Saskatchewan Polytechnic will receive $3.5 million of the roughly $9 million in funding the provincial and federal governments earmarked for Early Childhood Education on Monday.
The funding allows Sask Polytech to provide seven funded opportunities for early childhood education through the School of Continuing Education, and help fund tuition for students in Building the Future, a program launched in 2021. The programs are mostly online offerings.
“Parents in Saskatchewan are looking for well trained early childhood educators to take care of their children,” Stephanie Mulhall, manager of Flexible Learning at Sask Polytech, said in a press release.
“Parents are also struggling with long waitlists for childcare support from licensed centres. Building the Future is helping meet the demand for qualified early childhood educators in Saskatchewan to help the next generation build a foundation for lifelong learning.”
Sask Polytech Early Childhood Education programs integrate the most current research on early childhood education into curriculum. Courses are available for everyone from high school students to experienced childhood educators. These courses can be used towards a credential in Early Childhood Education and/or an Early Childhood Educator certification with the Saskatchewan Government.
“We are deeply grateful to the Government of Saskatchewan for investing in the institution’s early childhood education programs,” Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech CEO and president said.
“Through this funding, Sask Polytech is able to offer additional seats through the School of Continuing Education, as well as to provide free tuition to students enrolled in the Building the Future program. By expanding the pipeline of trained early childhood educators across the province, we give an opportunity for childcare centres to meet the needs of parents and caregivers and provide a higher level of care for Saskatchewan’s children.”
Sask Polytech currently has seven funded early childhood education offerings. This includes the Early Childhood Education Dual Credit Level 1 certification for Saskatchewan high school students, Early Childhood Education Level 1 for those involved in the childcare sector, Early Childhood Education Accelerated Level 2 and Early Childhood Education Accelerated Level 3. These programs will expand the pipeline of workers entering the early learning sector.
The Autism certificate of achievement is open to the community, parents and professionals to provide training that responds to a growing demographic of service providers supporting children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Leadership Skills certificate of achievement provides early childhood educators with the skills required to propel this industry forward and continue to meet the expanding needs of the economy. Early Childhood Education Surge Micro-credentials will also be offered.
Sask Polytech’s funded Early Childhood Education programs and micro-credentials are free of charge; tuition and resources are covered. Students can enroll in these courses and build their careers without financial burden.
Those interested can learn more at Sask Polytech’s website at saskpolytech.ca/buildingthefuture. Programming is offered from November 2022 to June 2023. Program seats are subject to availability and student eligibility. Saskatchewan Polytechnic has campuses in Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Regina and Saskatoon.
Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald