NANAIMO -- A teaching specialist called a pedagogist will now mentor early childhood educators (ECE) on Vancouver Island and across the province to help improve the quality of care for children and their families in B.C.

B.C. Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen made the announcement Monday at Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Early Childhood Education Program in Nanaimo.

The province will invest $2-million to hire 32 pedagogists throughout the province, who will be organized by the Early Childhood Pedagogy Network (ECPN)

“This network will help ECEs to collaborate, learn from each other and bring new early learning theories to their practice,” said Chen.

According to the B.C. government, both students and instructors will benefit from the latest teaching philosophies, curriculum and techniques based off of the expertise of pedagogists.

“As a student, they [the pedagogists] will give us support, teaching us some methodologies, strategies and how to work with children,” said Sabrina Limas, a fifth-year early childhood education student at VIU.

“More ECEs in Nanaimo mean increased support for our children to grow and thrive," said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo in a news release Monday.

"ECEs create programs that inspire kids and nurture a love of learning.”

The introduction of these new teaching specialists is part of a $136-million commitment by the province to improve early childhood care and education in B.C.