Accelerated education pathways for early childhood educators

The Yukon’s universal child care system aims to provide all Yukoners with access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care supports. To increase the quality of education across all licensed early learning programs in the territory, Yukon University, with support from the Government of Yukon and the Government of Canada, is launching an accelerated education pathway for early childhood educators (ECEs) in April 2022.

Through the new Professional Diploma Pathway (PDP) program, early childhood educators currently credentialed as Level 3 Equivalent will be able to access accelerated training programs at Yukon University to achieve full Level 3 credential status. Enhancing the level of education available for early childhood educators in the territory will help increase the quality of early learning education and care across the Yukon.

In July 2021, the Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon signed a new Canada–Yukon Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement that provided nearly $42 million in funding over five years to expand the Yukon’s efforts to ensure that all families have access to regulated child care for an average of $10 a day. As part of this agreement, funding was identified for post-secondary institutions to increase course offerings in the field of early childhood education.

As a part of the agreement, Yukon University is receiving $217,000 in 2022 to provide additional educational opportunities for early childhood educators in the Yukon. A cohort of 100 early childhood educators with Level 3 equivalency, currently working in licensed early learning and child care programs, have been identified as candidates for the accelerated program. Yukon University has the capacity to support all of these potential learners.

Yukon early childhood educators who enroll in an educational pathway program would complete an individualized plan of the required course work and flexible practicums while continuing to provide services at a licensed early learning program. Programs include family day homes and programs owned and operated by First Nations governments.

In addition to the new Professional Diploma Pathway program, Yukon University is receiving another $120,000 in 2022 through Canada’s investment in the Yukon’s universal child care system. This funding will enhance their course offerings, specifically for rural Yukon communities. The Government of Yukon has also provided $50,000 in education bursaries from its Canada–Yukon Early Learning and Child Care Agreement to support Yukoners pursuing post-secondary learning in the field of early childhood education. 

Early childhood educators are at the very core of the Canada-wide system we are building with provinces and territories. Today’s announcement in the Yukon is another meaningful step in valuing their essential work and providing them with the skills and training they need to succeed.

Minister of Families Children and Social Development Karina Gould

Investing in helping early childhood educators expand their skills is an investment in high-quality child care and learning opportunities for children in the Yukon. We know that when pre-school-aged children have access to early learning experiences, they are gaining an opportunity to grow and develop valuable skills that will help them as they continue to learn as youth and young adults. The Yukon government is pleased to help support the professional and educational development of early childhood educators in the territory and we value their contribution to the Yukon’s universal child care system.   

Minister of Education Jeanie McLean

This funding from the Governments of Canada and Yukon enables Yukon University to support greater access to early learning and child care for all Yukon children by expanding our Early Learning and Child Care program offerings with this new, accelerated Professional Pathway Diploma for early childhood educators. Our courses provide students with a well-rounded grounding in essential aspects of child social and emotional learning necessary for developing each child’s unique potential.

President and Vice-Chancellor of Yukon University Lesley Brown

Quick facts 
  • Through the support of federal investments, the Department of Education spent $50,000 in 2021–22 on education bursaries for Yukoners pursuing post-secondary education in early childhood education.

  • As of now, fully qualified early childhood educators (Level 3) in the Yukon receive one of the highest minimum wages for ECEs in Canada – at a rate of just over $30 an hour.

  • The $10.1 million extension of the Canada–Yukon Early Learning and Child Care Agreement for 2021–22 to 2024–25, signed with the Government of Canada in August 2021, included a federal one-time investment of nearly $2.5 million (in 2021–22) to support the Yukon’s early childhood workforce.

    • As part of this investment, $210,000 was identified for flexible career pathways for early childhood educators and $450,000 for Indigenous and rural education opportunities.
  • Yukon University is offering a limited time diploma program to support those educators who hold a Level 3 Equivalent to complete the requirements for a full Level 3 certificate as designated by the Government of Yukon.
  • Students will have the opportunity to follow an individualized plan that considers each educator’s prior learning. This is to allow for the creation of a pathway to Level 3 that is responsive to their learning needs and meets the requirements for full Level 3 designation.
  • The PDP is designed to be accelerated so potential students would be required to enrol in multiple courses throughout the year.
  • The eligibility requirements include:
    •  current Level 3 Equivalent, as granted by the Government of Yukon;
    • previous post-secondary education;
    • currently employed in a licensed early learning and child care program in the Yukon; and
    • English 12, EAP 060 or equivalent (co-requisite).
  • The opportunities for ECEs include:
    • individual pathways to Level 3 completion and diploma;
    • tuition funding and support from the Government of Yukon for all courses;
    • innovative, flexible course and practicum delivery; and
    • professional mentorship.
  • The process of application and program entry include:
    • attending an initial information session or contacting an Early Learning and Child Care Program Advisor at Yukon University;
    • completing a Yukon University application form;
    • meeting with an Early Learning and Child Care Unit Program Specialist at the Government of Yukon to determine individual pathway requirements;
    • meeting with an Early Learning and Child Care Program Advisor at Yukon University to develop a course plan; and
    • participating in courses, which begin in April 2022.

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Krisandra Reid
Communications, Education

Mohammad Hussain
Office of the Honourable Karina Gould, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Michael Vernon
Communications, Yukon University

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