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Strengthening the Basin’s early childhood educator workforce

Kimberley’s Purcell Preschool & Daycare. CBT photo.


Working with children comes with daily reminders to slow down and appreciate the small pockets of joy in life: counting ladybugs on leaves, creating muddy masterpieces out of twigs and rocks, and singing out loud without restraint. But it’s not all fun and games. Child care workers must also offer seemingly endless supplies of patience, kindness and energy, plus take on a multifaceted role that requires formal training and education.

Striking an affordable work-life balance can be difficult to achieve while working and studying at the same time. April Revitt knows this firsthand. She runs Lucky Penny Garderie, a child care facility in Revelstoke, plus struggled to complete her ECE training while working full time.

“Attending school on my own was really challenging because it’s expensive and time-consuming,” says Revitt. Fortunately, help came through a Trust program that provides a training wage and financial support to certified Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and ECE Assistants as they upgrade their qualifications.

“The program took all those sharp edges off so I could commit my time to school 100 per cent,” she says. “Otherwise, I think I’d still be chugging along one class at a time, and I definitely wouldn’t have taken the leap to get my infant/toddler educator certificate.”

The result: Revitt graduated with an ECE diploma in April 2023. So did one of her long-time employees, who is now opening her own child care centre in the same neighbourhood.

This goes to show how a little Trust support can have big impacts when it comes to helping increase Basin residents’ access to affordable, high-quality child care. As well, improved options help local businesses thrive, as parents are able to work knowing their children are safe and thriving.

Kimberley’s Purcell Preschool & Daycare also made the most of the program when manager Cheryl Anderson enrolled seven staff across two intakes.

“It’s so beneficial for staff to be able to upgrade their credentials, and it gives us way more flexibility as a business,” says Anderson. “ECE training is expensive and you don’t make a huge wage when you’re done, so it’s amazing to be able to work and do online schooling at the same time with this financial support.”

One of Anderson’s employees recently completed her ECE training. Baylie Migneault, another employee, has updated her certifications and is currently working toward getting her ECE diploma.

“The training wage program has been incredibly helpful in relieving the financial stress of obtaining these certificates,” says Migneault. “The financial support has enabled so many people to achieve a range of specialized child care certifications, all of which our communities desperately need.”

About the Author: Paul Rodgers

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