Provincial investment to support early childhood development

The investment will support early childhood brain science and development training.

The provincial and federal government is investing $5.2 million to support early childhood brain science and development training.

More than 3,000 early childhood educators are expected to benefit from the training, a government of Alberta media release said.

The funding will be allocated to the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA) and the Alberta Resource Centre for Quality Enhancement (ARCQE) and give educators the opportunity to enhance their understanding of early childhood brain science and childhood development.

AECEA and ARCQE will use the funding to train educators and reimburse them for their training time.

“Early childhood educators are essential to the delivery of high-quality learning and childcare, and they need to be well-educated, supported and remunerated to undertake that work. We are excited to provide educators with an opportunity for continued professional learning on the scientific underpinnings of early brain development and the important role educators play in a child’s early years,” AECEA board chair, Carol Sullivan said. 

“Recognizing that the first five years of a child’s life is the most formative period of development, ARCQE looks forward to implementing provincewide practice strategies focused on enriching educator capacity and program quality. Through access to specialized training and resources, early childhood educators will be further supported in helping children reach their full potential,” ARCQE executive director Corine Ferguson said.

More than $3 million of the investment will be used to give 3,000 educators access to the Brain Story Certification course offered through the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.

Educators will also have the opportunity to participate in theory-to-practice sessions, helping transfer knowledge from the course to daily practice, the release said.

The remaining $1.6 million will support up to 350 educators’ access to development and training and is expected to enhance early learning child-care settings and provide the appropriate support to a child.

“Skilled professionals are essential to supporting kids’ learning and development in their early years. Time is often a barrier for educators to access further training, which is why Alberta’s government is allocating this funding to help pay these educators while they enhance their skills and knowledge. This will ensure the next generation of kids is equipped with the tools they need to become tomorrow’s leaders,” Minister of Children’s Services Matt Jones said.

“Early childhood educators do incredible work in nurturing our children. By providing early childhood educators with the training and development opportunities they need, we are supporting their growth and the growth of a high-quality child-care system in Alberta,” federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould said.

The funding was provided through a one-time investment of $56 million in 2021/22 to support the early childhood workforce under the federal made-in-Alberta child-care agreement, the release said.

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