Early Childhood Education
Little things make big things happen
Early childhood education provides the stepping stones to a child’s bright future by improving their well-being, self-confidence and outcomes in literacy, math and science.
Every day, Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) have the unique opportunity to support children in their earliest stages of life. They provide children with safe, responsive and caring interactions that build a strong foundation for their development and well-being.
ECEs have specialized knowledge and expertise in child development, play and inquiry-based learning. They are trained to:
- Understand brain development and how to support healthy growth
- Identify children’s capabilities at various stages to support their social, emotional, cognitive, language and physical development
- Build partnerships with families to support children’s well-being
- Plan activities that promote learning and build on children’s current abilities and interests
In Hamilton, all licensed child care programs and EarlyON Child and Family Centre are staffed by ECEs that are responsible for delivering programs and services.
These highly specialized teams create optimal learning environments where children experience increased verbal communication, reading, math and science skills as well as many other benefits that support child development and well-being.
The role of ECEs in our community not only benefits children and their families, but their role is vital to the growth and stability of the local economy as it enables more individuals with young children to participate in the labour market.
Interested in a career as an ECE?
The Ministry of Education has funding available for individuals working within the early years sector aiming to pursue their Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma designation. For more information, visit www.ecegrants.on.ca
Ontario’s Early Childhood Education Programs
Ontario colleges have many early childhood education programs to teach students the skills they need to support a child’s developmental journey through the education system. To view a full list of programs available, visit www.ontariocolleges.ca.
Several colleges work with Hamilton’s child care and EarlyON programs for co-operative education placements for Early Childhood Educators including:
- Mohawk College offers programs and placements in Hamilton and surrounding area.
- La Cité (French language instruction) is offered through distance learning, in Toronto or Ottawa
- Collège Boréal (French language instruction) is offered through distance learning, in Hearst, Kapuskasing, Nipissing, Sudbury, Timmins, Toronto, Windsor
- Six Nations Polytechnic (Indigenous knowledge, education, and skills training) has partnered with Niagara College in Brantford to offer programs and placements locally
College of Early Childhood Educators
The College of Early Childhood Educators regulates and governs Ontario’s Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) in the public interest, and came into existence in February 2009.
The College regulates the profession of early childhood education by establishing and enforcing:
- Registration requirements
- Ethical and professional standards for RECEs
- Requirements for continuous professional learning
- Complaints and discipline process for professional misconduct, incompetence and incapacity
Affiliated Services for Children and Youth (ASCY)
The Affiliated Services for Children and Youth (ASCY) is funded by the City of Hamilton as the local professional resource centre. ASCY works collaboratively with families, children, professionals and communities to share knowledge, build capacity and create equitable opportunities for all. Membership and professional development are free of charge for educators who work for agencies with a funding agreement.