Training and education offered for free in attempt to fill shortage of early childhood educators

Free tuition for child care

The YMCA is offering free schooling for people interested in becoming an early childhood educator.

Due to a shortage of workers in the Okanagan, the YMCA is joining forces with BGC Okanagan, Clubhouse Child Care and the City of Penticton to train more more early childhood educators amid an industry-wide staffing crunch.

“The child care shortage continues to affect local families, and local organizations looking to provide quality, affordable care. It is time that we find solutions so that we can collectively increase the number of child care spaces available,” said YMCA child care senior manager Valene Johnson.

Training for this career path usually costs roughly $15,000 in tuition, but is now being offered for free.

The hope is this initiative will give more breathing room for the industry and allow the construction of more child care spaces, which are currently being constricted by a lack of staff rather than facilities.

Kirstie Blanliel, director of operations for BGC Okanagan, recognizes the importance of working together to address this local problem.

“Child care is a vital service, and we will not be able to provide appropriate care if there is not enough staff to go around. We are excited to introduce this rewarding profession to more individuals in our area.”

The goal is to develop 27 new early childhood educators to meet the growth of new child care centres in the Okanagan. Those interested can find more information here.

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