People looking to build careers in child care will have more educational opportunities with the addition of 147 early childhood educator (ECE) seats at eight public post-secondary institutions throughout the province.
“Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life, and early childhood educators play a big role in that by helping kids develop their critical thinking, communication and social skills. Providing more opportunities to train early childhood educators empowers people who are passionate about caring for our children,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “A strong workforce of early childhood educators will give B.C. families the peace of mind and time needed to pursue work, education and opportunities.”
In 2021-22, the Province is investing $1.32 million to expand ECE seats as part of the 10-year Childcare BC plan, adding to the 1,003 student training spaces funded since 2018. The new ECE seats include full- and part-time studies and online learning, as well as speciality programs in Indigenous community-based delivery, infant and toddler, and special needs. The programs are delivered in person and online to improve access for students living in remote and rural areas of B.C.
“For too long, rising child care costs and lack of availability have been barriers for parents and caregivers, and particularly for young, working families,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “We’re building a future where child care is a core service that’s available to any family that wants it. Expanding the number of training spaces for early childhood educators supports that future, gives child a strong start and helps families get ahead.”
In addition to the ECE seat expansion, the Province is providing funding to support Capilano University’s new Centre for Childhood Studies. The centre will have classrooms and study spaces that will benefit ECE students.
Through Childcare BC, the Province is bringing affordable, quality, inclusive child care to families throughout the province. Since 2018, tens of thousands of families have benefited from better access to more affordable child care.
- ECEs help shape learning experiences for children from birth to five years – the time when 85% of brain development occurs.
- In addition to this year’s investment, since 2018, government has provided $8.66 million to create an additional 1,003 ECE training spaces at 13 public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C.
- To date, the Province has invested more than $68 million in wage enhancements for ECEs. The $4-an-hour wage enhancement will raise the median wage to about $25 an hour for ECEs throughout B.C.
To learn more about Childcare BC, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/recruitment-retention-strategy
To learn more about early learning training and professional development, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/ecestrategy
A backgrounder follows.