B.C. provides $130k to double college’s ECE program
More students in the East Kootenay will be able to train to become early childhood educators (ECEs), with the expansion of the program at College of the Rockies, which will help families access quality child care in the future.
“Families deserve access to quality child care that they can afford, and making sure we have enough care providers is a key part in making that happen,” stated Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training during a visit to the Cranbrook campus today. “Early childhood education funding for programs, like the one at College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, gives students the skills to succeed in a rewarding career.”
Through a $130,000 investment, the province is helping College of the Rockies double the program’s capacity, adding 30 new seats to its ECE program at its Cranbrook campus. Twenty of these students will complete a one-year certificate program, and 10 more students will continue for another year to complete their diploma.
“ECEs are the backbone of B.C.’s child care system. Their passion and dedication help families every day,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “The new ECEs graduating from these seats will have a key role to play, as we work to deliver affordable, accessible and quality child care under our Childcare BC plan.”
Based on the 2017 B.C. Labour Market Outlook, a total of 9,100 additional early childhood educators are projected to be required in B.C. by 2027. Training quality ECEs is key to ensuring that B.C. children have access to quality early childhood education programs in communities throughout B.C.
“By investing in College of the Rockies’ early childhood education program, the Province is investing in the success of children in our region,” said David Walls, president, College of the Rockies. “This funding will allow us to better meet local demand for early childhood educators, ensuring those educators are qualified and able to provide the best possible start for our children.”
This funding is part of the $7.4 million over three years, which the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has committed toward funding an additional 620 early childhood educator graduates at public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C.
Lead image: Minister Melanie Mark speaks to some local children during the funding announcement. COTR photos