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March 1, 2021

Childcare and ‘She-covery’

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Economic Forum reported that the resulting recession had created larger employment losses for women than for men: with women’s labour supply still 20% below pre-recession levels, compared with men’s labour supply only 9% lower. Economist Armine Yalnizyan urged policymakers to take into account the unprecedented impact of the pandemic on women and Canadian households as employed women often shoulder a greater share of childcare responsibilities than their male counterparts. “There is no recovery without a ‘she-covery,’” she said, “and no recovery without childcare.”

In November, we were encouraged to see the federal government recognize the importance childcare as a means of inclusive recovery and progress towards gender equality in its Fall Economic Statement. Accessible and affordable childcare is a key part of Canada’s social infrastructure and is crucial to creating jobs and driving economic growth.

Did you know that colleges and institutes across the country are the primary providers of education and training for early childhood educators, offering over 200 early childhood education programs in one-year certificates, two and three-year diplomas, and four-year bachelor’s degrees? Post-graduate programs also give early childhood educators the opportunity to specialize in areas such as administration, resource consulting, and supporting children with special needs:

  • Écoéducation par la nature at Cégep de Rivière-du-Loup is a new skills upgrading program tailored for early childhood education professionals to help develop the competencies needed to integrate eco-responsibilities and nature into to their daily lessons and activities with children. The program is also flexible and offered online and through distance learning.
  • Techniques d’éducation à l’enfance at Collège Montmorency is a three-year program in early childhood education that includes three work-integrated learning opportunities and is strengthened by deep relationships with community associations in the region. The college is also leading a new provincial committee to encourage the participation of men in the field!
  • At Yukon University, the Early Learning and Child Care program is tailored to meet the needs identified by the community for the educational preparation of early childhood educators and includes training on the university’s Yukon First Nations Core Competency.
  • Douglas College’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Special Needs certificate is a two-semester credential that gives ECE graduates the specialized skills to work with children of diverse abilities.
  • At Red River College, Science of Early Child Development (SECD) is a world-renowned knowledge mobilization initiative designed to make current research accessible to those interested in learning more about the impacts of the early years on lifelong health and well-being. SECD’s tools and online resources include four Living Textbooks, a Child Development Primer Module, and a Prenatal Development Module.
  • Early childhood education at Collège La Cité is delivered through a hybrid and flexible training model called Mobilicité that includes pre-employment training modules offered in workplace settings, online modules, and intensive and accelerated courses to develop skills quickly.
  • Loyalist College and the YMCA Northumberland have partnered to provide YMCA employees with access to the college’s online, part-time Early Childhood Education diploma program emphasizing inclusive practices, partnerships with families, multiple intelligences, and evidence-based practices. The tailored delivery option also gives staff the flexibility and convenience of pursuing post-secondary education while working full-time.
  • Holland College’s Early Childhood Care and Education Year 2 pilot program is taking an innovative spin with a part-time and blended learning delivery format allowing students to complete the 10-credit program and obtain their ECCE diploma while maintaining employment. The program is part of the Atlantic Colleges Atlantique’s College Transformation des Collèges project and is funded by the Future Skills Centre.

Innovation in this space is essential to ensure a recovery that is both feminist and intersectional. To support needed growth in the early childhood educator workforce, Canada needs flexible training to increase the number of early childhood educators and accelerate pathways in the field.

Must read: the new Globe and Mail special report on colleges and institutes

We are so pleased to share our latest collaborative special report on colleges and institutes with the Globe and Mail! In the context of post-pandemic recovery, this special eye on innovation gives real-world examples of how Canada can leverage the full capacity of colleges and institutes to build a recovery-ready workforce, drive innovation, and support sustainability! Read the full report online.

The new report features amazing stories from Canadore College, Centennial College, College of the North Atlantic, Columbia College, Durham College, Fleming College, Humber College, Lethbridge College, Red River College, SAIT, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Sault College, Seneca College, Sheridan College, and Vancouver Community College. Thanks to all those who contributed!

Perspectives LIVE: “Future-proofing international student recruitment”

A year ago, when international borders were closed in efforts to contain the worldwide pandemic, for many students, the prospects of work and study overseas were put in jeopardy. Even now as lockdown and distancing measures remain in place, many colleges and institutes have been challenged to think of new ways to maintain and engage in international student recruitment.

In the future, how will the international student experience differ from what we know, and how can Canadian post-secondary institutions modify their value proposition to remain attractive destinations for students from around the world?   

Register now for the next episode of Perspectives LIVE: March 11! Our expert guests will reflect on challenges encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic and lessons learned that will help future-proof international student recruitment.

Connection Conference: Explore our changing narratives!

Our national conference is back! Join fellow leaders in post-secondary education, industry, and government for an immersive virtual experience to explore our changing narrativesApril 26-28.

New this year: dynamic pricing options to personalize your conference experience, including brand-new group registration rates!

With innovative and engaging keynote speakers:

  • Ollivier Dyens: founder and co-director of the Building 21 innovation laboratory;
  • Thomas Frey: futurist, founder and executive director of DaVinci Institute;
  • Fabienne Goux-Baudiment: CEO of proGective;
  • Gerd Leonhard: futurist & humanist, founder and CEO of The Futures Agency; and
  • Tanya Talaga: journalist & author, CEO of Makwa Creative. 

Submit a presentation for our online gallery!

This year’s unique format means that participants will be able to access content in non-traditional ways. If you have something to share, try submitting a pre-recorded presentation that will be posted in our online gallery and available to conference participants on demand!

Looking for talented student artists!

Are you a student artist? Do you know a talented student artist on campus? We are looking to showcase more art on the walls of our national offices in Ottawa. Submit a work of art to our annual Student Art Showcase!

This year, we invite participants to submit work that reflects on the last year and inspires new ways of looking at the years to come: on connectedness, community, disruption, and reconciliation. Submit in one of six categories: printmaking; textile, mixed media, or sculpture; photography; digital illustration or animation; painting; and drawing.

The winner in each category will receive a monetary prize of $350 and have their art exhibited at our Ottawa office, where it will be visible to visiting Members of Parliament, senior government officials, international dignitaries, and college and institute officials and of course CICan staff!

Reminder: Learn about becoming a delivery partner for our new Supportive Care Assistant program

Join us March 4 to learn about a new program preparing workers for careers in supportive care, providing much needed support in long-term care and home care! The new Supportive Care Assistant training program is fully subsidized by Employment and Social Development Canada that will address the acute labour shortages in the long-term and home care sector and will be delivered as part of our new Building Capacity in Long-Term Care project.

This information session is geared towards colleges and institutes interested in participating in this national initiative as program delivery partners!

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Cégep de Rimouski and Cégep de Chicoutimi have partnered with Optania, a technology firm in the Saguenay region, to develop two innovative artificial intelligence tools supporting the academic success and psychosocial health of their students? ALI is a conversational robot app that students can download for tips on adapting to life as a student, resources for psychosocial challenges, and connections with health professionals. ISA is an academic support interface (Interface de Suivi Académique) that can use data linked to a student to identify potential areas of academic concern and offer support where needed. Brilliant!


St Lawrence College welcomed a new interim vice president, Student Affairs. Michael Cooke will fill the role with more than 35 years of educational leadership experience in post-secondary education, including at George Brown College and Loyalist College.

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.