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

Grant applications approved for Crofton to Maple Bay Trail and Fuller Lake Arena roof replacement

North Cowichan also planning to look into illegal secondary suites

North Cowichan launches survey on the future of community engagement

Clarifying how community input can influence the municipal decision-making process one of the goals

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Lairds mark landmark 65th anniversary this summer

Love story endures the test of time and not defeated by COVID pandemic

Many reasons motorists need to slow down

Construction, back to school, people walking dogs, riding bikes all factors

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read