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Gift from Canfor to CNC supports new early childhood educators

A gift by Canfor will support College of New Caledonia students as they become early childhood educators, meeting a vital need for childcare providers to support area families.

Canfor’s Good Things Come From Trees community program has provided $50,000 to CNC for new financial awards for students in the college’s early childhood care and learning program.

The initiative gives back to Canfor’s operating communities through community investments, sponsorships, and scholarships in the priority giving areas of education, health, sustainability, and community.

“As a working mom and an HR leader, I’m very familiar with the challenges parents face due to limited childcare availability,” said said Katy Player, Canfor’s Senior Vice President, People.

“It’s important to Canfor that we invest in the next generation of early childhood educators so that we can help to provide parents in our communities with the support network they need, and enable them to join the local workforce.”

B..C’s labour market outlook calls for more than 8,600 job openings for early childhood educators in the province by 2031. CNC provides one- and two-year certificate and diploma programs to provide students with valuable, job-ready skills in early childhood education (ECE). Students can study ECE at all CNC campuses including Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Mackenzie, Prince George, Quesnel, and Vanderhoof.

As a way to support early childhood education (ECE) and increase the ability for new parents to return to work, Canfor has partnered with the college to create $1,000 and $2,000 bursaries to be awarded over the next two years. Students in both the diploma and certificate programs will benefit based on their academic standing, financial need, and overall commitment to ECE.

“On behalf of the entire CNC community, we thank Canfor for its generous gift. Canfor has made substantial contributions to support learners at CNC over the years. This latest gift is an innovative way to address childcare needs in our region. It will make a difference in the lives of students, and soon for families who depend on this vital service,” said Dr. Dennis Johnson, CNC President and CEO.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, CNC will offer 20 awards: five $2,000 bursaries and fifteen $1,000 bursaries. The awards will help students offset their education and practicum costs. Students at all CNC campuses will be eligible for the new awards.

“I don’t think people fully understand the expense. It’s difficult to go to a program and be committed to full time school when you have expenses. To have that relief financially gives you less stress and more time to learn to be the best you can be as an ECE teacher,” said Vanessa Blishen, CNC graduate and owner of Duchess Early Learning Centre.

“We need qualified teachers. I’ve always felt that early childhood education has been undervalued in the sense that we were always seen as babysitters, but this gift from Canfor really reiterates to staff and students that this is a valuable career choice. By reframing that with education, students understand they are the teachers and can focus on hitting development milestones. It takes education, knowledge, and experience to have that as everyday practice.”

Applications are open now until December 31 for the $2,000 bursaries, and the application period for the $1,000 bursaries will be in the spring. Visit CNC’s Financial Aid & Awards for more information and for application details.

Please visit for more information and to apply for CNC’s early childhood care and learning certificate and diploma programs.

Visit Canfor’s website to learn more about Good Things Come From Trees.

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