BC Government: New teaching network a win for ECEs, quality child care

by ahnationtalk on February 3, 2020585 Views

Feb. 3, 2020

NANAIMO – British Columbia’s early childhood educators (ECEs) will now benefit from an expanded professional development program geared to exploring the latest child care teaching philosophies, curriculums and techniques.

Run by the Early Childhood Pedagogy Network (ECPN), a $2-million investment allows 32 teaching specialists – known as pedagogists – to be hired around the province. This improves access to professional development for ECEs and boosts the quality of child care for children and families.

Each pedagogist will work with up to 45 ECEs in their area through community hubs at eight post-secondary institutions, 10 child care referral centres and seven Indigenous communities, in partnership with the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society.

The program is a partnership between the Province and researchers at Capilano University and Western University in Ontario. It puts B.C. on the map as one of only two provinces in Canada offering this kind of support to ECEs.

“A commitment to quality care is at the heart of our Childcare BC plan. By bringing together ECEs to share their experiences and learn from others, we can boost the quality of child care for families throughout B.C.,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Our government is committed to helping our early care and learning professionals succeed. Programs, such as this one, are making a career as an ECE more desirable and sustainable, and bring change to a sector that has been ignored for too long.”

The program expands professional learning opportunities from one-time training opportunities, such as workshops, to continuous learning, where professional development is done daily and in the context of individual child care programs.

“As a former ECE, I know that my learning didn’t stop when I graduated. Every day, I was adapting and refining my techniques to provide better care for the families I served,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “This network will help ECEs to collaborate, learn from each other and bring new early learning theories to their practice, making it easier for families to pursue their own education and careers, knowing that their kids are being nurtured and inspired during their time in child care.”

Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.


Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo –

“More ECEs in Nanaimo mean increased support for our children to grow and thrive. ECEs create programs that inspire kids and nurture a love of learning.”

Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley –

“It has been a pleasure to work with and learn from Dr. Pacini-Ketchabaw and her colleagues, and I am delighted this program is moving forward. The early learning years are vitally important, as are the educators who teach and nurture B.C.’s youngest. We cannot just focus on the number of child care spaces we create. Though that is important – we must always be mindful of fostering and improving quality. I’m confident this program will do just that.”

Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, co-director, B.C. ECPN –

“We want to create a system where ECE programs are developed within local communities to respond to the specific needs of that area. This network will provide professional learning that’s practical and grounded in the challenges and opportunities ECEs face. By providing this funding, the government is helping create a unified early learning and child care system where all B.C. children can flourish.”

Sabrina Limas, first-year student, early childhood education and care–

“Working with the pedagogist is inspiring me to think about more experiences I can offer the children within the context of my practicum placement. We are exploring new learning methods and ways to use technology. Having this support means enhanced learning for the children in my care, allowing us to do what is most important – help create better human beings.”

Learn More:

To learn more about the Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/ecestrategy

For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare

Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430

For a backgrounder on where the pedagogists will be based, visit:

A backgrounder, with facts about early childhood education in B.C., follows.


Ministry of Children and Family Development
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 356-2028


Facts about early childhood education in B.C.

  • The network is part of a $136-million commitment to improve supports for B.C.’s early care and learning professionals. To date, more than 10,000 early childhood educators (ECEs) have received a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, with another $1-per-hour lift to come in April 2020.
  • In addition, more than 600 new early childhood education seats are helping more people pursue a career in child care. Funding for professional development supports existing educators in maintaining and upgrading their skills. More than 5,400 bursaries will help students pursue their ECE education goals.
  • Pedagogies are teaching methods and practices that allow educators and learners to explore new ideas and environments for learning.
  • The ECPN was created out of the former Community Early Learning and Child Care Facilitators Pilot Project, hosted by the University of Victoria.
  • There are more than 20,000 certified ECEs in B.C.
  • In summer 2019, the Early Childhood Pedagogy Network put out calls for expressions of interest for public post-secondary ECE programs to host a pedagogist. Applicants were asked to demonstrate how the project aligns with their teaching and curriculum philosophy, how it aligns with the BC Early Learning Framework, the ways they support professional learning in the community and why they were interested in the project.


Ministry of Children and Family Development
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 356-2028

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect


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