Collaborations aim to develop more Early Childhood Educators

(June 3, 2022) – As local child care operators work to increase the number of child care spaces available, the struggle to find qualified Early Childhood Educators (ECE’s) continues to pose challenges for the industry.

To help address this issue the YMCA of Okanagan is teaming up with like-minded organizations such as BGC Okanagan, Clubhouse Child Care, and the City of Penticton to develop more ECE’s for our area. Through a new and innovative collaboration with Northern Lights College, a free Work Integrated Learning opportunity is now available for anyone looking to build a career working with children.

“We are excited for this new collaborative training opportunity,” says YMCA Child Care Senior Manager, Valene Johnson. “The child care shortage continues to affect local families, and local organizations looking to provide quality, affordable care. It is time that we find solutions so that we can collectively increase the number of child care spaces available.”

Training of this magnitude would normally cost at least $15,000 for tuition, creating a barrier for anyone wanting to join this profession, but is now being offered free of cost to those interested.

Designed to incorporate more hands-on experience, with minimal class time, participants will come out ready to take on a full-time career as a certified ECE by May 2023 — with opportunities spanning from Lake Country to Penticton.

Organizations involved hope that this initiative will give a little more breathing room for industry operators, and are excited to ignite a passion for learning and early development in all those interested.

“We recognize the importance of working together to address this local issue,” explains Kirstie Blanliel, Director of Operations of BGC Okanagan. “Child care is a vital service, and we will not be able to provide appropriate care if there is not enough staff to go around. We are excited to introduce this rewarding profession to more individuals in our area.”

Through this initiative, partnering organizations aim to develop 27 new ECE’s to meet the needs of new centres opening, which equates to 216 more child care spaces being fully staffed.

Learn about the current career opportunities available within BGC Okanagan by clicking here.

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