Training Requirements

To become a licensed Early Childhood Educator (ECE) in BC you are required to complete a Basic Early Childhood Education Training Program from an approved training institution.

There are numerous post-secondary institutes offering approved Early Childhood Education training programs. Please review “Selecting an Approved Early Childhood Educator Training Program ” for information on how to choose the institution that is right for you.

Basic ECE Training

Completion of the Basic Early Childhood Education Training Program enables you to make application for an ECE licence to practice. A certificate of graduation from an approved post-secondary training program does not allow you to practice as an ECE. You must also be approved by the ECE Registry and receive a “Licence to Practice Certificate” from the government of British Columbia.

Post-Basic ECE Training

Training programs that provide Special Needs and Infant Toddler Early Childhood Education are recognized as post-basic training. Before an Infant/Toddler Educator or Special Needs Educator licence to practice is issued, an applicant must first be licensed as a basic ECE or receive their licence to practice certificate for both basic and post-basic at the same time. Not all training institutes offer post-basic training.

Academic Assessment

For individuals who have taken other education and training programs in BC related to early childhood education, you may be able to use those programs or courses as credits towards your educational requirements for an ECE licence to practice. Applicants should discuss any academic assessments regarding the eligibility of credit transfers with the approved training institute that they intend to graduate from.

Recognition of Significant Work Experience Towards Eligibility

An applicant may choose to have a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) conducted if they have work experience they would like to have evaluated as part of their eligibility. This assessment option may be the best action for those applicants who have significant field experience but limited educational training. PLAs are conducted at specific approved training institutes. Contact the ECE Registry to discuss whether this option is right for you.

Education Completed Outside of BC

If you have completed your education outside of BC, there are 3 routes to have your credentials evaluated to determine academic equivalency required for licensure in BC.

Please review "Selecting a Credential Evaluation Process" for information on how to choose the process that is right for you.