Importance of Early Years

Ontario's Early Childhood Educators shine a light on the path to a brighter future

It is widely recognized that high-quality early years and child care programs have long-lasting and wide-reaching positive benefits on education, social, and emotional development of children. Every day, Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) provide children in Waterloo Region with safe, responsive, and caring interactions that build a strong foundation for their development and well-being.

The first five years of a child's life strongly influence their brain development and overall development. Children who participate in high-quality learning environments experience increased cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development. In addition, high quality early years and child care programs support families to maintain or seek employment or pursue education or training opportunities, which contributes to the local enconomy and boosts labour force participation, especially for women.

Uncover the facts about the many ways ECEs benefit children, families, and the growth of our economy in Waterloo Region.

Download our fact sheet.

Explore the professional world of a Registered Early Childhood Educator

Early Childhood Educators are highly valued professionals. Their skill to educate and nurture very young children provide the foundation to improve children's health and overall wellbeing.

This is an exciting time to become an ECE as there are new investments from the Federal and Provincial governments to make licensed child care more affordable by lowering child care fees and increasing the number of child care spaces available. There are over 100 job openings in Waterloo Region for early years professionals in licensed centre and home based child care, EarlyON Child and Family Centres, Special Needs Resourcing agencies, school board operated kindergarten, and before and after school programs. We expect the demand for licensed child care to significantly increase over the next few years as new early years and child care programs open to meet the increasing demand.

A growing early years and child care system needs a skilled workforce. If you are interested in becoming an Early Childhood Educator, Conestoga College offers a number of programs and there are grants and financial assistance available through ECE Grants to lower tuition, travel, and fast-track programs to quickly upgrade your education qualifications.

Being an ECE in Waterloo Region will provide access to local wage increases, continuous quality improvement supports, and professional development resources through the Early Childhood Professional Resource Centre and other community resources. Join our growing community today and start making a difference in children's lives.

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