Education From Outside of B.C.

The Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Child Care Licensing Regulation outline the legislative (legal) requirements for certification in BC. To qualify for certification, an individual must submit an application to the ECE Registry demonstrating that they are of good character, have the personality, ability and temperament necessary to manage or work with children, and have successfully completed an early childhood education program or course(s) recognized by the ECE Registry. Depending on the level of certification and type of application made (e.g. new or renewal), additional requirements such as work experience, professional development and currency of education apply.

For individuals interested in certification who have not completed training recognized by the ECE Registry, Section 28 of the Child Care Licensing Regulation provides the Registry with the authority to consider equivalent training. To be considered equivalent, the completed program or course must have the course content and instructional hours that reflect the same standards required of a recognized early childhood education program or course in BC.

Contact the ECE Registry directly before proceeding with your application to discuss your specific situation as early childhood education programs are structured differently across Canada and around the world. The ECE Registry will assist you in determining what documentation you will require for your application.

While the below provides an overview of required documentation to conduct an assessment of your education, the ECE Registry may contact you to request additional information throughout the application/assessment process. Contacting the ECE Registry in advance will ensure you receive the correct information relevant to your unique situation before submitting an application. 

Education from another country

Education from another province or territory within Canada

Education from another country: 

Individuals who have completed their education at an educational institution outside of Canada may apply for BC certification through an equivalency assessment. The program and/or course(s) completed will be assessed to determine whether they meet and are equivalent to the standards for certification in BC.

In order to be considered equivalent, the completed program or course(s) must have the course content and instructional hours that reflect the same standards required of a recognized early childhood education program in BC.
The equivalency assessment is a complex process that may take a minimum of 12 weeks to complete, depending on when all required documents are received.

To apply:

  1. Review certification criteria on the website and select which certification level is best suited for your credential(s).
  2. Print the Application Form from the website.
  3. Complete, sign and date the Application Form and submit to the ECE Registry, along with:
    1. Required references,
    2. Photocopy of one piece of government issued identification (e.g. Birth Certificate, Driver’s Licence, BCID, BC Services Card, Permanent Resident Card, Passport, Citizenship Card, BCID, Canadian Immigration Identification Record)

NOTE: Proof of legal identification is required for all names that appear on the documents submitted with your application. If your name has changed, you are required to submit proof of name change with your application e.g. Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate or Change of Name Certificate.

  1. In addition to submitting the required application form, references and ID to the ECE Registry, you must also:
    1. Apply for a Comprehensive Report (basic reports are not acceptable) from BCIT’s International Credential Evaluation Service. This report must be submitted directly to the ECE Registry by BCIT. Please contact BCIT’s International Credential Evaluation Service directly with any questions related to their process and requirements. For more information, please visit their website at https://www.bcit.ca/ices/
      1. Fee Waivers: If you completed an early childhood education program outside of Canada, you may be eligible to receive a fee waiver from the ECE Registry to cover the cost of your Comprehensive Report. If eligible, fee waivers cover the assessment of one credential and are issued on a first come first serve basis, dependant on funding available. Please contact the ECE Registry to learn more about eligibility requirements.
    2. Contact your academic institution(s) and request that they complete and submit the Program Confirmation and Practicum Confirmation Forms directly to the ECE Registry. These forms provide detailed information regarding the program/course that you completed, including the instructional hours and competencies covered throughout your training.  
    3. Submit detailed course outlines/syllabi. A course outline/syllabus summarizes the topics that are covered in the course and includes information regarding course content, learning goals/outcomes and learning expectations. It is typically provided by the training institution or more specifically by the professor or instructor who is conducting the course. Outlines/syllabus must be from the year(s) you completed the courses as content often changes over time. As this information is required to determine whether the academic requirements for ECE certification in BC have met; the outlines/syllabi submitted must provide as much information about the course(s) as possible.

NOTE: All documentation submitted to the ECE Registry must be in English. If your early childhood education program was completed in a language, other than English, you must have your documents translated through a professional/certified translator. The translated documents must include the full name and signature of the translator and confirm that the translation is accurate and authentic. The translation of documents is to be completed at your own expense.

Education from another province or territory within Canada:

If you completed your post-secondary early childhood education training in another Province or Territory within Canada, there are two application types that may be relevant to you:

  1. Labour Mobility (if you hold valid certification/registration in another Canadian Province or Territory); or
  2. Equivalency (if you do not hold valid certification/registration in another Canadian Province or Territory).

Please see below for more details in order to determine which application type applies to you.

  1. LABOUR MOBILITY APPLICATIONS

Individuals who hold valid certification/registration in another Canadian Province or Territory and who meet the character and skill requirements outlined in the Child Care Licensing Regulation are eligible for certification in BC through Labour Mobility.  In order to determine the level of certification that you may be eligible to hold in BC, please review the Labour Mobility: Certification Equivalencies from Province to Province (PDF).

To apply for ECE certification in BC, follow the steps for completing an application for either an ECE - One Year Certificate (PDF) or ECE - Five Year Certificate (PDF).

NOTE: In order to apply for an Infant Toddler Educator and/or Special Needs Educator Certificate, you must first hold and/or be eligible to hold an ECE-Five Year Certificate under Section 25 of the Child Care Licensing Regulation.

In addition to submitting the required application form and references to the ECE Registry, applicants applying through Labour Mobility must also submit proof of valid certification/registration in another Canadian Province or Territory (e.g. a certified true copy of your original Provincial certification/registration). Applicants applying for an ECE-Five Year Certificate, through Labour Mobility, are able to apply for certification using 500 hours of work experience completed under the supervision of another Canadian certified Early Childhood Educator. These hours do not need to be completed in BC.

  1. EQUIVALENCY APPLICATIONS

Individuals who have completed their education at an educational institution outside of BC and who do not hold valid certification/registration in another Canadian Province or Territory may apply for BC certification through an equivalency assessment. The program and/or course(s) completed will be assessed to determine whether it meets (i.e. is equivalent to) the standards for certification in BC. An equivalency assessment is a complex process that may take a minimum of 12 weeks to complete, depending on when all required documents are received.

  1. Review certification criteria on the website and select which certification level is best suited for your credential(s).
  2. Print the Application Form from the website.
  3. Complete, sign and date the form and submit to the ECE Registry, along with:
    1. Official transcript(s)
    2. Required references
    3. Photocopy of one piece of government issued identification (e.g. Birth Certificate, Driver’s Licence, BCID, BC Services Card, Permanent Resident Card, Passport, Citizenship Card, BCID, Canadian Immigration Identification Record)
    4. Submit detailed course outlines/syllabi. A course outline/syllabus summarizes the topics that are covered in the course and includes information regarding course content, learning goals/outcomes and learning expectations. It is typically provided by the training institution or more specifically by the professor or instructor who is conducting the course. Outlines/syllabus must be from the year(s) you completed the courses as content often changes over time. As this information is required to determine whether the academic requirements for ECE certification in BC have met; the outlines/syllabi submitted must provide as much information about the course(s) as possible.

NOTE: Proof of legal identification is required for all names that appear on the documents submitted with your application. If your name has changed, you are required to submit proof of name change with your application e.g. Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate or Change of Name Certificate.

  1. In addition to submitting the required application form, official transcript(s), course syllabi, references and ID to the ECE Registry, you must also:
    1. Contact your academic institution(s) and request that they complete and submit the Program Confirmation and Practicum Confirmation Forms directly to the ECE Registry. These forms provide detailed information regarding the program/course that you completed, including the competencies covered throughout your training as well as the instructional hours.

NOTE: All documentation submitted to the ECE Registry must be in English. If your early childhood education program was completed in a language, other than English, you must have your documents translated through a professional/certified translator. The translated documents must include the full name and signature of the translator and confirm that the translation is accurate and authentic. The translation of documents is to be completed at your own expense.

Should you have any questions, please contact the ECE Registry at 1-888-338-6622 or by email at ECERegistry@gov.bc.ca.