Pre-Early Childhood Education (ECE) Certificate Program

Turn your love of children into an exciting career move!

children sitting to hear a book read by an early childhood educator

If you are looking to explore a rewarding career, consider educating children as they grow and explore the world!

Sault, Cambrian, Northern, Confederation and Boréal Colleges have co-developed an exciting new 10-week Pre-Early Childhood Education (ECE) Certificate program to deliver to students across Northern Ontario. This free program uses a blend of online and in-person delivery to allow for flexibility in your learning experience and includes a paid work placement to give you the experience and applied practice that you will need to succeed.  

The program begins with 6 weeks of online training where you will complete 5 online essential ECE skills courses. These courses have been developed by ECE faculty experts at our colleges and are each 12-15 hours in length, which gives you plenty of time to achieve and maintain your work/life balance.

Then you will have a 2-week period to focus on required workplace skills training that are needed to work successfully in a childcare setting. The training is provided with the college and community partners who are standing by to help you boost your learning.

The final 2 weeks of the program will be your opportunity to try out all of your new skills with 70 hours of paid placement in a licensed childcare facility. This placement time will be counted towards a 2-year ECE diploma program if you decide to take your education further. You will also take part in regular seminars with your classmates and professors during your placement.

This is an opportunity to try out a career as an Early Childhood Education assistant before taking the plunge into a full ECE college program.

This Employment Ontario Project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

employment ontario logos


The following colleges will be offering the Pre-ECE Certificate Program.  Please use the contact information provided below to contact the college directly regarding the Pre-ECE Certificate Program.

Please note that anyone from the District of Parry Sound interested in completing the program may do so via one of the colleges listed below, as program delivery will be online. 

cambrian college logo

Kristi Haddad
(705) 566-8101

College Boreal logo

Jessica Jameus
(705) 560-6673 x2808

Confederation college logo

Carly Rich
(807) 473-3825

Northern college logo

Emily Disley
(705) 235-3211 x7134

sault college logo

 Taylor Blair
 (705) 759-2554 x2479

Frequently Asked Questions

For English programs, you can start in October of this year or January 2023, so please get in touch soon to apply!

The French program through Collège Boréal will be available in January 2023.

There are no education requirements! You will need access to a computer and internet for your online training. You will also need to provide proof of immunization and a Vulnerable Sector Check to participate in the placement component.

This program is free. That means that there is no cost to take the training courses, or for learning materials. If you are required to attend placement, or travel for some training, you will need to pay for your own transportation.

Yes, this program will give you hours towards your placement in our 2-year ECE program, and you will have already had experience in preparing your documents for placement.

Your program facilitator may be able to provide you with a list of possible agencies that can provide you with placement. The final decision is made by the workplace, not by the college. You will be responsible for communicating with your desired placement agency, as well as arranging transportation to and from your placement, and any other costs.

Our research shows that experienced ECE Assistants in Ontario are making $17.15- $19.20 per hour. Your placement location will have more information on their specific policies and rates of pay for placement students. The placement is for a total of 70 hours.

Your placement schedule will be determined through a discussion between the agency and yourself. Your program facilitator may be able to guide you with some possible expectations for placement schedules.

The college has Accessibility Advisors available to assist you. Your program facilitator will be able to direct you to them for help.

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