BURNABY, B.C. — The B.C. government has announced its plans for nearly $50 million in federal funding that will be used to train, recruit and retain more early childhood educators.

Katrina Chen, B.C.’s minister of state for child care, announced Friday that $25.5 million will provide bursaries for students entering the field over the next three to four years.

She says more than $11 million will go toward recruiting and retaining early childhood educators, while another $7.5 million will be spent on professional development and peer mentoring. 

The government anticipates there will be more than 10,000 job openings for certified early childhood educators and assistants over the next decade.

Chen says a main goal is to provide stability and ensure they stay in the field, noting a wage increase of over $4 an hour in the 2021 budget brings the median wage to about $25 an hour.

Economic Recovery Minister Ravi Kahlon says making sure parents have access to quality and affordable childcare so they can fully participate in the workforce is a key pillar of the government’s economic plan.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2022.

The Canadian Press