Transfer your certification (Labour Mobility)

If you hold valid certification (registration) as an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) in another Canadian province or territory, you may be eligible to transfer it to B.C. 

Review the Certification levels from province to province chart to find out what B.C. certification you may be eligible for.

Last updated: June 27, 2022

On this page:

timeline of in B.C. application process

Prepare your application


Determine your certificate type

Find out what type of certificate you may be eligible for in B.C. by reviewing the Certification Levels from Province to Province Chart.

Not all provinces have certification that can be transferred to B.C. If your province is not listed in the chart, find your ECE application pathway or explore your education options.

Review your current certification

  • You will need your certification number from the Canadian province or territory you are transferring from to complete your application (if applicable)
  • The ECE Registry will contact the regulatory body you hold certification with to verify the status of your current certification

If you are certified in Manitoba or the Yukon, you will be contacted by the ECE Registry for additional consent information

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.

  • Ask your character reference to send your completed Character Reference form directly to the ECE Registry

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 start of your education
  • Must be from within the 5 years before you submit your application
  • Cannot include your practicum hours (hours that were a part of your education)
  • Can be work or volunteer hours

References must:

  • Have directly supervised (observed) you working with children birth to 5 years old
  • Be able to speak to your knowledge, skills, and abilities (competencies) as an ECE during the time they supervised you
  • Have held 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.

  • Ask your work experience reference(s) to send your completed 500 Hour Work Experience Reference form(s) directly to the ECE Registry


Complete and submit your application

To 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 primary and secondary identification with your application and mail your application to the ECE Registry at the contact information on the application form

Required forms:


  • 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


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


  • 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

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