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

Funding Available for ECE Students - Winter 2021 Semester

Applications will soon be accepted for the Winter 2021 semester of the Early Childhood Educator Education Support Fund.

ECEBC and the Government of British Columbia understand how important these bursaries are for students who are planning the next steps in their education or career.

Together with the Province, we are working to support as many students as possible. Bursaries will be available to students enrolled in Ministry approved post-secondary institutions (

with priority going to:

  1. Students who self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, Inuit)
  2. Students completing their final requirements for certification.
  3. Student who are upgrading their credentials to include Infant/Toddler and/or Special Needs Educator qualifications

Additional applications will be processed on a first-come, first served basis. Funding will be distributed upon proof of course completion (submission of transcript following end of the semester). Please note only domestic students are eligible to receive bursaries.

Winter 2021

  • Application submissions from 7am on March 15, 2021 to 4pm on March 26, 2021

  • Applications will not be accepted before or after these times/dates.

  • Please use ‘Winter 2021 Application’ as the subject for your email.

  • Only complete applications will be processed and must be received in ONE email.

  • There will be no waitlist.

  • Approved applicants will be informed by 4pm on May 7th, 2021.

  • Transcripts showing completed courses must be emailed to by 4pm on May 15th, 2021.

  • Transcripts received after this time/date will not be accepted.


ECEBC is here to support students when applying for bursaries. To this end we are holding bursary support meetings to review the guidelines, documentation, and applications for the Winter 2021 semester. Registration is required.

February 24th 2021 – Indigenous Student Applications Support  –  5-7pm

March 3rd 2021 -Student Bursary Applications Support – 7-9pm

March 10th 2021 – Workforce Development Applications – 7-9pm

Please Note: Application forms are available in the Bursary Streams section below.


  • Summer 2021 semester (for courses that end between May 1st and August 31st 2021) Application Intake: June 21st at 7am to July 2nd 2021 at 4pm
    Transcripts required by 4pm on September 15th 2021

New application forms and further details for each semester intake will be available soon. Please read the bursary application guidelines before you submit an application.

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

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.

Application Form:

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.

Application Forms:

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 Guidelines (Dec 2020).

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

Winter 2021 ECE Bursary Information Now Available

Feb 12, 2021

The winter 2021 ECE bursary information and application forms are now available.

Find Out More

Funding available for ECE Students: Fall 2020, Winter 2021 & Summer 2021

Dec 1, 2020

Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2020 semester of the Early Childhood Educator Education Support Fund. ECEBC and the Government of British Columbia understand how important these bursaries are for students who are planning the next steps in their education or career. Find out more on our Education Support Fund page.

Education Support Fund

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.