The Government of Canada is investing $49.2-million to help increase access to post-secondary early childhood education programs.
The funds are through the Canada-British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
$25.5 million will go towards bursaries for ECE students over the next three to four years, while $11.6 million will be used to recruit new students.
“Early childhood educators are the workforce behind the workforce, and the heart of child care,” said Katrina Chen, B.C.’s Minister of State for Child Care in a release.
“Child care gives parents – especially mothers – the choice to pursue work, education and other opportunities to support their families. By supporting child care professionals, we’re building an economy that works for more families and helping to build a stronger B.C. for everyone.”
High school students looking to get into ECE will be able to take part in a dual credit program so they can get accreditation earlier. $1.15 million will go towards this.
“The early childhood education dual credit program will give B.C. students a head start in their post-secondary early childhood education studies, while also helping to develop our province’s future workforce in this sector,” said Jennifer Whiteside, B.C.’s Minister of Education, in the release.
“Students who complete a dual-credit course are more likely to graduate on time and more likely to transition to post-secondary education after high school, leading to further career opportunities in the future.”
The province expects more than 10,000 job openings for certified ECEs in the next decade.