New, free accelerated early childhood education certificate supports Kitimat families

Oct 05, 2022

A new accelerated program at Coast Mountain College will allow aspiring early childhood educators (ECEs) to train closer to home at no cost while meeting community needs.

“I know that investing in the education of early childhood educators means that we’re investing in families,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “This government is making sure British Columbians are future ready by investing in new programs, so more people can get the training they’d like closer to home. The big benefit of this investment is that by increasing the number of people studying to become early childhood educators, we can also improve parents’ ability to find child care so they can return to work, explore education or skills training themselves, while also increasing access to education for their children.”

Funded through the StrongerBC Skills Training for Economic Recovery stream of the Community Workforce Response Grant, Coast Mountain College is offering an accelerated basic ECE certificate for 14 students at its Kitimat campus from January to December 2023.

The program is open for registration and interested applicants can find more information by emailing: or visiting this link.

“This accelerated training program for early childhood educators will help us build a future where affordable, quality, inclusive child care is a core service that families can rely on,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “To recruit more ECEs we have enhanced wages, increased ECE spaces at public post-secondary institutions, provided bursaries and better access to training, and we’re prioritizing immigration pathways to attract international ECEs.”

The need for child care in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village is growing with the local economy. With the LNG Canada export facility and other construction projects underway, further population growth is expected.

“The lack of available child care in Kitimat is reaching a crisis point, and the government has recognized that training new, well-qualified child care workers is essential for the economy to continue moving forward,” said Bradley Leier, Associate Dean of Health and Human Services, Coast Mountain College. “As a college, we are excited to support this initiative with quality training in the community, so that parents can access the supports they need to continue in their careers.”

The Community Workforce Response Grant program provides funding for communities and sectors to support in-demand skills training leading to secure and sustainable employment for British Columbians. It is intended to provide flexible and timely responses to emerging and urgent labour and skills needs.

“Coast Mountain College is able to offer a fully funded, in-person, accelerated early childhood care and education program in Kitimat,” said Vicki MacKenzie-Denis, early childhood care education co-ordinator and instructor, Coast Mountain College. “This program will highlight relationships with First Nations cultures and perspectives, while embedding contextually relevant, place-based learning into our curriculum. Our graduates foster learning environments that celebrate mutually transformational relationships in creative and responsive pedagogical spaces.”

Supporting skills training aligns with StrongerBC’s Future Ready Plan. Future Ready is making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and to prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.

Quick Facts:
• Since 2018, more than 30,500 new licensed child care spaces have been funded for families in B.C. It is anticipated that more than half of those will be in operation by the end of 2022.
• B.C. anticipates more than 10,000 new job openings for certified ECEs and assistants in the coming decade.

Learn More:
To learn more about Coast Mountain College’s Accelerated Basic Early Childhood Education certificate, visit:

For more about ChildCareBC, visit:

To learn more about supports for early learning childhood educators, visit:

For more about the Community Workforce Response Grant, visit:

Original article:



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Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training

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Heather Bastin

Executive Director, External Relations