The Government of B.C. has announced it will be expanding early childhood education availability to create more opportunities for people looking to build careers in child care.
In total, the government is investing $1.32 million to expand early childhood educator (ECE) seats by 147.
These expanded seats are being made available across eight public post-secondary institutions throughout the province.
The new ECE seats include full- and part-time studies and online learning, as well as specialty programs in Indigenous community-based delivery, infant and toddler, and special needs.
The programs will be delivered in person and online to improve access for students living in remote and rural areas of B.C.
“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 addition to the ECE seat expansion, the Province is providing funding to support Capilano University’s new Centre for Childhood Studies — a place that will have classrooms and study spaces geared towards benefitting ECE students.
“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 a child a strong start and helps families get ahead.”
In addition to this year’s investment, the government has provided $8.66 million to create an additional 1,003 ECE training spaces at 13 public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. since 2018.
The Province has also invested in more than $68 million in wage enhancements for ECEs as well, bringing the median wage to about $25 an hour for ECEs throughout B.C.
ECEs help shape learning experiences for children from birth to five years of age.