POWELL RIVER, B.C – Vancouver Island University (VIU) is expanding its Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) program to its Powell River campus, starting this fall.

According to a release from VIU, in Powell River, there are only 28 licensed spaces for children 36 months and younger, and those spaces are not always filled to capacity due to the inability to hire qualified staff.

Alison Taplay, VIU’s Powell River Campus Human Services Coordinator says, the introduction of this program would help solve that problem.

“By training more qualified ECEC workers in Powell River, we will be making a huge difference in the lives of young families and children in this community,” says Taplay.

She added that many families with young children struggle to find quality childcare.

“It has been a major crisis in our community.”

“With ferry only access, families cannot seek childcare options in neighbouring communities,” Taplay added.

Students who are enrolled in the new ECEC certificate program would start this September, and finish in December of 2020.

The program will offer classes in evenings, weekends, and sometimes during the week, with the option of taking weekday classes online if students are not able to attend in-person.

For more information on the new program, visit https://news.viu.ca/viu-expands-early-childhood-education-and-care-program-powell-river.