by Stella Shepard
“There are about 150 Early Childhood Centres across PEI,” says Sonya Hooper, Executive Director of the Early Childhood Development Association. “There is a demand for Early Childhood Educators.
“Early Childhood Educators work in designated and non-designated early childhood, in full-day or half-day programs, family resource centre programs, school-aged programs, and family home care,” says Sonya.
- Early Childhood Care & Education
- Certified First Aid course
- A vulnerable sector criminal record clearance from the RCMP
- The ability to speak French (in a Francophone centre
“When hiring, employers look for people with strong interpersonal and communication skills both in writing and verbally, a strong sense of empathy and compassion, optimistic, energetic, with a fun-loving attitude and a strong ability to motivate others,” says Sonya.”
“They also require a high level of creativity, initiative, and flexibility, as well as great problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, organizational and time management skills.”
Education options on PEI
- Holland College: Early Childhood Care and Education: program 2 years
- Collège de l’Île: Early Childhood Educator: 2 years
Job titles at childcare centres
- Director or Supervisor
- Early Childhood Educator
- Substitute Caregiver
- Inclusions Support Worker/Special Needs Assistant
- Early Childhood Educator Assistant
Positions can include working full or part-time with infants during the critical first two years of life, within a preschool program or with school-aged children.
Centres are always looking to create a substitute list. Substitute Early Childhood Educators require a criminal record check and vulnerable sector check, must be 18 years of age or older, and have emergency first aid certification. They do not require Early Childhood Care and Education training, although some experience working with children is beneficial says Sonya.
Those interested in substitute positions can visit www.ecdaofpei.ca/educators/careers/substitute.php to register on the substitute list.
Wages and benefits
According to Living in Canada – Early Childhood Education Salary Canada the reported average salary for jobs relating to
Early Childhood Educator is $35,260 per year or $17 per hour.
PEI is considered to be very progressive in having a government recognized wage scale for Early Childhood Educators. Wages for those working as an Assistant or as an Early Childhood Educator can range from $14 to $25/hr ($29,000 to $48,750/year) depending on post secondary education and job description.
Post-secondary institutions can offer a staggered approach to achieving a diploma in Early Childhood Care & Education by offering a one-year certificate and the option to return for a second year to earn a diploma.
Other benefits to working as a certified Early Childhood Educator
- early salary increase for the next three years starting October 2020
- Dental and medical coverage
- Paid holidays, statutory holidays
- Evenings and weekends off
- Working in a positive environment
- Contributing to children’s early learning and care.
Recent study results (PEI Workforce Strategy Project Final Report by Kathleen Flanagan, March 2019) indicate very high satisfaction levels among those working in this career. With more education and experience in the field, managing a centre or owning a centre are options.
Early Childhood Education Week is November 8 to 15
This year in particular, ECEs will be celebrated for all they have done to support families during the pandemic.
“Many returned to work to support the Emergency Child Care phase and now all centres are open during Phase 3. Phase 4 will see a return to capacity across centres,” says Sonya.
“Early Childhood Education Week is a time to recognize and celebrate the exceptional educators who support our children to grow, learn, and thrive in the early years, the most rapid period of development in a human life.”
For more information about Early Childhood Education, contact Sonya Hooper at 902-368-1866 or [email protected]