Early Childhood Educators (ECE) provide nurturing care and education to young children (usually between the ages of infancy and 6 years) in a group setting, ensuring that every child’s individual needs are met. They lead infants and toddlers in activities to stimulate and develop their intellectual, physical, and emotional growth, as well as to ensure their security and well-being.
Early Childhood Educators are employed in childcare centres, daycare centres, kindergartens, agencies for exceptional children, and other settings where early childhood education services are provided. They usually report to ECE Coordinators and/or ECE Managers and might supervise ECE Assistants when working for larger organizations.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Early Childhood Educators are required to complete.
- Providing a stimulating, caring, inclusive, safe and hygienic environment for infants and toddlers:
- Being responsible for the constant supervision, safety, and well-being of children; and
- maintaining a clean environment, promoting good personal hygiene and hand washing, as well as assisting in housekeeping duties (e.g. ensuring toys, furniture, and equipment are appropriately cleaned and sanitized).
- Assisting in planning, preparing, and implementing a high quality, play-based, developmentally appropriate curriculum to foster physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development:
- Developing schedules and enforcing routines to familiarize students with daily habits and necessities (e.g. washing hands), including feeding them lunch/snacks and ensuring they get proper rest;
- providing a daily balance of active/quiet, indoor/outdoor and individual/group activities;
- teaching children pre-literacy, reading and language skills (e.g. rhymes, alphabets, and numbers), motor skills, and shape and colour recognition;
- providing opportunities to express creativity through art, dramatic play, music and physical activity;
- facilitating and nurturing the development of each child’s self-esteem, trust, and growing autonomy; and
- individualizing the curriculum as required, ensuring that all activities are accessible.
- Using a variety of teaching techniques including modelling, observing, questioning, and reinforcing:
- Assisting children in expressing themselves by listening and responding with questions/comments that extend conversations; and
- improving children’s behaviour by explaining and demonstrating good practices to them.
- Recognizing and responding to the needs of each child by using appropriate child behaviour guidance strategies:
- Responding quickly to children’s different and individual needs (verbal and non-verbal cues), temperament styles, skills, and abilities;
- determining specific times during the day when some children may require extra staffing support;
- tracking and reporting children’s health, safety, and well-being, in order to identify signs of illness, injury, abuse, neglect, emotional disturbance, or other special needs (e.g. learning or behavioural difficulties); and
- reporting any abusive situation to appropriate authorities, whether the child is experiencing physical, sexual, emotional, and/or verbal abuse.
- Observing, monitoring, and tracking each child’s individual progress and development to make sure they work successfully toward achieving pre-established learning and behavioural goals:
- Complying with all recording and reporting requirements outlined by national and provincial policies and procedures (e.g. daily log, incident reports, and medication administration); and
- discussing progress or problems with parents and other staff members.
- Stimulating and developing children’s intellectual, physical and emotional growth and ensuring their security and well-being.
- Maintaining a caring, inclusive, safe and hygienic environment.
- Developing schedules, enforcing routines, and promoting good behaviours and habits.
- Tracking and reporting children’s progress and development, as well as their health, safety, and well-being.
The average salary for Early Childhood Educator (ECE) related jobs is $33,588 per year or $17 per hour. This is the same as the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $24,000 while most experienced workers make up to $47,000. These results are based on 57 salaries extracted from job descriptions.