The College of Early Childhood Educators (College) regulates and governs Ontario’s Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) in the public interest.
The College was established under the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 (ECE Act), and came into existence in February 2009.
With more than 53,000 members in good standing, the College is one of the largest professional self-regulatory bodies in Ontario and is the only professional self-regulatory body for early childhood education in Canada.
The College regulates the profession of early childhood education by establishing and enforcing:
- Registration requirements;
- Ethical and professional standards for RECEs;
- Requirements for continuous professional learning; and
- Complaints and discipline process for professional misconduct, incompetence and incapacity.
The College officially opened in September 2008. For more than 20 years previous to that, organizations working in early learning and care lobbied theGovernment of Ontario to get legislative recognition for early childhood educators (ECEs).
In May 2007 the Ontario government passed the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007. This law established the College of Early Childhood Educators (the College). The Act includes:
- A definition of what constitutes the practice of the profession.
- A requirement for persons to be members 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.
- Roles and responsibilities of the Registrar along with the Registration Appeals, Complaints, Discipline and Fitness to Practise Committees.
The College began to accept applications for membership in September 2008. Over 20,000 applications for membership were received within the first six months.
On February 14, 2009 when the Act was fully proclaimed, the Transitional Council handed over a fully funded and functioning College to the first-electedCouncil.
The College conducts elections to elect RECEs to the College Council. Participation in the election of the College Council is an important opportunity available to members of the College. RECEs may participate either as a candidate for election to Council or as a member who will cast a vote for a candidate.
Subsequent elections of the Council were held in 2011 and 2013. Beginning in 2013, elections were staggered so that not all Council members are elected in all of the College’s eight electoral districts at one time.
From the first membership application in September 2008, the College has seen exponential growth in membership. The College issued its 45,000th Certificate of Registration in August 2013.
In 2010, the College undertook the direct handling of applications from Canadian-trained applicants who required an individual assessment of their educational qualifications. The College also expanded their application process to include those from internationally-trained applicants who required an individual assessment of their educational qualifications in all languages.