New West daycare educators to get more pro-d training

New Westmisnter early childhood educators and other child-care providers are set to receive more professional development (pro-d) training after the province announced that $6.3 million will be spent on a variety of programs through its three-year, $153-million Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the Government of Canada.

The announcement was made today (Tuesday) at Simon Fraser University's UniverCity Childcare Centre

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Six organizations - the Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia ($500,000), BCcampus ($250,000), BC Family Child Care Association ($750,000), Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC) ($1 million), New Relationship Trust Foundation ($1 million) and Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre ($2.7 million) - are receiving funding to:

* expand training in key areas, including leadership, administration, management and ethics, as well as courses targeted specifically at family child care providers;

* offer a bursary for existing ECEs to help them with the cost of accessing professional development opportunities;

* expand and improve access to online tools and resources, to support child care professionals in rural and remote communities;

* create resources, including online learning modules and a dedicated handbook, to help child care providers make their programming more inclusive for Indigenous families; and

* improve access to ECE programs for Indigenous peoples through student bursaries and other supports, such as web-based resources and distance learning options.

Child care professionals around the province will be able to access a mix of face-to-face and online courses, training sessions, handbooks, videos and podcasts. More details about each program will be available through the funded organizations in the coming months.

"Every dollar that goes toward supporting the child care sector is an investment in the future of B.C.'s children," said Burnaby MLA Katrina Chen, B.C.'s Minister of State for Child Care. "ECEs teach children to dream big and develop a love of learning from an early age. With this funding, even more ECEs across the province will have access to the supports and resources they need to inspire and nurture B.C. children for many years to come."

Terry Beech, MP for Burnaby North-Seymour, said: "For children across Canada, including here in British Columbia, access to high quality, flexible child care allows their parents the ability to enter the workforce or finish school. This is an important part of our commitment to supporting middle-class Canadians, and those working hard to join it, and ensuring Canadian children get the best possible start in life."

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