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Ontario Education and Job Requirements for Early Childhood Educators and Assistants

Posted by | September 30, 2014 | Education & Job Requirements, Ontario

Local Employment Requirements

The College of Early Childhood Educators is a self-regulatory body, ensuring the registration of practising early childhood educators (ECEs) in Ontario. The College grants the Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) Certificate, which is required by school boards and many other employers. The RECE is available to graduates of approved ECE programs within Ontario, and to graduates of Canadian and international institutions who have been assessed by the College. For more information, consult the College of Early Childhood Educators (

Most employers require a criminal record check and First Aid certification. Additional requirements include knowledge of the Day Nurseries Act, enhanced security checks, CPR certification, immunization records, tuberculosis clearance and medical exams.

Working Conditions

Early childhood educators and assistants work in a fast-paced and active environment. They typically work a 35- to 40-hour work week, with work hours ranging from regular day hours, to shifts to cover early mornings, after school, evenings and week-ends.

According to the 2006 Census, fewer than half of Ontario workers in this occupation work full-time year- round. Opportunities within schools can be 10-month contract positions. Part-time work is also common.

Skills Requirements

There are often specific abilities, aptitudes and knowledge that are prerequisites to obtain employment in an occupation.

Most employers who advertise are looking for workers who have the following experience and skills:

0-2 years

Early Childhood Education Skills:
Provide supervision and guidance of daily activities, field trips and special activities. Provide opportunity for creative expression through the mediums of art, dramatic play and music. Plan and develop child care and nursery school programs.

Early Childhood Educator Assistant Skills:
Prepare craft materials and assist children to use them. Conduct and monitor activity programs designed for young children. Guide children in development of proper eating, dressing and toilet habits.

Additional Skills:
Assist in housekeeping duties. Maintain day care supplies and equipment. Assist in maintaining records of children.

List of Associations

AssociationsLink opens in a new window are organizations that may provide news to its members about networking events, professional development and other common issues for people working in the same industry.

Post-Secondary Programs

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Provincial/Territorial Regulation

Location Regulation

Most regulatory bodies and apprenticeship authorities have their own Web sites that provide licensing information, eligibility requirements, foreign credential recognition and registration fees. Contact information for the relevant regulatory body can be found below.

Regulatory Body

The occupation (Early Childhood Educator) requires certification in the province or territory: Ontario
Address: College of Early Childhood Educators
438 University Avenue, Suite 1900
Toronto, ON, M5G 2K8
Phone: 416-961-8558
Fax: 416-961-8772 or toll free: 1-888-961-8558
Web Site:


Ministries and Departments of Education

Education is the responsibility of the ten provinces and three territories. Each has its own ministry (sometimes called “department”) that oversees the organization, delivery and assessment of education.

Distance Learning

Distance learning lets you study via the Internet or other methods such as cable TV or correspondence. It also opens virtual doors for students who cannot study away from home.

Visit CanLearn for a list of Canadian colleges, universities and other institutions providing thousands of courses at a distance.


Early Childhood Educator Job Outlook

For the 2013-2015 period, employment opportunities for early childhood educators and assistants are expected to be good in Ontario. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, this is a fairly large occupational group in the province with a labour force of close to 62,200. Overall, this occupation experienced gradual growth in the past decade. Early childhood educators and assistants are fairly young

Compared to other occupations in the province. As such, most opportunities will result from turnover as young workers change jobs or seek advancement, higher wages, and opportunities outside of the profession. The funding of full-time kindergarten and early childhood positions within elementary school classrooms in Ontario should help support employment creation. Full-day kindergarten is expected to appear in every school in Ontario by 2016, which will result in a high demand for workers. Potential shortages may be more acute in daycare centres due to regular turnover, in contrast with school board positions which tend to have significantly higher numbers of applicants.

In addition, increasing regulation of child care provision and public policy emphasis on early childhood development is pushing demand for higher skilled workers within this grouping. The job outlook is also sensitive to the level of public funding for child care spaces. Job prospects will be better for those workers with post-secondary qualifications and those with enhanced skills such as a second language or experience with special needs children. Work can be seasonal for early childhood educators, with fewer opportunities within school boards during the summer months. Early childhood educators are regulated in Ontario, leading to some barriers to entry into the profession and limiting the number of eligible applicants. Early childhood assistants are not regulated and may not face the same constraints.

Occupation Projection for Canada

Over the 2008-2010 period, employment growth in this occupation was much faster than the average for all occupations. The increase in the average hourly wage was on par with the overall average. However, the average hourly wage in this occupation was low in relation to comparable occupations. In spite of everything, the unemployment rate increased slightly over this period, but remained relatively low in 2010 at 3.5%. According to key labour market indicators, the number of job seekers was sufficient to fill job openings in this occupation.

Over the 2011-2020 period, an occupation will be in excess demand (a shortage of workers) if the projected number of job openings is significantly greater than the projected number of job seekers. An occupation will be in excess supply (a surplus of workers) if the projected number of job openings is smaller than the projected number of job seekers. For Paralegals, Social Services Workers And Occupations In Education And Religion, N.E.C., over the 2011-2020 period, job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 171,152 and 154,893 job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill the job openings.

Based on projections and considering that labour supply and demand in this occupation were balanced, it is expected that the number of job seekers will remain sufficient to fill the job openings over the 2011-2020 period. The annual difference between supply and demand is very small, representing only 0.4% of employment in 2010. Job openings will arise from strong employment growth as well as retirements. Expansion demand will be above the average, given the major needs in the social services sector and the increased demand for daycare service workers as a result of the recent increase in births. While the number of retirements will be high, the retirement rate will be slightly lower than the average as workers in this occupation are generally younger. In terms of supply, the majority of job seekers over the projection period will come from the school system. Immigrants will also represent an appreciable source of job seekers. However, a large number of workers will leave this occupation for others, in particular, to become social workers (NOC 415), which will create additional replacement needs in this occupation. In fact, this occupation accepts many graduates who have a university diploma, but are unable to find a job related to their field of study.

This Chart contains data for Projection of Job Openings vs. Job Seekers for Canada. Information is available in the following tables.

This Chart contains data for Projection of Job Openings vs. Job Seekers for Canada. Information is available in the following tables.

Category Openings %
Expansion Demand 77,553 45%
Retirements 73,424 43%
Other Replacement Demand 10,878 6%
Emigration 9,296 5%
Projected Job Openings 171,152 100%
Category Seekers %
School Leavers 137,222 89%
Immigration 19,107 12%
Other -1,436 -1%
Projected Job Seekers 154,893 100%

In which industry or sector do people in this occupation find jobs in Canada?

This table shows the industry and sectors employing the highest number of people in this occupation.

Industry / Sector %
Health care and social assistance 86.17
Educational services 9.71

What percentage of people in this occupation are self-employed?

According to the Labour Force Survey (2013), 33% of workers in this occupation were self-employed, while the average for all occupations was 15%.

What proportion of people in this occupation work full-time?

According to the Labour Force Survey (2013), 79% of workers in this occupation worked full-time, compared to the average of 81% for all occupations.

What is the proportion of women working in this occupation?

According to the National Household Survey (2011), women represented 97% of workers in this occupation compared to the average of 48% for all occupations.

What percentage of people in this occupation are members of a union?

This occupation (Early Childhood Educators and Assistants) is part of a larger group called Paralegals, Social Services Workers and Occupations in Education and Religion, n.e.c. (NOC 421). According to the Labour Force Survey (2013), the unionization rate for this group was 33%, while the unionization rate for all occupations was 31%.