Early Childhood Education: a rewarding career
“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 centres, in full-day or half-day programs, family resource centre programs, school-aged programs, and family home care,” says Sonya.
- Early Childhood Care & Education diploma
- 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
- Yearly 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 on Prince Edward Island – Company hiring practices
Jobs in Early Childhood Centres & Hiring needs
Jobs in Early Childhood Centres
- Director or Supervisor
- Early Childhood Educators
- Substitute Caregivers
- Special Needs Assistant/Inclusions Support Worker
- Early Childhood Educator Assistants
“Early Childhood Centres also hire cooks and substitute early childhood educators,” says Sonya. “Substitutes 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.
“Working as a substitute is a great way to get experience in the field and find out if it is a right fit for you. It’s an ideal job for parents looking to get back in the workforce. Working in a school-aged program is another good option because they operate before school and after school, and those hours could complement a student’s schedule.” Visit www.ecdaofpei.ca to sign up to be a substitute.
Education options on PEI
- Holland College: Early Childhood Care and Education program – 2 years
- Collège de l’Îlle:
- Early Childhood Assistant: 1 year
- Early Childhood Educator: 2 years
- UPEI 2 x 2 program: Bachelor of Child and Family Studies
The one-year certificate program creates eligibility for certification by the PEI Early Learning and Child Care Board for Level 2 ECE. The two-year diploma creates eligibility for certification as Level 3 ECE. Designated Early Years Centres require all staff to be certified by the PEI Early Learning and Childcare Board. Non-designated private centres may offer positions to people who have extensive experience in childcare. Directors of designated Early Years Centres are now encouraged to acquire a bachelor degree in early childhood education and care.
Designated Early Years Centres receive provincial funding and must meet additional requirements beyond those for health and safety regulations necessary for licensing, including utilizing the Early Learning Framework to guide programming and evaluation, employ certified staff, and comply with the provincially regulated parent fees.
They must also pay the wage rates set by the PEI Early Childhood Educator Wage Grid effective July 1, 2018. For more information, click here.
“The wage grid is only mandatory in designated Early Years Centres. Others working in the field can be making less per hour,” says Sonya.
Starting a daycare business
“Starting a home daycare is a great option for stay at home mothers,” says Sonya. “However, there is a fair amount of homework to do upfront. Do your research and understand the needs in your community, which can be different from other communities. Travel distances to work can influence the hours of operation that best meet families’s needs. Seasonal work and shift work will also determine parents’ needs.
“Decide what age group of children you wish to take on, and if you are setting up in your home or in another location. An information package available from the department outlines requirements. Liability insurance is available through the Early Childhood Development Association of PEI. Be aware of child-staff ratios and parent fees regulations.
“PEI has invested in training to increase the level of knowledge and expertise among those working in the field. As a result, there is an increase in the number of certified people working in the field, or perhaps interested in opening a family home centre.
“Although licensing your centre involves some paperwork, when a centre is licensed they can access childcare subsidies and other grants. As of January 2018, there are only two licensed home childcare centres on PEI.”
For more information about daycare regulations, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education–early–learning–and–culture/early–childhood–development.
For more about the Early Childhood Development Association of PEI, visit www.ecdaofpei.ca.
Daycare providers are listed on the PEI Early Learning and Child Care Registry (ELCC Registry) Visit https://peichildcareregistry.com.
|Click to watch videos of the Early Childhood Education and Child & Youth programs Holland College offers on PEI.|