A smiling person sitting in a classroom receives a gift from a young child.

Residents of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon can access a fast-tracked and fully funded Early Childhood Education program at Humber College that is being offered through a partnership with the Region of Peel and ACCES Employment.

Learners who enrol in the program will graduate with an Early Childhood Education diploma from Humber. The full-time program starts in January, which allows for completion of the program in four consecutive semesters and is faster than if started in the fall. It ends in April 2025.

As well, those enrolled will have their tuition and textbooks paid for. Some transportation costs may be covered. Learners also have access to first aid/CPR training, equipment and devices if needed.  

Saima Sheikh is program manager of the Humber-Peel ECE program. With the federal government’s plan to increase the number of new childcare spaces across the country to align with its $10-a-day affordable childcare goal, Sheikh said there is a shortage of workers in the industry.

“We are currently experiencing a shortage of qualified Early Childhood Education professionals in Ontario and the program is so residents of Peel can be trained for this in-demand profession and help fill the gaps we’re seeing,” said Sheikh.

It offers synchronous live classes with some being held in-person at North Campus. Learners will have access to the Carol Reid Early Childhood Education Lab and the Humber Child Development Centre.

ACCES Employment will provide mentoring and transition to work assistance.  

“The Region of Peel is pleased that our partnership with Humber College and ACCES is helping us to move forward with our goal to grow the early years and childcare workforce,” said Nakiema Palmer, director of the Region of Peel’s Early Years and Child Care Services. “By providing funding for the program, we hope to encourage equitable access for participants to pursue rewarding careers in the sector and further diversify our workforce in Peel.”

A room full of stuffed animals, children’s toys, books and arts and crafts supplies.

Field placements are offered within Peel Region. Graduates can work in a variety of settings including community childcare, school boards or at EarlyON Centres, among others.

Those interested in applying must complete an application during an information session where they will be assisted by a program manager. A series of virtual sessions are happening throughout November, as well as an in-person session at the North Campus Open House on November 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More information on the sessions and the program can be found on the Humber-Peel Early Childhood Education program webpage.