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Become an Early Childhood Educator

Early Childhood Education is important when you work with young children in child care centres and as a family child care home provider. It gives you the skills and abilities to provide the best care and education for young children.

The knowledge and practical skills you get through formal Early Childhood Education prepares you to work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children in licensed child care facilities.

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1. Guidance

Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Certification is required if you work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children for more than 65 hours or more per month in a licensed child care centre. All applicants must apply directly to the Ministry of Education for ECE Certification.

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2. Eligibility

You are eligible to apply for ECE certification if you have completed coursework that has led to an ECE orientation, certificate or diploma or have finished an equal combination of education from an approved and accredited post-secondary institution.

Early Childhood Educator Certification Levels

There are three categories of ECE Certification:

  • ECE Level I is awarded after completing nine credit units (three courses) that are related to early childhood, including one course from each of three areas: Child Development, Programming and Relationships or after you have finished an ECE orientation from an approved and accredited post-secondary institution
  • ECE Level II is awarded after you have completed a one-year ECE certificate program from an approved and accredited post-secondary institution or after have finished an equivalent amount of post-secondary coursework.
  • ECE Level III is awarded after you have finished a two-year ECE diploma program from an approved and accredited post-secondary institution or after you have finished an equivalent amount of post-secondary coursework.

A minimum of an ECE Level I is required in order to work more than 65 hours per month in a child care centre. An ECE Level III is required for directors of child care centres.

Learn more about the number of credit units required for each certification level.

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3. How to Apply

You must submit:

  • An Application for ECE Certification; and
  • Official transcripts.

Foreign language transcripts must be accompanied by an English or French language translation.

If you choose to have transcripts forwarded directly to the Ministry of Education, the post-secondary institution(s) that will be forwarding transcripts must be listed on the application form.

All transcripts from institutions identified on the application form must be received before applications are assessed.

Early Childhood Educators Outside of North America

If your transcript(s) is from a post-secondary institution outside of Canada or the United States, you must have a course-by-course evaluation (ICAP Report) conducted by World Education Services (WES).

This evaluation verifies the Canadian equivalency of the credits/degrees that have been earned.

The ICAP report must be sent by WES directly to:

Ministry of Education
Attn: ECE Certification
2nd Floor, 2220 College Avenue
Regina, SK S4P 4V9
ececertification@gov.sk.ca
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5. Early Childhood Educator Exemption

A Child Care Centre Board may apply for an Early Childhood Educator Exemption if they can't find someone who meets the educational requirements to work in the child care centre.

This exemption can be issued to individuals who:

  • work more than 65 hours per month in a child care centre while they work towards an ECE Level I certification; or
  • are working towards their next level of Early Childhood Educator certification.

An Education Plan must be included with the exemption application and states the start and end dates of the courses that the applicant will be taking within the next 12 months.

A minimum of six credit units of ECE coursework must be completed annually, and the applicant must complete courses until the required certification level is achieved.

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6. Responsibilities of Centre Boards and Family Child Care Homes

Responsibilities of Child Care Centre Boards

Child Care Centre Boards must ensure that all individuals who work more than 65 hours per month at the child care centre have applied to the Ministry of Education for ECE Certification.

Child Care Centre Boards must also make sure that:

  • 20% of all early childhood educators hold an ECE Level III;
  • 30% of all early childhood educators hold an ECE Level II; and
  • the remainder of child care educators employed over 65 hours a month hold an ECE Level I.

Individuals who work less than 65 hours per month are not required to have ECE certification. However, all child care centre employees should be encouraged to complete coursework to achieve ECE certification.

Responsibilities of Family Child Care Home Providers

Within the first three years of becoming licensed, Family Child Care Home Providers who operate a Family Child Care Home are required to complete an introductory three-credit unit course in:

  • Child Development;
  • Programming; or
  • Relationships.

Within the first three years of becoming licensed, Group Family Child Care Home Providers must complete nine credit units (three courses) that are related to early childhood, including one from each of the three areas:

  • Child Development;
  • Programming; and
  • Relationships; or
  • an ECE orientation from an approved and accredited post-secondary institution.

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