Apr 18, 2023

Vancouver, BC - Langara College is proud to receive a total of $2,671,771 in federal funding for the applied research project Innovating Virtual Reality in Inclusive and Anti-biased Early Learning and Child Care Training, funded through the Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program. The announcement was made today by the Minister of International Development, Harjit S. Sajjan, on behalf of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould.

“Langara College is committed to preparing future-ready students. Our student researchers are empowered to use their knowledge outside of the classroom, gaining hands-on experience while making connections with industry leaders. Through projects such as this, our Applied Research Centre is becoming well-known for a portfolio of projects that address social innovation," said Dr. Paula Burns, President of Langara College.

In collaboration with a committee of members from the Musqueam First Nation brought together by Gail Sparrow, Special Advisor to the President and former Chief of the Musqueam First Nation, and the YMCA BC’s Early Years and Family Development Branch, this project will research ways in which virtual reality and immersive learning can be used to provide early childhood educators with improved training on how to work respectfully and inclusively with Indigenous, racialized, and diverse children and families.

These new methods are aiming to improve training for early childhood educators.The early learning and child care sector continues to evolve in increasingly complex and challenging environments. Identifying innovative practices and solutions that better address the essential needs of children and families is key to continuing to improve early learning and child care services across Canada.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Langara College students and faculty who will be closely involved in the research, development and pilot testing of the project," said Margaret Heldman, Provost and Vice President Academic of Langara College. "The application of virtual reality will facilitate the development of our students’ skills faster and more in-depth so they’re better prepared to work with the diversity of children they will encounter in the field. This project has the potential to not only impact families in our community, but the field of early childhood education across Canada."

“Vancouver South is a diverse and vibrant community and today’s investment of over $2.6 million will empower Langara College to create the early childhood educators of tomorrow who reflect the diversity of our neighbourhoods, right here in the heart of South Vancouver," said Minister Sajjan.

Building an inclusive Canada-wide early learning and child care system for children and families from diverse populations in every region of the country is a key part of the Government of Canada’s plan to make life more affordable for families while also creating good jobs and growing the economy.

“Innovative practices can help develop solutions that better meet the needs of children across the country. Langara College aims to improve early learning and child care training so that educators can better understand children and families with unique needs, including children and families from equity deserving groups. We are dedicated to ensuring that families have access to high-quality, flexible and inclusive child care so all children have the best possible start in life," added Minister Gould.

About snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College    
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College provides university-level education to more than 19,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as snəw̓eyəɬ leləm, 'house of teachings', a name given to it by Musqueam, on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located.

Learn more.      
Mark Dawson      
Manager, Public Affairs      
Langara College      

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada


A funding announcement at Langara College on Tuesday April 18 (L-R):
Margaret Heldman, Provost and Vice President Academic of Langara College; Carolyn Wing, Project Lead: Gail Sparrow, Special Advisor to the President and former Chief of the Musqueam First Nation; Dr. Paula Burns, President, Langara College; Minister of International Development, Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan; Sukhpreet Kaur, Langara alumna.