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What is an ECE?

As stipulated by the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007, an individual wishing to become an Early Childhood Educator in Ontario must be trained in a program accepted by the College of Early Childhood Educators (College of ECE), and must be a member of the College. The professional titles of Early Childhood Educator (ECE) and Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) are protected titles as per the conditions set by the College of ECE. For further related information, visit:

ECE professionals traditionally referred to the teaching and supervisory staff in a child care setting. The profession has since evolved and our members currently hold positions as frontline educators, supervisors, directors, trainers, consultants, ECE training program faculty staff, policy makers and ministry staff. They work in a variety of early learning and care programs and related services such as child care centres, home child care, school age programs, special needs programs, parenting centres, government licensing services and ECE training institutions or agencies.

The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) defines an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) as:

1. a practitioner responsible for the development and implementation of activities in a variety of early learning and child care settings for children from infancy to school age. ECEs are responsible for planning and organizing activities that protect and promote children’s intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth.

2. an administrator who is involved in supervising practitioners (as above) or in a supervisory role involved in indirect work associated with young children and families

3. a trainer who is involved in training and educating student practitioners, practitioners or administrators (as above) in their professional role.


Below are examples of job titles used in the broader community (such as job postings, labour market information, etc). Minimum credentials required for these positions may vary from program to program. Some job titles listed are not entry level positions and require additional qualifications other than minimum entry level credential requirements. For more information on credential requirements, check out the section on Becoming an ECE and Equivalency.


Early Childhood Education (ECE) Teacher can also be known as:

* Preschool Teacher
* Child Care Worker
* Day Care Worker
* Child Care Practitioner
* Home Visitor
* Private-home day care visitor
* Nursery School Teacher
* Educational Assistant (in Public School Settings)
* Early Literacy Specialist
* Early Childhood Program Staff
* ECE Resource Teacher
* Special Needs Consultant

(Special Note: Early Childhood Education Assistant (ECA) See section under “Other Considerations” in Becoming an ECE)

ECE ADMINISTRATOR can also be known as:

* Child care Assistant Supervisor
* Day Care Supervisor
* Child Care Coordinator
* Program Director
* Program Coordinator

ECE TRAINER can also be known as:

* ECE Faculty
* ECE Continuing Education Teaching Staff
* Student Field Supervisor
* ECE Resource Teacher Consultant


Below are some typical workplace settings that ECEs, as listed above, can be employed:

* Licensed child care centers
* Licensed home daycare
* Private home day cares
* Before and After School programs
* Nursery Schools
* Parent Cooperative Centers
* Community Centre Children’s program
* Family Resource Centres
* Parent/Child/Caregiver Drop in programs
* Public School Kindergarten classrooms (as Educational Assistants only)
* Child Care Kindergarten rooms
* Pediatric playrooms
* Early Intervention Programs
* Special education settings
* Home Child Care agencies
* Ontario Early Years Centres
* Municipal Child Care Services Departments
* Community College ECE departments