24 Jul Creating More Opportunities and Supports for Early Childhood Educators
As Liberals, we know families need childcare and early learning opportunities and want a childcare sector that is prepared to meet their changing needs. The need for these services continues to grow, along with the demand for qualified early childhood educators.
Your Liberal government is pleased to announce that we are addressing this demand head on, by creating more opportunities and supports for Nova Scotians who want to pursue a career in early childhood education.
To meet the growing need for Early Childhood Educators, we are opening 135 seats over the next three years, at four Nova Scotia Community College campuses across the province.
- In 2018-2019, we will see 80 new seats at the Wagmatcook, Burridge, and Akerley campuses.
- In 2019-2020, we will see 55 new seats at the Cumberland and Akerley campuses.
We will also support Nova Scotian students who access early childhood education programs at one of the three private career colleges in the province by investing $800,000 to create a temporary tuition support program.
This will make early childhood education training more affordable and accessible for those who want to pursue a career in early childhood education.
Over the last two years your Liberal government has rolled out the provincial Pre-primary Program and we look forward to welcoming more children into that program in September. As we continue to expand the program over the next two years, we recognize that the landscape in regulated childcare is changing.
That is why we are amending the Day Care Regulations to allow more flexibility for child care operators to be sustainable, grow and strengthen their workforce, and continue to meet the childcare needs of today’s families.
The amendments will be effective September 1, 2018 and will:
- Revise the definition of a school-age program so that operators can welcome children registered in pre-primary into their school-age programs. This increases options for families and opportunities for centres. Previously, there was no provision in the regulations to accommodate pre-primary children in existing groups. With this, staff to child ratios will increase when there are eight or more pre-primary children in a school-age program to ensure the health and safety of all children.
- Address the changing needs of the workforce by providing more opportunities for individuals to earn their ECE diploma while working under the mentorship and guidance of other ECE’s. Operators can apply for a temporary staffing plan to support this work and learn model within their workplace.
A recruitment campaign was also launched in early July that over seven weeks will aim to attract new early childhood educators to the province and encourage early childhood educators who are not working in the field to come back.
The new seats for ECE programs, tuition supports, and amendments to the Day Care Regulations will grow and strengthen our early years system here in Nova Scotia. This is a system that supports our children from infanthood into school, and we know that every investment made here is an investment into the future of Nova Scotia.
Your Liberal government looks forward to continuing to work with the regulated childcare sector to build a strong future for our children.