“We’re opening hundreds of new training spaces for early childhood educators, so that more families will be able to find childcare in their communities.”

That’s what Premier John Horgan said as he announced more seats for early childhood education programs at post-secondary institutions.

“Quality, affordable childcare provides the best possible start for kids, peace of mind for parents, a rewarding career for practitioners and a stronger economy for everyone.”

There will be an additional 314 student spaces in early childhood education programs at twelve public post-secondary institutions in the province. The programs range from part-time certificates to full-time diplomas. They also include online learning and specialty programs in Indigenous community-based delivery, infant and toddler care, and special needs. 

About two-thirds of the new student spaces are for institutions serving rural and remote communities. 

This marks the second phase of the province’s three-year $7.4-million investment in early childhood education. 

Schools that received funds include North Island College with $404, 556 for 37 additional spaces, Camosun College with $261, 737 for 32, and Vancouver Island University with $402, 573 for 42 additional spaces. 

“Better access to early childhood education training brings tremendous opportunities for students who are passionate about the vital importance of learning during the first few years of a child’s life,” Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark said. 

“A strong workforce of early childhood educators gives B.C. families the peace of mind that their children are in good hands, and it gives parents, particularly women, the ability to return to work if they choose.”