The College of Early Childhood Educators
The Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007, established the College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario (CECE), the regulatory college for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs). Registration with the college is mandatory if you wish to work in a position labeled early childhood educator and/or call yourself an early childhood educator. The CECE website outlines that the Act includes:
- A definition of what constitutes the practice of the profession;
- A requirement for persons to be members [of the college] in order to practise the profession;
- Title protection authorizing only members of the College to use the titles "early childhood educator" or "registered early childhood educator" or an abbreviation;
There was a review of the Early Childhood Educators Act in 2013. (link below)
The primary role of the college, as defined in the Act, is to protect the public and hold the profession and those using the professional title of ‘Early Childhood Educator’ accountable. As outlined on the college website, “the College is not an educational institution or a professional association that advocates for early childhood educators. It is an organization that helps to serve and protect children and families by setting registration requirements and ethical and professional standards for registered early childhood educators (RECEs), and governing member conduct through a complaints and discipline process”.
In contrast to the College of ECEs, the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario (AECEO) is the professional association for early childhood educators and has a mandate to advocate on behalf of the profession and support their work by responding to current issues on their behalf, providing ongoing resources and information about the ECEC field, and providing opportunities for professional development and collaboration. Membership with the AECEO, however, is not mandatory.
For more information about the relationship between an association (the AECEO) and a regulatory body (College of ECEs) click here
Continuous professional learning
The College's Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) program complements and formalizes the ongoing professional learning many RECEs do every day.
On January 1, 2016, Ontario Regulation 359/15: Continuous Professional Learning made under the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 (Continuous Professional Learning Regulation) came into force. This regulation requires all registered early childhood educators to fullfill the requirements of the Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) program of the College of Early Childhood Educators (the College).
"Engaging in ongoing professional learning is important to early childhood educators. It is part of the culture of the profession and an integral component of both professionalism and leadership.
The CPL program is a framework and formal process to help RECEs increase their knowledge and skills and ensure quality professional practice throughout their careers. It also communicates to employers, families and the public that RECEs are members of a distinct profession that values ongoing professional learning." College of ECE
The AECEO certification process can support you to establish the necessary tools to continue with your CPL. Once you acquire your certification you will also receive AECEO certified status (AECEO.C), a well recognized designation that symbolizes your commitment to your profession and ongoing learning as an early childhood educator. For more information click here.