What to expect from a career as an Early Childhood Educator
Teaching at any level is a rewarding career, but early childhood teachers have a special opportunity to help children in their earliest stages. Early childhood education programs at Ontario colleges teach students the skills they need to get children started on a successful journey through the education system.
If you have a keen interest in childhood development and are interested in early childhood education (ECE) as a career, here's what you need to know.
Early Childhood Education Courses
Early childhood education training is structured to teach both the theoretical and practical sides of early childhood development (children 12 and under).
You will learn about basic health, safety and behaviour as well as how to understand children's environments and early learning mechanisms. You will also learn to plan early childhood education curriculums for a variety of levels, and will develop your writing and communication skills to work with children, parents, and members of the education and teaching system.
ECE programs have extensive field placement opportunities, placing students in preschools, child care programs, hospitals and kindergartens for real-world experience.
General Early Childhood Education Program Requirements
Many colleges offer this program at an entry level, meaning requirements include only an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, with a grade 12 English credit (additional academic requirements may be added by specific institutions).
Other Ontario colleges structure the course as a continued education program, requiring you to have completed an undergraduate degree. This program will often be accelerated to three semesters, rather than the traditional four-semester program.
Additional requirements to both programs could include health certificates and immunizations, Police Record Checks and admissions testing. Experience working with young children will be seen as a definite asset, and may be required by many institutions.
Early Childhood Education Jobs and Salaries
Early childhood education careers could lead into a number of positions, including (but not limited to):
- Early childhood educator / education assistant
- Home child-care provider
- Child-care consulting
- Camp counselors
- Transition homes for abused women and children
Salaries for early childhood education professionals vary depending on the position, but generally start from $27,000 per year on the low end and $33,000 per year on the high end.
Ontario Colleges Offering Early Childhood Education Programs
Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of early childhood education programs at Ontario colleges.