Check with the director of the program at the institution you’re applying at. Chances are they will know of a financial assistance program that could help you, or at least have a list of sources to contact for the possibility of scholarships or grants. In some provinces, there are programs set up to encourage interested students to become skilled early childhood educators, and these often include subsidies, scholarships and grants. Be sure to check your province’s website for more information.
Find someone who has done the same program that you’re considering and strike up a conversation with them about how they paid for their education. They might know some effective funding options such as grants or scholarships that helped them out, and they might have some great tips for how to handle the program as well. It never hurts to make friends!
Probably your best and simplest option, you can apply for funding for your educational pursuits through your federal and provincial governments. You can apply for either student loans or grants to help fund your education. The difference between a grant and a loan is that a loan you eventually have to pay back, while a grant is money bestowed upon you that you don’t have to pay back. Federal and provincial student loans are simple to apply for and you can do so by visiting the national student loans website to find out more information. You don’t have to start paying back your loans until six months after you graduate, giving you ample time to locate a job after finishing your diploma at an early childhood college.
If you don’t qualify for a provincial or federal student loan, don’t fret, there’s always the possibility of taking out a loan with a chartered bank. Banks such as CIBC, TD and Scotiabank all offer loan programs specifically for students, usually with a low interest rate and an excellent payment plan. The downside is that you have to start paying interest on the loan right away, unlike a loan from the government.
While it may seem like a hassle, getting a second job means you’ll be able to finance your education as an early childhood assistant without going into debt, which is much less stressful in the long run. Even an extra 10-12 hours a week at a part time job can be enough to help out.
Whichever funding source you choose, the sooner you get started planning how you’re going to fund your educational experience, the more prepared you’ll be and the less stressed you’re going to feel.