Indigenous Early Childhood Educators to Support Cowichan Families
Twenty-four Indigenous students in the Cowichan Valley will gain culturally relevant skills and knowledge to provide specialized early childhood care in their community.
The custom-designed program is a partnership between the Cowichan Tribes, the Stz’uminus First Nation and Vancouver Island University (VIU). Over the three-year program, students will receive adult basic education upgrading, Hul’qu’minum language learning and a diploma in early childhood education.
The Snuw’uy’ulh Sqwaluwun Smun’eem (Children of our Community) early childhood education and care (ECEC) program includes working with Elders to connect traditional teachings with classroom learnings, tutoring services and help from employment support co-ordinators in transitioning to employment.
The $815,000 funding for the program is a partnership between the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, and the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
The funding announced is in addition to the $1-billion child care investment announced by the British Columbia government in Budget 2018, which will go toward boosting training and development supports for child care professionals, and addressing the issues of recruitment and retention in the sector.
Investing in programs like this is consistent with B.C.’s commitment to advancing true, lasting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.