Released on May 20, 2016Today Education Minister Don Morgan joined the children and staff of the Saskatoon Early Childhood Education Demonstration Centre along with representatives from Saskatchewan Polytechnic to celebrate Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Appreciation Day.
Saskatchewan proclaimed May 20 as ECE Appreciation Day to recognize the work of the professionals who support and care for young children in early learning and child care programs.
There are close to 4,000 individuals working in licensed child care centres and family child care homes across the province. The government estimates that more than 200 new jobs in this profession will be created when the joint-use school child care centres open in September 2017.
“Early Childhood Education is a profession that has seen tremendous growth over the past decade and we’re fortunate to have so many talented, compassionate individuals helping our children get a good start in life,” Morgan said. “Today is about celebrating their important work and letting others know that if this is a career that interests them, it’s a good time to consider pursuing it.”
The nine joint-use schools currently under construction in Regina, Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville, will each have a 90 space child care centre, adding 810 new child care spaces in these communities. These new spaces will bring the total licensed child care spaces in Saskatchewan to more than 15,000.
To prepare for the upcoming need of trained early childhood educators in the province, the government has been working with Saskatchewan Polytechnic to make learning opportunities more accessible.
In 2015, the Ministry of Education introduced a dual credit partnership with Saskatchewan Polytechnic that gives high school students the opportunity to earn post-secondary credits toward their Early Childhood Educator certification while they also earn high school credits toward graduation.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers Early Childhood Education certificate and diploma programs that integrate the most current research on early childhood education into their curriculum.
“Saskatchewan Polytechnic has been offering programs in early childhood education since 1981,” School of Hospitality and Tourism and School of Human Services and Community Safety Dean Nancy Dill said. “We work hard to make the Early Childhood Education programs as accessible as possible. Students can take Early Childhood Education programs in the classroom, online or through a brokered program with a regional college. For those wanting an early start we offer dual credit classes for high school and basic education students.”
To find out more about becoming certified as an Early Childhood Educator, visit www.saskpolytech.ca.
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