VIU’s Early Child Education and Care Program Doubles Seats for 2019

VIU ECEC Alum Summer Lin opens her own daycare and helps inspire future ECEC workers

To meet the high demand for jobs, VIU is doubling its capacity for Early Child Education and Care program for the September 2019 intake.

February 19, 2019 - 1:15pm

To meet the high demand for jobs, VIU is doubling its capacity for Early Child Education and Care program for the September 2019 intake. Students can receive up to $4,000 per semester for their studies in the ECEC program.

Working with children has always been a passion for Summer Lin. 

“I worked as an ESL teacher for eight years in Taiwan. When we moved to Canada, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to build more one on one connections with children,” she says. 

Lin found that opportunity to build those meaningful interactions by enrolling in Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Early Child Education and Care (ECEC) program to become an ECE worker. After graduating in 2012, she spent four years working at a group facility before opening her own licensed childcare facility in Nanaimo. 

“Before I even graduated from my program, I had a full-time job waiting for me,” says Lin. “I was quickly promoted to a supervisor, and after two years at the facility, I was promoted again as the manager to six staff members looking after 37 children. I was doing a lot of licensing and paperwork, and thought I could start my own daycare.”

When Lin and her husband bought their home, they converted the downstairs to a childcare facility and in September of 2016, she opened the doors of Tenderfoot Childcare – a facility that now looks after eight children.

“I love being a small business entrepreneur,” says Lin. “I am also the Executive Board member for the ECEBC Nanaimo branch and assist with professional development workshops.”

Lin coordinates with the VIU ECEC program to have practicum students learn at her facility. ECEC students are matched to five placements throughout their two years of study. Many students are offered full time careers even before they graduate.

“The VIU ECEC program focuses a lot on self-reflection,” says Lin. “The practicums allow the students to apply their knowledge from the classroom to real-life experiences, then take those lessons and reflect on how topursue best practice in early childhood education.”

On Vancouver Island and in the Coastal region there is an expected 1,660 additional job openings for child care workers and educators according to the 2019 BC Labour Market Outlook

“To meet the growing demand for early childhood educators in an expanding childcare field, VIU is doubling the number of seats available for the ECEC program this upcoming September,” says Sheila Grieve, VIU ECE Chair.  

Graduates of the VIU ECEC program are certified as early childhood educators and are eligible to certify as Infant Toddler and Special Needs worker. 

The BC Government is encouraging people to become qualified and licensed ECE workers by providing an ECEBC bursary of up to $4,000 per semester.

Phil Zhao, an international student from China, is taking advantage of the ECEBC bursary this semester. 

“Having this bursary helps take the pressure off of my family to afford my education,” he says. “I can spend more time focused on my studies than trying to work as much as possible while I’m in school.”  

ECEBC also offers an incentive to people who operate licensed and unlicensed daycares by providing them funding to hire staff while they are pursuing their education, so they do not lose their business while completing their studies. “It’s a great way to encourage more people to upgrade or complete their ECE credentials, which overall creates better quality care for children and more spaces available for daycares,” says Lin. 

The VIU Early Childhood Education and Care program is currently taking applications for the September 2019 intake. 


Tags: Early Childhood Education and Care | Scholarship | Teaching and Learning

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