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Early Childhood Educator as a Career

 

Don’t want a desk job? Enjoy being with children? Enjoy being able to be outdoors? Want to make a difference? Do you want a career that is both rewarding and challenging?

 

 What Do Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) Do?

ECEs are the cornerstone to optimal child development and early learning. They are experts in early childhood education and child development.  ECEs plan, organize and implement exciting programs for children between the ages of birth up to 13 years old. An ECE’s career encompasses but is not limited to the following:

  • Provide a daily balance of age appropriate active/quiet, indoor/outdoor, and individual/group activities
  • Ensure that all children are always supervised
  • Build children’s self-esteem through positive guidance and nurturing
  • Organize space, equipment, and materials to foster optimal development
  • Assist children in expressing themselves by listening and responding with questions or comments that extend conversations
  • Use a variety of techniques including modelling, observing, questioning, demonstrating, and reinforcing
  • Participate in professional learning opportunities and reflective practice
  • Work well with other colleagues, being a team
  • Plan and implement experiences that meet the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social needs of the children they care for
  • Provide an environment that encourages parent participation, communicate with parents, and discuss their children’s development
  • Adapt daily routines to meet the interest and developmental needs of the individual child and the group

 

As an Early Childhood Educator Can I Find Work?  Where Can I Work?

ECEs are in high demand across the province and country. Employment opportunities depend on the amount of Post-Secondary Education that the individual holds. Those seeking a career in ECE have opportunities to work in the following areas:

  • Regulated child care centres as centre staff, ratio enhancement, lead staff or administrator of a centre
  • Regulated Family Child Care where you provide care for children in your own home
  • Pre-K programs
  • Family Resource Programs
  • Recreational Programs
  • Agencies that provide services for children
  • Student Assistants in the public school system
  • Teacher Learning Assistants in the public school system
  • Child Care Consultants within the Regional Health Authority
  • Program Consultants within the Department of Education
  • ECE Instructors at Post-Secondary Institutions

 

How do I become a qualified Early Childhood Educator?

There are three provincially recognized Post-Secondary Institutions that offer the ECE program in NL

 

There are financial resources for people who want to become a qualified Early Childhood Educator

Currently the Department of Education is offering various financial incentives to encourage individuals to join the early learning and child care (ELCC) sector. 

Highlights

  • Those who hold Trainee Level Certification can be eligible to receive $250 for each successfully completed ECE post-secondary course towards their ECE Certificate and upgrading to Level One Certification.
  • Those upgrading through the ECE distance education program may be eligible to receive up to $2500 for completing their field placement on-campus at the demonstration centres.
  • Graduates of an ECE Diploma program (full-time or through distance) may be eligible to receive up to $7,500 for the purpose of reducing student debt.
  • Early Childhood Education Needs-Based Incentive Grant will provide eligible students in approved programs with non-repayable grants of up to $10,000. Students who apply and qualify for the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Student Financial Assistance Program, and who have assessed unmet financial need of at least $100 under that program, will qualify automatically for the new grant without requiring a separate application.

Those who become trained in Early Childhood Education and are certified as Level One or higher are eligible to receive from the provincial government an Early Learning and Child Care Supplement.

Early Learning and Child Care Supplement

  Position

  Level

  Full Annual Supplement Amounts
  Effective April 1st, 2019

  Early Childhood Educator (Child Care Centre) &
  Early Childhood Educator (Family Child Care)

  One
  Two
  Three
  Four

  $ 12,900.00
  $ 14,400.00
  $ 14,900.00 
  $ 15,400.00

  Administrator (Child Care Centre) &
  Monitor (Family Child Care)

  Two
  Three
  Four

  $15,900.00
  $16,200.00
  $16,900.00

 

There are several very affordable options to complete your education to become a qualified ECE, the options below are only a few of the ways that you can achieve your ECE credentials.

You have the option to complete your ECE 1 year Certificate during the day by attending a provincially recognized Post-Secondary Institution that offers an ECE Certificate program, once completed you can apply for Level One Certification, work in the field of ELCC and be eligible to receive the ELCC Supplement (an additional $12,900 per year). You may be eligible to receive the Early Childhood Education Needs-Based Incentive Grant that provides eligible students in approved programs with non-repayable grants of up to $10,000.

You can complete your 2-year ECE Diploma during the day by attending a provincially recognized Post-Secondary Institution that offers an ECE program. After completion apply for the ECE Graduate bursary and receive up to $7500. As an ECE Diploma graduate you can then apply for Level Two Certification and work in the field of ELCC and be eligible to receive the ELCC Supplement (an additional $14,400 per year) You may be eligible to receive the Early Childhood Education Needs-Based Incentive Grant that provides eligible students in approved programs with non-repayable grants of up to $10,000.

Another way to become a qualified ECE is to be certified as a Trainee through AECENL (by completing an orientation course) and then work part-time or full-time in a regulated child care setting while you complete your 1 year ECE Certificate courses through a provincially recognized Post-Secondary Institution that offers an online ECE program. As a Trainee you can be eligible to receive $250 for each successfully completed ECE Certificate online course from a provincially recognized Post-Secondary Institution.  Once you complete your 1-year ECE Certificate you can then upgrade your certification to Level One and be eligible to receive the ELCC Supplement ($12,900 per year) with the option to continue your education to earn your 2 year ECE Diploma from a provincially recognized Post-Secondary Institution.  When you complete your ECE Diploma you can apply for the ECE Graduate bursary and be eligible to receive $7500 minus any money received through other training initiatives such as the ECE Trainee Bursary.  As an ECE Diploma graduate you can upgrade to Level Two Certification and be eligible to receive the ELCC Supplement (an additional $14,400 per year).

It should be noted that soon there will be other ways to complete an ECE Certificate/Diploma including an “earn while you learn” program, etc.  There are now also ways to upgrade your Certification Levels within the province, for example, by completing the Advanced Diploma in ECE Administration and Leadership from the College of the North Atlantic you could be eligible to apply for Level Three Certification. By upgrading your Post-Secondary Education in ECE you can be eligible to upgrade your Certification Levels which means you will have more career opportunities.

 

Information on Certification can be found here on our website:
https://aecenl.ca/index.php/certification

Information about AECENL’s Orientation Courses can be on our website:
https://aecenl.ca/index.php/certification/orientation-courses/orientation-about

For more information on becoming an ECE please visit the Department of Education’s website:
https://www.childcare.gov.nl.ca/

Educational and Certification Pathway to Becoming an ECE in NL.jpg

In the resource section on this page there is a visual document called the Educational and Certification Pathway to Becoming an ECE in NL.  The document is a visual depiction of the training/certification journey of becoming a qualified ECE in our province. This visual was created collaboratively during the Early Childhood Education Lab project with NouLAB which was funded by the Future Skills Centre.