VIU early childhood education student Sabrina Limas, left, speaks to B.C. minister of state for child care Katrina Chen on Monday morning at the university’s Nanaimo campus. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

B.C. launches $2-million childcare professional development network

Minister of state announced program Monday on Vancouver Island

The B.C. government is investing $2 million to improve professional development for early childhood educators around the province.

Katrina Chen, minister of state for child care, was at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo on Monday morning to announce the new program, which will fund the hiring of 32 teaching specialists, called pedagogists, around B.C.

The pedagogists – based at hubs at post-secondary institutions, child care referral centres and in indigenous communities – will each work with dozens of early childhood educators in their areas.

Antje Bitterberg, a VIU professor and pedagogist, said she will work alongside children, families, educators and practicum students within the early learning framework, supporting the efforts of ECEs to be attentive to children and intentional in their teaching.

“This ongoing access to rich professional development opportunities will – I hope, and I think I know – increase retention of educators in the field,” Bitterberg said. “Working collaboratively, we will be able to question conventional structures in education and wonder together how we might see things anew.”

VIU early childhood education student Sabrina Limas said she expects the initiative will be a rewarding and exciting opportunity to work as a team in learning new teaching methods and trying different tools and technologies to facilitate new educational experiences for children.

“We will get the opportunity to reflect a bit more on our methodologies and look at things in a different, more collaborative way,” she said.

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson talked about a recent visit to a Nanaimo childcare centre and said workers there described to her how much impact they knew they were having on kids’ lives.

“They are hungry for training and tools and resources…” Malcolmson said. “[This program] meets needs of the workers and that will fan out to the families and the kids.”

Chen talked about how the new teaching network is part of a broader commitment to improve supports for early childhood educators. A press release from the Ministry of Children and Family Development notes that the teaching network is part of a previously announced $136-million sum for early care and learning professionals.

“At the end of the day, we want to make sure children are not just in a childcare centre for the sake of being looked after, but also making sure they are getting the best-quality early learning experience and I think that’s what we’re aiming for,” she said.

The program is being run by the Early Childhood Pedagogy Network and it is already underway.

READ ALSO: Province announces more childcare spaces created in Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum partner on studying child care needs



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Childcare

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay residents stranded in Peru seek a way home

Three West Kootenay residents are in remote places, unable to get to Lima’s international airport

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Canadian COVID-19 update: Cases spike in Quebec & Ontario; Nine O’Clock Gun salutes health workers

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 12:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

Kootenay Meadows Farm experiencing shortage of glass milk bottles

Some grocery stores have stopped accepting bottle returns amid COVID-19 concerns

Most Read