Early Chilhood Educators play with children at YWCA Emma’s Early Learning and Child Care Centre.

Discover: A New Career Path

While many sectors are in an uncertain phase of post-pandemic recovery, early childhood education is one area that has seen steady, ongoing growth. In response to the need for more Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) across the province, and aligned with our commitment to universal child care for families, YWCA Metro Vancouver launched an exciting new program called Discover. 

Discover is a free, 46-week employment program for immigrant women who want to embark on fulfilling careers as ECEs. Through a partnership between the YWCA, WorkBC Centres and Sprott Shaw College, participants gain the specific skills and experience required to work as an ECE in accordance with provincial regulations.  

For many immigrant women, Discover provides a clear pathway toward a rewarding career that promises stability for the foreseeable future. “Current projections show that 12,000 ECEs will be required over the next 10 years to fulfill the demand set out in the Childcare BC plan,” says Devi Sharma, Program Manager of Discover. “There is an increasing shortage of certified workers as this occupation is regulated and requires an ECE certification.” 

Discover participants develop a broad range of theoretical knowledge and practical skills that enable them to create and lead educational, age-appropriate activities for children. They also learn to supervise children and professionally communicate with parents, fellow staff and other individuals involved in a child’s development. 

“At the completion of the program, participants receive full certification as an Early Childhood Educator, including licensing and all regulations as required by the Province of BC,” shares Devi. “This includes a 10-week employer practicum, which provides valuable experience and increases confidence.” 

Funded by the BC Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Discover is a Project-Based Labour Market Training program, benefitting the local community and job-seeking individuals by providing a combination of training, work experience and follow-up support delivered under a project-based training model. We are grateful to all our partners who contribute to the delivery of this impactful program.  

The second Discover cohort started in February and the third is scheduled to begin in September 2023 for participants based in Victoria, BC.  

For more information on Discover, visit ywcavan.org/ywca-discover or email discover@ywcavan.org.  


This article is part of the 2023 Spring/Summer edition of our Contact Newsletter. 
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