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Certification guide for early childhood educators

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Government of Alberta
government document
Publication Date: 
1 Feb 2021

Excerpt from Overview

In Alberta, the Early Learning and Child Care Act requires people who work in licensed child care programs to have provincial certification. This applies to both facility-based programs (daycare, out-of-school-care and preschool), and home-based programs (family day home providers) operating under a licensed agency. Certification is how the provincial government reviews the education and abilities of child care staff.

This guide will help you understand the educational requirements you need and the steps you need to take to become a certified early childhood educator. Staff working in licensed child care programs must be certified within six months of being hired. Staff who have not yet received certification cannot be left alone to supervise children.

Levels of certification

The three levels of certification are:

  • Level 1 Early Childhood Educator o 3-credit course in early learning and child care (ELCC) or equivalent
  • Level 2 Early Childhood Educator o 1-year ELCC Certificate or equivalent
  • Level 3 Early Childhood Educator o 2-year ELCC Diploma or equivalent The Alberta government has legislative authority to certify child care staff under the Early Learning and Child Care Act (Standards and certification, section 24.1) and Early Learning and Child Care Regulation (Part 3 – Child Care Certification).