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

Replacement of Beaton Road Bridge in Kamloops set to begin

Construction will begin March 2, closing the east end of the road to all traffic

Another successful Family Fun Night at The Ridge

Roughly 250 people filled The Ridge’s Family Fun Night for fun and games

Grade 6 students raise funds for year end trip to Eagle Bay

The Grade 6 students have been fundraising for their end-of-year trip to… Continue reading

Barriere outdoor club first ski lesson with Grade 8 students

A season full of snow makes way for ski and snowshoeing fun at the Barriere Forks trails

Barriere Lions fundraising for Australian fire relief

Barriere Lions Club holding spaghetti dinner to raise funds for those affected by Australian fires

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

One dead in multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on northern B.C. highway

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

Most Read