brings tremendous opportunities for students who are passionate about the vital importance of learning during the first few years of a child’s life,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “A strong workforce of early childhood educators gives B.C. families the peace of mind that their children are in good hands, and it gives parents, particularly women, the ability to return to work if they choose.”
Childcare BC improves access, affordability and quality by creating more than 22,000 new licensed child care spaces, while meeting the demand for early childhood educators and other child care professionals through training and development, wage enhancement and recruitment in the sector.
Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development –
“We know kids learn the most from birth to five years old, and as a former early childhood educator I’ve seen first hand the difference these caring and passionate professionals make in the lives of children. By investing in new ECE seats across the province, our government is improving access to quality child care and supporting the needs of smaller communities by giving students in rural areas the opportunity to study and work closer to home.”
Violet Jessen, chair, Early Childhood Educators of B.C. –
“Our organization, over 1,000 voices strong, welcomes the expansion of learning opportunities in early childhood education. It’s a profession where you can engage in innovative ways with children and their families to realize a world of potential.”
Ben Cecil, Langara College provost and vice-president academic and students –
“The students and staff of Langara’s early childhood education program have a proud history that goes back to 1966. Our institution looks forward to taking part in the next chapter of ECEs in our province and the delivery of services that have such an enormous impact on kids.”
To learn more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To learn more about early learning training and professional development, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/ecestrategy
A backgrounder follows.