More people are training for jobs as early childhood educators in the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria area thanks to a government-funded Community and Employer Partnership project (CEP).
As many as 40 people, most of them immigrant women, have the opportunity to learn new skills or start new careers, benefiting young children, families and communities.
“We all want people to have meaningful work to build better lives,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Through this training, people will get in-demand jobs, while local communities will be able to access more child care spaces.”
The Province, in partnership with the federal government, is providing $1.2 million to YWCA Metro Vancouver to deliver its program, Discover, in three cohorts, training people to become early childhood educators. The second and third cohorts of the program are underway in Vancouver and Victoria, with 15 participants each. The first group completed the course in September 2023.
“We know there is no child care without people. That’s why we’re working across government to find innovative ways to train more early childhood educators, as part of our ChildCareBC plan,” said Grace Lore, Minister of State for Child Care. “Training programs like this will help more people become qualified to offer care and learning for young children, benefiting families, communities and B.C.’s economy.”
Participants are receiving 34 weeks of group-based, essential, employability and occupational skills training; 10 weeks of on-the-job work experience with local employers; and two weeks of followup support to prepare them for certification and employment in the high-demand area of early childhood education.
“This training program will benefit more people, including women and newcomers and help them secure long-term careers in this high-demand field,” said Vanessa Tsang, program manager, YWCA Metro Vancouver. “It will help participants gain the skills and competencies they need for careers as early childhood educators, in line with industry standards.”
Funding for CEP comes from the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement. B.C. has two Labour Market Transfer Agreements with the federal government. The Labour Market Development Agreement is administered by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. The Workforce Development agreement is administered by the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.
Under these agreements, the federal government provides B.C. with more than $470 million each year to deliver a wide range of employment and skills-training services and innovative initiatives to more than 110,000 people in B.C. Funding supports programs that help people, employers and communities.
Through its partnership with the federal government, the Province is making progress in a priority of TogetherBC, the poverty-reduction strategy for British Columbia.
Randy Boissonnault, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages –
“The success of Canada’s child care system depends on the support and training that we provide to child care workers now. That is why the Government of Canada continues to make significant investments to support Canada’s early childhood workforce. This includes important projects such as this one, funded through a labour market partnership with British Columbia.”
Joan Phillip, MLA, Vancouver-Mount Pleasant –
“Parents and families with children across the province rely on the quality services provided by early childhood educators. We are proud to partner with YWCA in this training, which will connect parents and families in Vancouver and Victoria with professional educators, while offering in-demand jobs to people, especially immigrant women.”
Samantha, participant in the previous Vancouver cohort –
“I found out about the program through my case manager at WorkBC. The YWCA Discover program allowed me the opportunity to pursue my dream and passion of working with children full time. It allowed me to change careers and I am happy to say that I am now a full-time early childhood educator at a Montessori child care centre.”
- The second cohort started on Feb. 21, 2023, in Vancouver; the third cohort started on Sept. 5, 2023, in Vancouver and Victoria.
- YWCA Metro Vancouver is offering the Discover program through a partnership with YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island, Sprott Shaw College and WorkBC.
- This program is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready plan.
Learn how CEP is helping local communities: www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Community-and-Employer-Partnerships.aspx
Find your local WorkBC centre: https://www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/WorkBC-Centres/WorkBC-Centres-Listing.aspx
To find out more about becoming an ECE, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/earlychildhoodeducator
To find more about the Early Childhood Educator program, visit: https://ywcavan.org/ywca-discover