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Capilano University offering ECE training in Squamish

Courses offered at the Quest University campus starting in September
Quest University campus is home to a Cap University ECE training program. Photo: PEXELS.COM

Those interested in a career in childcare now have an education option in Squamish.

Capilano University is expanding its offerings of Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs by launching classes in Squamish at its Sechelt campus starting this month.

This one-time program enhancement will take place over the next two years thanks to $874,908 in funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Of that funding, $460,454 will support part-time Early Childhood Education diploma students in Squamish and $414,454 will support students in Sechelt.

"Early childhood educators are in high demand," said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training in a Capilano University news release. "This investment at Capilano University allows students to access first-class training closer to home while filling a vitally important profession. Thank you to all Early Childhood Education students who are passionate about caring for and supporting our greatest asset - our children."

In Squamish, where there is a shortage of childcare spots for local residents, centre owners have cited a lack of locally available trained staff as an obstacle to opening, expanding and staying open.

Coursework for this new program will be delivered through in-person and online classes scheduled in the daytime, evenings, and on weekends. Classes in Squamish will be held at Quest University while Sechelt students will attend Cap's campus there.

"Through the expansion of its ECE programming, Capilano University will be providing excellent educational opportunities to students in both the Sechelt and Squamish communities who may otherwise have to travel to North Vancouver for course work," said Brad Martin, dean of the Faculty of Education, Health & Human Development. "The flexible course schedule affords opportunities for students to blend their work, home, and university life more easily, with the goal that those in the program can continue to work, rather than having to step out of employment when there are important needs in communities for childcare educators."

The assumption is that graduates from the diploma program will go on to work with children under the age of five in licensed preschools and child care centres in both Sechelt and Squamish, according to the release.

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