More Vancouver Island students will soon have access to training to become early childhood educators (ECEs), thanks to an expansion of the program at North Island College (NIC).
“More early childhood education training spaces at North Island College will open the doors to a rewarding career for more students,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Families deserve access to quality child care that they can afford, and making sure ensuring we have enough care providers is a key part in making that happen.”
With a $220,000 investment over three years, government is helping North Island College deliver a new part-time early childhood care and education certificate. It will run on evenings and weekends, beginning in January 2019, and will have 24 seats. This investment will provide access to certificate completion for people currently working as assistants in the field, without affecting the human-resource needs of the centres where they are employed.
“Most of a child’s brain development happens in the first six years of life, and that’s why it’s so important to give children access to quality early learning experiences,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “That’s also why providing access to education for more ECEs who are committed to caring for young children – especially infants and toddlers – is so important. These 24 new seats mean that more B.C. parents will be able to access high-quality care for their kids.”
Based on the 2017 Labour Market Outlook, B.C. will need 9,100 additional early childhood educators by 2027. Training quality early childhood educators is key to ensuring that B.C. children have access to quality early childhood education programs in communities throughout B.C.
“With the expansion of the early childhood care and education certificate at North Island College, NIC is able to create a ripple effect of opportunity in our community, from students to families and through to the young children who get quality care,” said John Bowman, president of North Island College. “We are grateful to the B.C. government for helping us continue to meet the needs of the local communities we serve.”
The Childcare BC plan outlines the Province’s $1-billion investment over three years to help lay the foundation for a universal child care system that will provide B.C. parents with access to quality, affordable childcare, wherever and whenever they need it. Funding for the expansion at North Island College is part of a $7.4-million investment over three years by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to fund an additional 620 early childhood educator graduates at public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C.