VIU early childhood education student Sabrina Limas, left, speaks to B.C. minister of state for child care Katrina Chen on Monday morning at the university’s Nanaimo campus. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

VIU early childhood education student Sabrina Limas, left, speaks to B.C. minister of state for child care Katrina Chen on Monday morning at the university’s Nanaimo campus. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

B.C. launches $2-million childcare professional development network

Minister of state announced program Monday on Vancouver Island

The B.C. government is investing $2 million to improve professional development for early childhood educators around the province.

Katrina Chen, minister of state for child care, was at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo on Monday morning to announce the new program, which will fund the hiring of 32 teaching specialists, called pedagogists, around B.C.

The pedagogists – based at hubs at post-secondary institutions, child care referral centres and in indigenous communities – will each work with dozens of early childhood educators in their areas.

Antje Bitterberg, a VIU professor and pedagogist, said she will work alongside children, families, educators and practicum students within the early learning framework, supporting the efforts of ECEs to be attentive to children and intentional in their teaching.

“This ongoing access to rich professional development opportunities will – I hope, and I think I know – increase retention of educators in the field,” Bitterberg said. “Working collaboratively, we will be able to question conventional structures in education and wonder together how we might see things anew.”

VIU early childhood education student Sabrina Limas said she expects the initiative will be a rewarding and exciting opportunity to work as a team in learning new teaching methods and trying different tools and technologies to facilitate new educational experiences for children.

“We will get the opportunity to reflect a bit more on our methodologies and look at things in a different, more collaborative way,” she said.

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson talked about a recent visit to a Nanaimo childcare centre and said workers there described to her how much impact they knew they were having on kids’ lives.

“They are hungry for training and tools and resources…” Malcolmson said. “[This program] meets needs of the workers and that will fan out to the families and the kids.”

Chen talked about how the new teaching network is part of a broader commitment to improve supports for early childhood educators. A press release from the Ministry of Children and Family Development notes that the teaching network is part of a previously announced $136-million sum for early care and learning professionals.

“At the end of the day, we want to make sure children are not just in a childcare centre for the sake of being looked after, but also making sure they are getting the best-quality early learning experience and I think that’s what we’re aiming for,” she said.

The program is being run by the Early Childhood Pedagogy Network and it is already underway.

READ ALSO: Province announces more childcare spaces created in Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum partner on studying child care needs



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Childcare

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

With news that Santa won’t be coming to Cottonwood Centre this year, April Blais wanted to set up a photo op with the jolly old elf in her front yard. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack family blown away by response to Christmas light display

The Blais family has decked out their yard with holiday decor, collecting food bank donations

Abbotsford residents gather in the Clearbrook area on Monday to demonstrate against what they say is unfairt treatment by the Indian government to farmers in the Punjab region of that country. (Maan Sidhu photo)
Abbotsford residents gather to protest unfair treatment of India farmers

Locals believe new bills will devastate small farms, demand farmers be allowed to protest peacefully

An original piece of artwork by Rosie Laponder, was stolen along with various art supplies from Julie Ann’s Art and Custom Framing in Chilliwack on Nov. 28, 2020. (Submitted image)
Thieves steal original artwork, art supplies from Chilliwack store

‘It kind of makes you sick to your stomach,’ says store manager

The paraglider pilot, while attempting to free himself, dropped 30 feet and sustained serious injuries as Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue members worked quickly to extract him from the trees. They were able to get him to a waiting ambulance at the end of a nearby forest service road. (Contributed Photo/Dave Harder)
UPDATE: Rescued paraglider being treated for non-life threatening injuries

Pilot tried to self-rescue but sustained serious injuries in a 30-foot fall

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
UPDATE: Chilliwack man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

Long list of charges for Alberta man caught following morning of crime in Chilliwack

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Christmas tree season is off to an early start

People are ‘bored’ with staying home due to COVID-19 and want to decorate early, farm owner believes

A heavy police presence was on scene on Dec. 28, 2017 following the shooting death on Bates Road in Abbotsford of Alexander Blanarou, 24, of Surrey. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three men charged with Abbotsford shooting death of Surrey man

Alexander Blanarou, 24, was killed in a rural area on Dec. 28, 2017

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A convoy of seven pickup trucks, six of which were hauling boats, makes its way around the Chilliwack Law Courts on Dec. 1, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
First court date for Fraser River anglers ticketed during demonstration fishery

Convoy of trucks circled the courthouse in downtown Chilliwack Tuesday honking their support

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

Most Read