The need for early childhood educators and educational assistants is greater than ever in British Columbia, and upcoming government-funded programs through Sprott Shaw College in the Interior are a way to get into the field without the cost of tuition.
Spots are open for both online and on-campus programs starting soon in the Okanagan and beyond. Grants from the government mean the educational assistant (EA) and early childhood educator (ECE) instruction come with no tuition for the student.
The EA program is being offered on-campus starting Jan. 23, 2023 in Penticton and Kelowna, with 25 seats available at each location.
“Teacher assistants work in public and private elementary, middle, and high schools. They also work in special schools and treatment centres. They play an important role in both in-class and online learning. They usually work school hours and may spend some of their time outdoors," explains WorkBC.
They work throughout the school system from kindergarten to Grade 12, helping teachers and supporting students, with a diverse array of options available to graduates from the EA program.
The ECE program is focused on filling the many employment opportunities in childcare centres that are continuing to be built around the province as part of an ongoing initiative to provide $10 per day childcare throughout B.C.
"Employers are competing for valuable employees, offering incentives, benefits, and competitive wages," explains Sprott Shaw College in a news release.
"There is movement to have ECE in the elementary school system with in the next few years, which will provide addition need for qualified ECE workers and room for advancement within the career."
The ECE program is being offered online, with positions open in Blind Bay, 100 Mile House, Merritt, Williams Lake, Lillooet, Salmon Arm for a course starting Jan. 9, and positions in Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby, Canoe, Sicamous, Lavington and Peachland for a course starting Feb. 20.
"Students can train locally to apply for local positions upon graduation. Schools and Daycares are hiring qualified workers in both areas," Sprott Shaw says.
"We hope to find individuals who are passionate in these careers to help fill the many vacancies within these employment areas."