The Government of Saskatchewan has given Saskatchewan Polytechnic $3.5 million to help train early childhood educators.
The money is part of an agreement signed a year ago between the province and the Government of Canada to provide a federal investment of nearly $1.1 billion over five years for regulated early learning and child care programs and services for children under the age of six in Saskatchewan. With 70 per cent child care fee reductions already announced in the province, the goal is to bring down average fees for regulated child care to $10-a-day by the end of March 2026.
Sask Polytech's Building the Future program was launched in 2021 and now provides seven funded opportunities for early childhood education through the School of Continuing Education.
“Parents in Saskatchewan are looking for well-trained early childhood educators to take care of their children,” said Stephanie Mulhall, manager of Flexible Learning at Sask Polytech. “Parents are also struggling with long waitlists for childcare support from licensed centres. Building the Future is helping meet the demand for qualified early childhood educators in Saskatchewan to help the next generation build a foundation for lifelong learning.”
Early childhood educators (ECEs), regulated child care home providers, and child care home assistants will be prioritized for enrolment. Other participants wanting to become ECEs or to open their own family child care home are also welcome to enroll. Much of the training is online so that it can be taken on evenings and weekends, at the student’s pace and when it is most convenient for them.
"We are deeply grateful to the Government of Saskatchewan for investing in the institution’s early childhood education programs,” said Dr. Larry Rosia, CEO and president ofSask Polytech. “Through this funding, Sask Polytech is able to offer additional seats through the School of Continuing Education, as well as to provide free tuition to students enrolled in the Building the Future program. By expanding the pipeline of trained early childhood educators across the province, we give an opportunity for childcare centres to meet the needs of parents and caregivers and provide a higher level of care for Saskatchewan’s children.”
Available programs include the Early Childhood Education Dual Credit Level 1 certification for Saskatchewan high school students, Early Childhood Education Level 1 for those involved in the childcare sector, Early Childhood Education Accelerated Level 2, and Early Childhood Education Accelerated Level 3.
The Autism certificate of achievement is open to the community, parents, and professionals to provide training that responds to a growing demographic of service providers supporting children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The Leadership Skills certificate of achievement provides early childhood educators with the skills required to propel this industry forward and continue to meet the expanding needs of the economy. Early Childhood Education Surge Micro-credentials will also be offered.
Sask Polytech’s funded Early Childhood Education programs and micro-credentials are free of charge; tuition and resources are covered.
“There is no child care system without an early learning and child care workforce,” said Karina Gould, Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Early childhood educators do incredible work in nurturing our children, and these training and professional development opportunities are meaningful to ensure they have access to the tools and resources they need to succeed.”