Standing Strong Together

ECE Education Support Fund

Since September 2018, the Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC), in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, enhanced and expanded the ECE Bursary Program, now known as the ECE Education Support Fund (ECE ESF).

This program consists of two funding streams:

  1. The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Student Bursary Program; and
  2. The ECE Workforce Development Bursary Fund Program

These funding streams are designed to increase the number of students entering, re-establishing and graduating from recognized ECE post-secondary programs. For a list of post-secondary education ECE programs recognized by the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Registry, please click here.

Early childhood educator with a puppet and a child with a book

Impact & Latest Announcements

Latest Update:

Please view Fall 2020 Education Support Fund (Bursary Update) for the latest update.

As of October 2019, the fund was fully expended. The original investment of $11.9 million provided more than 5,400 bursaries to students pursuing their ECE education goals.

In December 2019, an additional $4 million from the Canada-B.C. Early Learning and Child Care Agreement was invested into the ECE ESF to help more British Columbians obtain or upgrade their Early Childhood Educator (ECE) certificate. These funds will provide bursaries to a limited intake of eligible students under new funding parameters available in the ECE Education Support Fund Application Guide.

Bursary Streams

Please Note: This content is for informational purposes only. We are not accepting applications at this time.

Students who are currently working may apply for the ECE Student Bursary or the ECE Workforce Bursary Development Fund, provided they are working in a licensed child care program or a StrongStart BC program. However, applicants who qualify for both streams may only apply to one or the other. Applicants may switch between the two streams provided the applications are for different semesters. 

If you are unclear what stream you qualify for please contact

ECE Student Bursary

This funding is to support students studying in an ECE program at a recognized post-secondary institution. Eligible applicants can apply for up to $500 per course, to a maximum of 8 courses, for a total of $4,000 per semester to assist with tuition and living expenses while studying. Awarded amounts will be dependent on the number of completed courses. For instance, in the event an applicant enrolled in five courses, but only successfully completed three, the final payment will only reflect the three completed courses.

ECE Workforce Bursary

This funding is to support ECEs, ECE Assistants, Responsible Adults (as defined in the Child Care Licensing Regulation) and StrongStart BC Facilitators who are currently working in the ECE field and would like to upgrade their credentials. Applicants must be able to demonstrate active employment within a licensed child care facility (with the exception of StrongStart BC facilitators). Awards may range in amounts up to $5,000 per semester to assist with tuition and other expenses such as loss of wages or travel.

Important Note: Before applying please view the application guide and information below.

Eligibility Criteria & Application Process

For more information and details on timeline, document requirements etc. please
download the ECE Education Support Fund Application Guide.

Eligibility Criteria

The ECE Education Support Fund is open to domestic students who are residents of British Columbia and who are studying for an ECE credential, including:

  • ECE Basic certificate;
  • ECE Post - Basic certificates (Infant & Toddler and/or Special Needs);
  • ECE Diploma; and,
  • ECE Bachelor.

Application Process

  1. Student registers in post-secondary program.
  2. Student applies to ECEBC for bursary funding.
  3. Student is approved for bursary funding.
  4. Student successfully completes coursework or practicum.
  5. Student provides transcript from post-secondary institution
  6. Bursary funding is provided by ECEBC to successful applicants.

Latest ECE Education Support Fund News

Additional Funding Available for Students in Winter 2020 & Summer 2020 Semesters

May 20, 2020

The number of requests for the ECE Education Support Fund (bursary) has exceeded expectations and over $10 million has been put into the hands of students since the newly branded program was launched in September 2018.

The Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC) and the Government of British Columbia are pleased to announce that an additional $4 million in funding became available for early childhood education bursaries.

Winter 2020 Bursary Update!

Mar 5, 2020

Bursary applications are closed. Approved applicants will be notified by 4pm on March 16th 2020. All other applicants will have their applications processed and placed on a wait list should additional funds become available in the future.