Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. Image from Drishti Magazine

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training said that  “when we give students the skills they need to enter a rewarding career in early childhood education, we are helping to nurture the future of our province,” . “The expansion of the program in Prince George at the College of New Caledonia gives students access to a career with better employment prospects, children a strong start, and families peace of mind that their children are being cared for by qualified care providers.”

Through a $109,000 investment, government is helping the College of New Caledonia add 12 new seats to the September 2018 intake of its Early Childhood Care and Learning program.

“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 Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “As a former ECE, I know first-hand the difference that early childhood educators make in the lives of the children they look after, and the families they serve. These additional ECE spaces at the College of New Caledonia are much needed for B.C. families, and will help contribute to the success of our Childcare BC plan.”

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 care and learning programs in communities throughout B.C.

“As a college, CNC has the ability to respond to labour market and training needs with relevant educational programming,” said Henry Reiser, president, CNC. “We’re thrilled for the investment in early childhood education at CNC. It’s an investment in our students, the children they care for and the communities we serve.”

Childcare BC 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 child care wherever and whenever they need it.

Funding for the expansion at College of New Caledonia is part of the $7.4 million over three years that the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training has committed to fund an additional 620 early childhood educator graduates at public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C.