Apply as an out of province applicant

Learn how to apply for certification as an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) in B.C. if you completed an early childhood education training program in another Canadian province or territory.

If you hold valid certification (registration) in another Canadian province or territory, you may be eligible to transfer your certification

Check the list of recognized programs before starting your application.  If your program is recognized by the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Registry, apply as a B.C. applicant


Last updated: February 4, 2022

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timeline of in B.C. application process


Education requirements and the equivalency process 

If you think your education is equivalent to an early childhood education training program that is recognized by the ECE Registry, submit an application and supporting documentation. After you apply, the ECE Registry will complete an assessment to determine your eligibility for ECE certification. This process is called equivalency. 

To be considered equivalent your education must: 

  • Be from an educational institution approved by a provincial, state, national, or other government body
  • Include content and hours that the ECE Registry determines is comparable to a recognized program in B.C. The content of your education must:
    • Cover topics that relate to the education and care of children birth to 5 years old
    • Include practicum/placement hours that provided you with an opportunity to practice what you learned in the classroom directly working with children birth to 5 years old

The equivalency process can be complex and may be a lengthy process. If you have questions about whether the equivalency process is right for you, please contact the ECE Registry


Prepare your application

 

Translation 

All documents submitted with your application must be in English. If any documents are in a different language, you must have them professionally translated at your own expense. All translated documents must be authenticated by the translator.


Determine your certificate type

If you do not know what type of certificate you may be eligible for, learn about the certificate types and determine which one matches your education and experience.

 


Gather your education documents

You must provide the following documents from each educational institution you attended.

Detailed course outlines or syllabi 

  • Ask your educational institution for detailed course outlines or syllabi
  • You can send your course outlines or syllabi directly to the ECE Registry’s contact information or ask your educational institution to send them to the ECE Registry for you. Your course outlines or syllabi must:
    • Include detailed descriptions of course content, learning goals, outcomes, and expectations
    • Be from the year you completed the course(s)
  • If your course outlines or syllabi are not in English, you must have your documents translated by a professional translator
    • Ask your translator to send the translated course outline or syllabi directly to the ECE Registry

Program confirmation form

  • Complete Section 1 of the Program Confirmation form and provide the form to your educational institution
  • Ask your educational institution to complete the rest of the form and send it directly to the ECE Registry’s contact information  
    • If your educational institution cannot complete the form in English, ask your educational institution to send the form directly to you to be professionally translated
      • Ask your translator to send the translated form directly to the ECE Registry
  • If you are applying for an ECE Assistant Certificate, you do not need to submit a Program Confirmation form

Official transcript

  • Ask your educational institution to send your official transcript directly to the ECE Registry’s contact information 
    • If your transcript is not in English, ask your educational institution to send your transcript directly to you to have it professionally translated
      • Ask your translator to send the translated transcript directly to the ECE Registry

These documents provide information about the course content of your program and helps the ECE Registry determine if your education is equivalent to a recognized program in B.C.

To complete your application, you will need to know:

  • The full name of your educational institution
  • The name of your program or course
  • Your student number/ID as it will appear on your transcript
  • The start date and end date of your program or course

 


Obtain a character reference

Your character reference must be someone who:

  • Can speak to your character and has known you for at least 6 months
  • Can speak to your ability to educate and care for young children
  • Is not a relative, partner, spouse, or yourself
  • Is not the same person you provide as your 500 hour work experience reference (if applicable)

It is recommended that your reference is a certified ECE who has directly observed you working with young children. Your Character Reference form must be completed and signed by your reference within 12 months of your application document submission.


Gather your identification documents (ID)

Submit a copy of one piece of primary ID and one piece of secondary ID from the table below.

  • Your ID must be valid and government-issued
  • ID that is not in English must be professionally translated
    • A copy of the original ID and the translated copy must be authenticated by the translator and submitted directly to the ECE Registry
  • Do not submit original identity documents (for example, birth certificate or passport)

Acceptable ID

Primary ID Secondary ID
  • Driver's licence or learner's licence issued by a Canadian province or territory
  • B.C. identification card (BCID)
  • B.C. Services Card 
  • Canadian birth certificate
  • Canadian or foreign passport
  • Canadian citizenship card
  • Canadian permanent resident card
  • Canadian record of landing/Canadian immigration identification record
  • Indian status card
  • Driver's licence or learner's licence issued by a Canadian province or territory
  • B.C. identification card
  • B.C. Services Card 
  • Canadian birth certificate
  • Canadian or foreign passport
  • Canadian citizenship card
  • Canadian permanent resident card
  • Canadian record of landing/Canadian immigration identification record
  • Indian status card
  • Health or services card from another Canadian province or territory
  • Foreign birth certificate (a baptismal certificate is not acceptable)
  • Photograph identity card issued by a foreign national or regional government

 

If you cannot provide any of the documents listed on the ID table, contact the ECE Registry.

If your current legal name is different than the name on some or all of your supporting documents, submit proof of name change, for example:

  • Government-issued marriage certificate 
  • Divorce certificate or papers 
  • Government-issued change of name document 

Confirm your work experience

If you're applying for an ECE Five Year Certificate, you must show you have completed the required 500 hours of work experience.

Work experience hours:

  • Are counted from the date you started your education and cannot include your practicum/placement hours (hours that were a part of your education)
  • Must be completed within the 5 years before your application submission
  • Can be work or volunteer hours

References must:

  • Have directly supervised (observed) you working with children birth to 5 years old
  • Speak to your knowledge, skills, and abilities (competencies) as an ECE during the hours they supervised you
  • Have held valid ECE certification or registration in Canada during the time they supervised you
  • Not be the same person you provide as a character reference

If your 500 hours were completed at more than one location and under the supervision of more than one ECE, you must provide a reference from each person who supervised your hours.


Complete and submit your application

  • Download the application and review the instructions to ensure all required documentation will be submitted with your application 
  • Complete and sign the application forms (forms can be printed and signed by hand or signed digitally if saved to your device and opened in Adobe)
  • Enclose copies of your supporting documents with your application and mail your application to the ECE Registry at the contact information on the application form

Required forms:

Important:

  • It is your responsibility to ensure all required documentation is submitted as soon as possible
    • Missing or incomplete documents will delay your application process
    • Make sure you inform your references that a delay in the ECE Registry’s receipt of your reference forms will result in a delay in processing your application
    • If you have any questions about requirements, please contact the ECE Registry.
  • Your application will remain open for one year (12 months) from the date your first application document is received by the ECE Registry
    • Incomplete applications are closed after 12 months
  • If your contact information changes during the application process, you must submit a Change of Information form (PDF, 1MB) and a piece of valid government-issued photo identification
    • Keeping your information current will allow the ECE Registry to contact you about your application

After you apply

Timelines

  • Applications can only be assessed once all documentation is received
  • Complete applications are assessed in date order

Assessment

  • The ECE Registry will review your application to ensure that it is complete
  • If your application is incomplete or if it is determined additional information is required, you will be contacted by the ECE Registry
  • Incomplete applications will result in delays in processing and are closed if all required information is not received within 12 months of receipt of the first application document
  • Once your application is complete, the ECE Registry will assess your application and supporting documents to determine if you meet all the legal requirements to be certified
  • You will receive a letter that tells you if your application was approved or denied

Possible Outcomes

The decision to approve or deny an application is based on:

Learn more about the legal requirements to qualify for and maintain certification.

Certificate issued 

If you meet all legal requirements, the ECE Registry will issue you a certificate and will mail your certificate to the mailing address noted on your application form. Once issued, the status of your application can be validated by entering your last name, certificate (registration) number, and expiry date of your certificate.  

In order to maintain your certificate, you must continue to meet all legal requirements and you must submit a renewal application and supporting documents. Your renewal requirements depend on your certification level and when you submit your renewal application. Learn more about how to renew your certification.

Certificate denied

If you do not meet all legal requirements, the ECE Registry may deny your application. If your application is denied, the ECE Registry will provide you with a written letter explaining the decision. You can dispute the decision by requesting reconsideration.