"There's going to be an opportunity, I guess, for early-childhood educators, we're just not sure they're here in sufficient numbers," said John Stadnyk, director of education for the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, which plans to open four of the new full-day classes next September.One would hope the government -- including Pascal -- had considered this before making and accepting the ECE component of the recommendation. Are there enough certified ECEs available to meet demand? Admittedly, some childcare centres will get smaller as their charges move to full-day schooling, creating opportunities for ECEs to shuffle from these childcare centres to school boards.
Stadnyk said agencies that employ ECEs in Sault Ste. Marie warned local boards that the hiring pool may not be large enough.
"They're indicating (ECEs) may be hard to come by in the northeast region, not only in the cities, but in the rural communities," said Stadnyk.
If there will be a shortage, perhaps it's time for the plethora of underemployed teachers' college graduates to consider enrolling in that ECE program. First, particularly if they're not already occasional teachers working in kindergarten classrooms, they might actually learn something about early childhood development that's not covered in teachers' college. Second, it might guarantee them a job, given I expect the continued impact of declining enrolment will again lead to many of the province's school boards to trim their elementary teaching ranks.
A college watching these developments would be wise to sharpen its pencil, head to the nearest teachers' college and work out some sort of condensed ECE program for teachers' college graduates.