Number of early childhood educators dwindling in East Kootenay

Web Lead

The East Kootenay region is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family, but the beauty of the region is not enough to entice qualified early childhood educators to move to southeastern British Columbia. The number of vacant employment positions is not a surprise to early childhood educators who have left early learning and child care positions. Early childhood educators face significant challenges in the delivery of accessible, affordable, high quality child care.

“Long hours, low wages and staff shortages can take a toll on even the most experienced child care provider,” said Mary Noble, East Kootenay co-ordinator for Children First and Success By 6. “Early childhood educators who leave their careers just get tired of waiting for governing bodies to address their concerns.”

When asked about their future plans, 19 of 39 respondents on the East Kootenay Child Care Needs Assessment — spearheaded by the East Kootenay Child Care Task Force — stated they were either considering or undecided about finding work outside of the child care field.

“Such findings are of extreme concern when programs are already facing significant operational challenges with respect to delivering of accessible, affordable, high quality child care programs,” said Jane Boyd, the consultant who led the East Kootenay Child Care Needs Assessment. “The loss of any of these educators will likely result in program closures.”

Early childhood educators have an important role in contemporary societies. They work alongside parents, grandparents and other adults in guardian positions to enhance the quality of young children’s lives. Early childhood educators and other direct care providers are an extension of family for children who attend preschool, day care and out of school care programs. It is the quality of the program that makes the difference in the early years.

Since there is generally a correlation between the quality of education and the quality of professional practice, it is concerning to regional service providers to discover that only five of 41 early years practitioners who responded to the question about training indicated they were continuing their studies in early childhood education. Financial barriers, as well as limited access to quality mentorship programs, were identified as deterrents for students.

For more information about the East Kootenay Child Care Task Force and the crisis in early learning and childcare, contact Children First co-ordinator Mary Noble at 250-426-2542 or

The East Kootenay Child Care Task Force was formed in 2013 by representatives from East Kootenay Children First, East Kootenay Success By 6, East Kootenay Child Care Resource and Referral with other East Kootenay community members who experienced and/or who serve children, families, and child care programs impacted by child care in the East Kootenay area.

A copy of the report can be seen by clicking here.


Just Posted

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Creston police kept busy with unwanted guest complaints

Creston RCMP responded to 59 calls for assistance

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Rural residents could face higher fire protection costs

Erickson and Arrow Creek property owners will pay more for fire protection

Brewery workers claim more job losses

Interior Brewery Workers Local 308 says that Labatt Breweries of Canada is manipulating data to justify the loss of jobs at Creston’s 50-year-old brewery.

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

VIDEO: Tragically Hip members, Alex Trebek receive Order of Canada

Newest recipients join 6,897 Canadians such as Christine Sinclair, Graham Greene and Mark Messier

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young dies at 64

‘Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many.’

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Most Read