Released on June 8, 2023
The Government of Saskatchewan has partnered with 10 post-secondary institutions across the province to increase access to training and professional development opportunities for early childhood educators.
Through the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement 2021-2026, Saskatchewan is committing over $12 million for the 2023-24 academic year to support existing and prospective early childhood educators to achieve higher levels of training and access to professional development opportunities.
Attracting, retaining and growing a strong workforce of early childhood educators is just one of the initiatives by the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan through the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Other initiatives that have been implemented include $10 a day child care and wage enhancements of up to $5 an hour for early childhood educator wages.
"Training is key to building a strong, qualified early childhood educator workforce." Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "This is an exciting announcement as we collaborate with post-secondary institutions across the province to bring training opportunities to early childhood educators and those who want to work in early learning and child care."
“Early childhood educators are the cornerstone of child care in Canada,” Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, said. “Canada and Saskatchewan are working together to ensure ECEs have the support and resources they need to achieve success in their professional development.”
This funding for post-secondary institutions will build upon the Ministry of Education's 2021-23 investments in early childhood educator training and professional development with College Mathieu, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.
New this year, is the expansion of training initiatives offered by Carlton Trail College, Cumberland College, Dumont Technical Institute, Great Plains College, Northwest College, Northlands College and Southeast College. These post-secondary institutions will deliver additional tuition-free early childhood education programming unique to the needs of their communities beginning in the fall of 2023.
"Regional colleges have a huge role to play in this initiative by attracting and retaining individuals to the sector and upskilling through formal training," Carlton Trail College Business and Skills Training Director Deanna Gaetz said. "By offering ECE training with subsidized tuition and flexible delivery methods, making the choice to pursue a career as an early childhood educator becomes more attractive and accessible and will help meet the demand for educators in existing and new centers."
Training and professional development opportunities range from Early Childhood Education certificate and diploma courses to specialized training in autism, Métis cultural awareness, and Truth and Reconciliation. Some offerings will include English language training for those with English as a second language and job preparation in support of those who are interested in entering the early learning and child care sector.
Training and professional opportunities are intended to be flexible and will be made available both in-person and online and can be taken in the evenings and on weekends. Courses will begin fall 2023.
Those who are currently employed in regulated child care centres, regulated child care home providers and child care home assistants will be prioritized for enrolment. However prospective early childhood educators are also encouraged to enroll in training. High school students are encouraged to pursue dual credit courses that allow them to study for an Early Childhood Educator Level I certification during high school.
Today's announcement is just one of the larger initiatives by the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan to address increasing supports for early childhood educators, building a qualified workforce and supporting continuous professional learning and skills enhancement.
For more information, contact:Heather McKerracher
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould