More East Kootenay learners welcomed into early childhood education

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An image of adults and young children standing together.
Photo: (l-r) College of the Rockies ECE alum Lynda Porter, Interim Vice-President Academic, Heather Hepworth, President and CEO David Walls, the Honourable Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Jesse Nicholas, Chair, College of the Rockies Board of Governors.

CRANBROOK – More students in the East Kootenay region 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,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “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.”

Budget 2018 announced a $1-billion investment to help lay the foundation for a universal child care system that will provide parents with access to affordable, quality child care, when and where they need it. 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.

Learn more:

For more information about child care in B.C.  For more information about the early childhood care program at College of the Rockies, visit: www.cotr.bc.ca/ECE/

 Angela Frattaroli
 Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
 250 888-7008

 Erin Gawne
 Executive Director, Communications
 College of the Rockies