Hundreds of new training spaces for those wanting to be childhood educators are coming to B.C. as the province looks to expand childcare options.
Across 12 post-secondary institutions in the province, a total of 314 student spaces will be added. Programs will range from part-time certificates to full-time diplomas and around two-thirds of those spaces will be designated for institutions that are in remote communities.
"We're opening hundreds of new training spaces for early childhood educators, so that more families will be able to find child care in their communities," said Premier John Horgan in a news release.
"Quality, affordable child care provides the best possible start for kids, peace of mind for parents, a rewarding career for practitioners and a stronger economy for everyone."
This addition is part of the province's three-year childhood education plan, which hopes to see as many as 620 more ECE students graduating between 2018 and 2021.
"Better access to early childhood education training brings tremendous opportunities for students who are passionate about the vital importance of learning during the first few years of a child's life," said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
"A strong workforce of early childhood educators gives B.C. families the peace of mind that their children are in good hands, and it gives parents, particularly women, the ability to return to work if they choose."
In July, Horgan announced there would be 2,300 new licensed child care spaces made available to B.C. families over the next three years.
While the government didn't reveal how much the spaces will cost, they said they'll all be covered by B.C.'s Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, which saves eligible parents up to $350 a month.
At the time, Mayor Kennedy Stewart said officials estimate Vancouver is currently 17,000 short of the spaces needed to serve local families.