Early Childhood Education profession in B.C.
The first years of a child's care and education are some of the most important. Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) specialize in the learning, development, and well-being of children from birth to 5 years old.
ECEs are qualified to work in a variety of settings, including licensed child care facilities.
Last updated: February 3, 2022
On this page:
The Community Care and Assisted Living Act (CCALA), and the Child Care Licensing Regulation (CCLR) outline the legislative (legal) requirements for ECEs and ECE Assistants. These requirements include the information that must be submitted with an application for certification as well as the character and skill requirements that must be demonstrated to maintain certification.
The B.C. Child Care Sector Occupational Competencies set the standards for certification in B.C. To qualify for and maintain certification an ECE must demonstrate the competencies in this document.
Learn more about the legal requirements to qualify for and maintain different levels of certification:
Section 26 of the CCLR outlines the legal requirements that an applicant must meet to qualify for an Infant and Toddler Educator and/or Special Needs Educator Certificate.
Section 30 of the CCLR outlines the legal requirements to renew an ECE Five Year Certificate, Infant and Toddler Educator, and/or Special Needs Educator Certificate.
It is important for educators to complete professional development to enhance the quality of care and education provided to young children.
When creating a professional development plan, educators are encouraged to reflect on and evaluate their professional practice and choose topics that will:
- Increase their knowledge in the area of early childhood education
- Help them stay current and improve their practice as an educator
- Help them meet the needs of the children in their care, children’s families, and the communities where they work
Topics related to early childhood education may include:
- Advocacy for children, families, and the field
- Anti-bias and anti-racism programming and curriculum
- Child abuse prevention
- Child growth and development
- Child guidance
- Cultural competencies, including cultural safety and cultural humility
- Development of program policies
- Diversity and inclusion
- Ethical practice
- History of early childhood education
- Indigenous perspectives in early childhood environments
- Indigenous reconciliation
- Interpersonal communication
- Maintaining children’s health, safety, and nutrition
- Managing child care programs
- Pedagogical approaches in early childhood education
- Self-care as related to supporting effective practice
- Trauma informed care
- Understanding legislative requirements
If you hold an ECE Five Year Certificate, Infant and Toddler Educator Certificate, and/or Special Needs Educator Certificate, you are required to complete at least 40-hours of professional development relevant to early childhood education to renew your certification.
Professional development resources
Early Years Professional Development
The Early Years Professional Development site is for educators working within the B.C. early years sector and can be used to search for professional development opportunities near you.
BC Early Years Professional Development Hub
The BC Early Years Professional Development Hub is an online professional development hub for educators working within the BC early years sector.
Early Learning Framework
B.C.'s Early Learning Framework is designed for use by early childhood educators, primary school teachers, principals and vice-principals, and other individuals whose work impacts children from infancy to 8 years old.
Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework
The Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework is a federal guide for everyone in the early learning and care field to work towards ensuring all Indigenous children have the opportunity to experience high-quality, culturally safe early learning and care.
Metis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) – Early Childhood Educator Certification
MNBC’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Skills, Training, Employment, and Post Secondary (STEPS), have partnered together to provide training opportunities for Metis Early Childhood Educators.
Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC)
ECEBC offers key professional development opportunities and efforts to advance the profession of early learning and care. The ECEBC Code of Ethics shares principles and standards of practice endorsed by ECEBC.
Child Care Resource and Referral Centres (CCRRs)
CCRRs are a key resource for ECEs, child care operators and parents, and provide professional development opportunities.
BC Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS)
The BCACCS operates the only provincial Aboriginal Child Care Resource and Referral (ACCRR) program in B.C. Services through the ACCRR are funded by MCFD and support early learning and child care programs, for ECEs, families, and communities throughout B.C. They provide information, outreach, resource lending, networking, and learning opportunities. ACCRR program staff work in partnership with Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators, Indigenous families, and communities on and off reserve and in urban settings throughout the province.
Early Years Indigenous Cultural Safety Resource Guide
The Early Years Indigenous Cultural Safety Resource Guide is designed to help ECEs who work with Indigenous children, families, and communities find appropriate and meaningful resources that will increase their ability to provide culturally safe and respectful care.
Science of Early Child Development (SECD)
The SECD is designed to make current research accessible to anyone interested in learning more about the impact of early experience on lifelong health and well-being.
Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in the Early Years
The Appetite to Play program provides training, resources, tools and recommended practices to early years providers on how to build their capacity to promote food literacy, healthy eating, physical literacy and physical activity for children birth to 6 years old in their childcare settings.
Early Childhood Pedagogy Network (ECPN)
The Early Childhood Pedagogy Network provides a platform for ECEs working in the field to collaborate with peers, reflect on best practices and share innovative ways to enhance the early years learning environment across the province.