Supporting Early Childhood Educators & Care Providers
Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and other child care professionals have the specific knowledge, skills and abilities needed to help shape the learning experiences of children.
We need more of these professionals to meet the demand for quality child care.
Under Childcare BC, government has developed a strategy that will:
- Encourage people to start a career in the early care and learning sector
- Support professionals who are already working in child care
To support these professionals, government is investing $136 million over three years, supplemented by $16.3 million in federal funding, to make a career as an ECE more attractive and sustainable.
These initiatives are the first step in a long-term commitment to improve supports for child care professionals.
Here are the key elements of the strategy:
Most ECEs in licensed group child care facilities earn about $18/hour ($38,000 per year).
Starting in January 2019, the government is providing a $1 per hour wage enhancement for front-line ECEs working in eligible licensed child care facilities. Another $1 per hour wage enhancement is scheduled for April 1, 2020.
More spaces in ECE programs at public post-secondary institutions: Over the next three years over 2,000 ECE’s will be needed in B.C.'s new universal child care system. Our government is investing $7.4 million over three years to add 620 more ECE graduates.
Bursaries: Government is increasing the ECE Bursary Program to help students who want to start a career in child care. Funding will be increased from $300 to $500 per course to help with tuition, books and materials. Students will be able to access 60% of the funding at the start of their semester, with the remaining 40% provided upon the successful conclusion of their course(s).
Funding for existing child care staff: ECEs, ECE Assistants and Responsible Adults (as defined in the Child Care Licensing Regulation) who currently work directly with children in a licensed child care setting can access the new ECE Workforce Development Fund to gain, re-establish, maintain or upgrade ECE credentials. Up to $5,000 per semester is available for things like tuition, books, materials, travel, and child care costs while attending course(s). It may also include partial wage replacement if the individual must take time off work to complete practicum requirements.
More flexible education options: In partnership with public post-secondary institutions, government is also exploring work-based education and training options to provide more flexible education opportunities for learners.
The Community Early Childhood Facilitators Program will be expanded to help ECEs stay up-to-date with current trends and best practices in the sector. Child care professionals will be able to join their peers and study best practices, share innovative methods and exchange ideas related to the early years learning environment.
A new online platform will also be developed to provide resources and learning tools so that ECEs can continue their professional development from anywhere in the province.
The current occupational competencies used for training ECEs will be updated to reflect current trends and best practices for early learning. New ECE standards of practice will inform the occupational competencies
These changes will also include reviewing and updating education or training programs to align with revised competencies and standards.