Learn about the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Registry investigation process.
Last updated: February 4, 2022
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The ECE Registry has the mandate to investigate complaints (reports) received that a certified ECE or ECE Assistant may not be meeting provincial requirements for certification. The ECE or ECE Assistant must demonstrate they are competent in:
- The areas of child development, guidance, health and safety, and nutrition
- Developing and implementing an early childhood education curriculum
- Fostering positive relationships with children in their care, the families of the children, and co-workers
ECE Registry investigations are separate from investigations completed by the Health Authority’s Community Care Facilities Licensing programs or any other agency.
Every complaint made within the ECE Registry’s mandate is thoroughly investigated. Some investigations may be completed quickly. More complex investigations may take longer.
- Make a complaint about a certified ECE or ECE Assistant.
Intake: complaint received and analyzed
All complaints received by the ECE Registry are reviewed to determine if they meet the ECE Registry’s mandate to investigate.
Depending on the seriousness of the complaint, immediate action may be taken on the ECE or ECE Assistant’s certificate.
The ECE Registry may also refer the complaint to another agency if the information appears to fall under their jurisdiction.
The ECE or ECE Assistant under investigation is contacted by the ECE Registry and is provided the following in writing:
- Notification that a complaint was received
- A description of the details of the complaint
- A description of the investigation process, including their right to participate throughout the process
Evidence gathering and analysis
An ECE Registry Investigator will gather and analyze evidence during the investigation process. This may include:
- Contacting the person who made the complaint
- Contacting witnesses
- Reviewing documents from regulatory/law enforcement bodies, including Child Care Licensing
- Interviewing the ECE or ECE Assistant who the complaint is about
- Conducting reference checks
- Verifying information/evidence received
The ECE or ECE Assistant under investigation will be fully informed of the information/evidence collected during the investigation process. They will also be provided with an opportunity to respond to the information received by the ECE Registry and present their case, including the submission of any information/evidence they would like the ECE Registry Investigator to consider.
The ECE or ECE Assistant will receive an Investigation Report that includes all evidence considered and the investigation findings.
If the investigation findings resulted in no identified practice gaps, no further action will be required, and the investigation will be closed.
If the investigation findings include identified practice gaps that require further development, the report will include next steps for the ECE or ECE Assistant.
If the ECE or ECE Assistant is unable or unwilling to address the practice gaps identified, an action will be taken on their certificate.
Section 32 of the Child Care Licensing Regulation (CCLR) gives the ECE Registry the authority to take action on the certificate of an ECE or ECE Assistant if:
- The ECE or ECE Assistant does not meet character and skill requirements outlined in section 19 of the CCLR or
- The conduct of the ECE or ECE Assistant has harmed or could have caused harm to the health, safety, or well-being of a child
In most situations, ECEs and ECE Assistants are notified at least 30 days before the action takes effect. This is called intended action. If the ECE or ECE Assistant disagrees with the intended action, they have 30 days to dispute the decision through a process called reconsideration.
Types of intended action
There are three types of action that can be taken on a certificate. The type of action taken depends on the seriousness of the investigation findings.
Terms and conditions are attached to a certificate and include actions that an ECE or ECE Assistant must take to address gaps in their practice.
After terms and conditions are attached, they may need to be varied to include further actions or to remove actions addressed.
Examples of terms and conditions include:
- Professional development
- Supervised work hours
Terms and conditions are monitored by the ECE Registry and may be removed when the ECE or ECE Assistant completes the required actions and meets all legal requirements to remain certified.
Suspension of a certificate means an ECE or ECE Assistant cannot work in the role of an ECE or ECE Assistant in a licensed child care facility. A suspended certificate may also have terms and conditions attached that include actions an ECE or ECE Assistant must take to address gaps in their practice before the suspension can be lifted.
A suspension is lifted when an ECE or ECE Assistant meets all legal requirements for certification.
Cancellation of a certificate means an ECE or ECE Assistant is no longer certified to work in their role in a licensed child care facility with children birth to 5 years of age.
Cancelling a certificate is the most restrictive action that the ECE Registry can take and is typically a result of serious concerns related to the ECE or ECE Assistant’s practice and/or investigation findings that indicate there is a high risk to the health, safety or well-being of children, should they continue to practice.
If the ECE Registry has reason to believe that there is an immediate risk to the health, safety or well-being of a child in the care of an ECE or ECE Assistant, section 33(5) of the CCLR gives the ECE Registry the authority to take immediate action on the certificate status of an ECE or ECE Assistant.
This is a serious step that is only taken when there is evidence to support taking immediate action.
The ECE or ECE Assistant is notified that an immediate action has been taken on their certificate. If the ECE or ECE Assistant disagrees with the immediate action, they have 30 days to dispute the decision through a process called reconsideration.
Immediate Action on a certificate may include:
- Terms and conditions
- Varying terms and conditions
Immediate Action remains in place until:
- The ECE Registry has concluded the investigation, OR
- There is evidence to support that the immediate risk has been mitigated or overturned at reconsideration/appeal
If the ECE or ECE Assistant is working at a licenced child care facility, the licensee (owner/operator) is notified that an immediate action has been taken on the ECE or ECE Assistant’s certificate.