Pathways to Becoming an Early Childhood Educator 

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 Post-Seconday Programs

ECE Apprenticeship

Register as an Apprentice

  • Must have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent
  • Must have an employer who agrees to sponsor the apprentice
  • Register as a Child Development Practitioner Apprentice with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) using the Skilled Trades Ontario Portal (STOP)
  • An Apprenticeship Training Agreement must be signed by the apprentice, employer and the Employment Training Consultant assigned by the MLTSD
  • Register with the Ontario College of Trades and pay the membership fee prior to the start of training 
  • Indicate to the MLTSD which college is preferred
  • Once an Offer of Classroom Training Letter is received from MLTSD, the apprentice can pursue the "In-School" portion of the apprenticeship
  • "In-School" Training refers to the formal education portion, delivered in the model chosen by the college of choice.​


  • "In-School" Training, 720 hours at an MLTSD-approved Ontario College of Arts and Technology
    • 17 theory courses delivered in-person, online, or in hybrid/blended model
    • 6 field placements (which may be done at apprentice's workplace depending on the college)
  • On-the-Job Training, 5280 hours
    • Complete all competencies of Apprenticeship Training Standard as witnessed by sponsor


  • Submit completed Apprenticeship training standard Log Book to MLTSD
  • Apply to graduate from College CDP Apprenticeship Program
  • MLTSD issues the Child Development Practitioner Certificate of Apprenticeship

ECE Bridging

  • Upon graduation of CDP Program, apprentice must apply to ECE bridging program at the College where "In-School" training occured
  • Complete additional course and practical requirements (3 General Education and 2 ECE Communication courses) to attain Early Childhood Education (ECE) Diploma

College of ECE Membership

  • Upon receipt of Early Childhood Education (ECE) Ontario College Diploma, register with the College of Early Childhood Educators to become a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE)


Financial Assistance may be available through

For more information on ECE programs: