(NC) Are you a parent looking into childcare options for your little one? This year, you can expect the educators working with your young children to be engaged in ongoing learning as a requirement to maintain their certificate to practise in Ontario.
Later this year, the College of Early Childhood Educators will require over 47,000 professionals to engage in the mandatory Continuous Professional Learning program. Much like teaching, nursing and social work, early childhood education is a regulated profession in Ontario. As the first of its kind in Canada, the college, by law, is authorized to set qualifications and requirements for those who wish to practise in this field.
“Ongoing learning is critically important for registered early childhood educators,” says Melanie Dixon, the director of professional practice at the college. “To be effective in their practice RECEs need to be aware of current research and best practices in working with children and families.”
According to the College, the program’s framework is intended to help RECEs reflect, plan for, and document their professional learning. It allows them to consider a wide variety of learning options, from post-secondary programs to case study analysis, job shadowing and webinars.
“Thousands of our members are already participating in the voluntary continuous learning program,” Dixon says. “Requiring all members to engage in the program is an important way we can demonstrate to parents and the public that RECEs are committed to staying current in their practice and providing high quality early childhood education and care.”
In Ontario, post-secondary education in this field typically entails a combination of theoretical and hands-on experience. Once an ECE student finishes training, they have to register with the College and maintain their membership through an annual renewal process.
Parents can look up the professionals interacting with their child on the online public register by visiting college-ece.ca/publicregister.
More information is available online at college-ece.ca.