Limited spots for free early childcare education program at Okanagan College in Penticton

Free new career education

A new free early childhood education program is coming to Okanagan College, aiming to get more workers into the childcare industry.

OneSky Community Resources, in collaboration with Okanagan College and the Government of British Columbia, will provide the program which features free tuition and a flexible delivery method for people living in the South Okanagan.

The program will have 15 seats and will begin Aug. 26 at the college's Penticton campus. Applicants must meet certain criteria to qualify for the funding.

“We are thrilled to receive this generous funding through the Community Workforce Response Grant program and excited to partner on this initiative with Okanagan College,” said Tanya Behardien, executive director for OneSky Community Resources.

“This funding will open doors for local aspiring Early Childhood Educators and support a growing need for these professionals in our community.”

The program aims to provide flexibility for students who may be working or have other commitments. Students will be required to attend one in-person class per week and can take the rest of the program online.

"The 11-month program also includes three practicum courses, providing students with real-world experience ... which also includes community based and professional instructors teaching in a small and intimate setting," reads a press release from the college issued Thursday.

“At Okanagan College we continue to look for new and innovative ways to support communities up and down the Okanagan Valley by creating programming designed to get people working,” said Neil Fassina, Okanagan College president.

“This Early Childhood Education program is a perfect example of working with a great community partner like OneSky Community Resources to help train the workforce of the future and support children and families in the South Okanagan.”

The ECE program at Okanagan College has a longstanding reputation for excellence in comprehensive training. Students gain essential skills and knowledge for success in the early childhood education field.

For more information on the Early Childhood Education Certificate, click here.

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