New bursaries from Bruce, Dufferin and Simcoe counties for Georgian to support Early Childhood Education workforce  
September 21, 2022

Bruce, Dufferin and Simcoe counties are offering new bursaries with Georgian to meet the need for Early Childhood Education (ECE) workers.

Dufferin County ECE bursaries

Dufferin County is funding 18 new bursaries with Georgian College to diversify its local ECE workforce in that sector throughout the region.

A smiling young black male with dark hair and a beard sitting on a floor in a classroom reading a book to a group of young children

Beginning this September, and as part of its workforce development strategy, Dufferin County will fund 18 ECE bursaries for Dufferin residents wishing to pursue studying early childhood education at Georgian. The bursaries, valued at $2,000 each, will be presented to full‐time students who demonstrate financial need and may be renewed in year two of the program if students maintain good academic standing. To promote greater diversity within the ECE sector, four bursaries will be available for students who self‐identify as Black, Indigenous or Francophone.

“Accessible, inclusive and high-quality child care is essential to our economy and early childhood educators are at the forefront,” says Lori-Jane Del Medico, Program Manager, Early Years and Child Care, Dufferin County. “Without a viable workforce, there is no child care. We’re committed to supporting and investing in the next generation of early childhood educators and we hope these new bursaries will make the required education and training more accessible for students.”

In August 2021, Canada and Ontario signed a new Early Childhood Workforce Agreement which provides approximately $149.9M in one-time federal funding to support the retention and recruitment of a high-quality child care and early years workforce. The County of Dufferin is the designated child care and early years service system manager responsible for planning and managing licensed child care services and EarlyON Child and Family Centres in the region.

“A key area of focus in Georgian College’s Strategic Plan is innovative collaboration through industry connections,” says Brenda Burman, Campus, Government and Employment Programs Manager for Georgian’s Orangeville and South Georgian Bay campuses. “This workforce strategy is a great example of collaboration in our local community. The bursaries for students will remove a barrier to those considering this in-demand career path, and it will support them in becoming qualified Early Childhood Educators able to meet the workforce need.”

Partnerships with families, other professionals, and community programs form the foundation of working in the field of early learning and care, and field placements will provide students with the opportunity to practice their gained knowledge and skills as they engage with children and adults.

Bruce County ECE bursaries

Bruce County Children’s Services has partnered with Georgian to provide $80,000 in Bruce County Early Childhood Education Bursaries to eligible students. This initiative supports ongoing efforts to retain and recruit a high-quality child care and early years workforce and is supported with funds from the August 2021 signing of the Early Childhood Workforce Funding Agreement by Canada and Ontario.

“The key objectives of this partnership are to sustain, enhance, grow, and attract an increasingly diverse early childhood education workforce,” says Tina Metcalfe, Bruce County’s manager of children’s services. “This bursary opportunity will help Bruce County students join the caring and dedicated child care and early years professionals across Bruce County.”

The collaboration will offer students who meet identified criteria the chance to apply for one of 20 bursaries available to encourage students to enter the field of Early Childhood Education at Georgian. Eligible students could potentially receive up to a maximum of $4,000 in total bursaries, covering approximately half of their tuition costs over the two-year Early Childhood Education diploma program.

To be eligible, students must be full-time domestic student entering their first year of the ECE diploma program.

Simcoe County ECE bursaries

The County of Simcoe is providing $180,000 to support learning costs for eligible students in the ECE program at the Orillia Campus as part of its workforce strategy, which targets recruitment and retention of skilled professionals in the sector.

The contribution will fund 90 awards of $2,000, benefitting 60 individual students, over the next two years for current and future ECE students.

“We know the need is great for early childhood educators in our community and across the province,” said County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell. “That is why this investment in ECE students is so important. It helps students achieve their goal of a rewarding career in ECE, while assisting our families by expanding the workforce of ECEs, which is currently facing critical shortages.”

Full-time students in the two-year ECE program, including those just beginning their studies this September, as well as students in year 2 of the program, and incoming students in January and September 2023 are eligible to apply for this new award.

Students must demonstrate financial need as part of their application, have a Simcoe County address (including the cities of Barrie and Orillia) and be in good academic standing. In the interest of promoting diversity in the sector, preference will be given to students who self-identify as having Indigenous ancestry.

About Georgian’s ECE program

The ECE program is offered at the following campuses:

  • Orangeville
  • Orillia
  • Owen Sound

Students will:

  • Learn to facilitate the development of children from birth to 12 years while encouraging their feelings of self-worth and social-emotional resiliency
  • Be prepared to design and implement play-based experiences, focusing on children’s interests through indoor and outdoor play opportunities
  • Learn the importance of being responsive caregivers while respecting diversity, identity and the rights of children and families
  • Learn more about the program

There’s still time to apply for a bursary

The Early Childhood Education program begins this September.