The provincial government is reallocating $4 million from a federal childcare funding agreement and redirecting it towards providing more bursaries for students enrolled in provincial post-secondary early childhood education programs.
“Passionate and nurturing child care workers are essential to ensuring all Canadian children have the best possible start in life,” said Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the Government of British Columbia to help train more qualified early childhood educators.”
The funding reallocation will be directed to the Early Childhood Educators Education (ECE) Support Fund, which will allow more students to access bursaries, according to a provincial government news release.
The ECE Support Fund was created two years ago, with the intent to provide bursaries to 4,000 students by March 2020. To date, 5,400 bursaries have been awarded after a $1.9 million addition to the initial $10 million investment.
“The majority of a child’s brain development happens before the age of five,” said Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister of Children and Family Development. “As a former ECE, I know what a rewarding career this can be and the critical role early childhood educators play in helping children in their earliest stages of life, which is why I’m so proud of our government for supporting this program and the important work ECEs do.”
The College of the Rockies has a trio of Early Childhood Educator programs, two of which are two-year diploma programs and a one-year certificate.
Students attending those programs are eligible to apply for the bursaries.
“The allocation of additional funds to the ECE Education Support fund is good news for Early Childhood Education students at College of the Rockies,” said Robin Hicks, Vice President Academic and Applied Research. “Access to bursaries allows more students to pursue their goals of completing the Early Childhood Education program, and working in this in-demand career. Students interested in applying for a bursary can do so directly through the early childhood educators of BC website between January 20th and February 28th, 2020.”
Applications for student bursaries can be made here.