As part of its workforce strategy, targeting recruitment and retention of skilled professionals for the Early Childhood Education sector, the County of Simcoe is pleased to provide $180,000 to support learning costs for eligible students in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at the Orillia Campus of Georgian College.
The contribution will fund 90 awards of $2,000, benefitting 60 individual students, over the next two years for current and future ECE students.
“We know the need is great for early childhood educators in our community and across the province,” said County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell. “That is why this investment in ECE students is so important. It helps students achieve their goal of a rewarding career in ECE, while assisting our families by expanding the workforce of ECEs, which is currently facing critical shortages.”
Full-time students in the two-year ECE program, including those just beginning their studies this September, as well as students in year 2 of the program, and incoming students in January and September 2023 are eligible to apply for this new award.
Students must demonstrate financial need as part of their application, have a Simcoe County address (including the cities of Barrie and Orillia) and be in good academic standing. In the interest of promoting diversity in the sector, preference will be given to students who self-identify as having Indigenous ancestry.
“This substantial contribution is only the latest example of the strong partnership between the County of Simcoe and Georgian College,” said Dr. Mary Louise Noce, Dean, Human Services and Community Safety, Georgian College.
“It will help more students achieve their dreams of becoming early childhood educators in this region. Financial aid such as this is critical to mitigating barriers to education, and to ensuring our communities have the highly-skilled professionals needed to care for our children.”
Funding for this initiative is provided by the County of Simcoe Child Care and Early Years Workforce Funding with funding contributions made by the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada.
Georgian and the County of Simcoe are longtime strategic collaborators focused on driving economic, social and community growth. The County has proudly invested in Georgian campuses and programs to help grow the skilled labour pool in the region and expand academic offerings to serve high-demand sectors.
Simcoe County residents wishing to learn more about this opportunity for fall are invited to visit GeorgianCollege.ca/simcoeECED.