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Halton’s Early Years and Child Care Workforce Strategy

In fall 2021, the Ministry of Education announced a one-time Federal investment as part of the Canada-Ontario Early Childhood Workforce Agreement to support the retention and recruitment of a high-quality early years and child care workforce.

Key objectives of this funding are to:

  • Sustain the existing early years and child care workforce to ensure a more stable and high-quality early years and child care system.
  • Enhance access to opportunities for the workforce that promote retention and recruitment, including professional development, training, and qualification upgrade programs.
  • Grow the number of qualified staff in the early years and child care workforce to increase access to high quality licensed child care for families.
  • Attract and support the development of an increasingly diverse workforce to more effectively reflect the children and families accessing early years and child care programs.

Halton Region has been working with a Workforce Advisory Committee to develop a plan for the funding. Recently, the Advisory Committee endorsed the following priorities over the next few years:

  • Growing a Qualified Workforce
  • Raising Awareness of the Importance of Early Childhood Education;
  • Recognizing the Workforce;
  • Supporting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Within the Sector;
  • Improving Working Conditions; and
  • Building Workforce Capacity

Halton Region, in collaboration with community partners, will work towards achieving these important outcomes for our early years and child care sector.

What is an Early Childhood Educator (ECE)?

Early Childhood Education is a growing profession! As childcare becomes more affordable for families, more Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECE) are needed. If you’re interested in earning an ECE diploma and becoming a RECE, financial help is available.


  • designs child-centred, play-based learning.
  • enhances child and family well-being.
  • builds caring relationships with children, families, and communities.
  • creates safe, engaging, and inclusive learning spaces.

Early childhood educators work in child care centers, full day Kindergarten, licensed home child care, EarlyON, recreation programs and family support programs, as well as advocacy, government and many other roles.

The College of Early Childhood Educators regulates and governs Ontario’s Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs). Visit the College of Early Childhood Educators website for more information on registering (external link).

Financial support is available for individuals earning their early childhood education diploma. Visit ECE Grants for more information (external link)! If you are already working in an Early Years setting, you may qualify for the provincial Qualifications Upgrade Program. The Qualifications Upgrade Program provides financial support to individuals who work in Early Years settings, to obtain an ECE diploma and become eligible to apply for membership with the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE). Learn more at Qualifications Upgrade - Ontario ECE Grants(external link).

The Halton Resource Connection (THRC) is a key partner for professional excellence in Halton Region’s early learning and child care community, offering professional learning opportunities, The Resource Library, Centralized Intake Line and Quality First.

Workforce Strategy Initiatives

Led by the Region and in collaboration with an Advisory Committee comprised of community partners, Halton’s Early Years and Child Care Workforce Strategy aims to address workforce challenges in the early years and child care sector in Halton.

To find out more information on the Workforce Strategy Initiatives, refer to the resources below:

Build a career in Halton’s vibrant early years and child care sector! Explore available positions on the career board (external link).

Resources are available to support early learning and child care organizations in the interviewing and onboarding processes (external link).

  • Competency-based interview question guide (external PDF)
    • This resource provides interview questions and activities across ten core competencies identified as important for early childhood educators and definitions and examples of core competencies.
  • Interviewing Resource Guide (external PDF)
    • This resource provides details on interviewing best practices in all phases of the interview process and tips on Human Resource practices for Halton professionals.
  • Onboarding Checklist (external PDF)
    • This resource provides a brief checklist for employers to quickly organize their onboarding processes.
  • Onboarding Summary (external PDF)
    • This resource provides foundational information regarding policies, procedures and practices; tips for creating a welcoming atmosphere; guidance on how to set expectations early and often; and support for employers in helping the new employee to understand organizational culture and values.

In October each year, Halton Region is proud to recognize Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day. The Region recognizes and acknowledges all educators and leaders for their service to our community.

Be An Early Childhood Educator in Halton Region


Becoming a Registered Early Childhood Educator requires a diploma in Early Childhood Education. As a high school student, there are different ways you can prepare for this journey.

Early Childhood Education is a meaningful and rewarding profession with many potential career paths. Early childhood educators work a in a variety of settings supporting children and their families.

Early childhood educators (ECEs) provide children with the foundation they need to grow into future leaders. ECEs use their extensive knowledge of learning and child development to create high-quality learning opportunities through play and exploration.

What is an Early Childhood Educator (ECE)?

Early childhood educators (ECEs) provide children with the skills they need to become future leaders. ECEs use their knowledge and expertise to create a fun and engaging learning environment for children.

What do ECEs do?

  • Understand brain development and how to support healthy growth.
  • Recognize and understand how children can develop their social skills, language skills, emotional intelligence, cognitive skills and physical growth.
  • Plan activities that are based on children’s abilities and interests to encourage learning.
  • Build partnerships with families to support children’s well-being.

Is Early Childhood Education a good fit for you?

  • Are you passionate about working with children and families?
  • Do you enjoy working with a team?
  • Are you patient, empathetic and have great communication skills?
  • Do you value equity, diversity and inclusion?

What career path interests you?

  • Centre-based Early Childhood Educator, Operator, Supervisor or Manager
  • EarlyONChild and Family Centre Facilitator
  • Home Child Care Provider
  • Designated Early Childhood Educator in a Kindergarten classroom
  • A variety of roles supporting children with special needs
  • Forest School Practitioner
  • Child Care or Early Years Administrator for Government
  • Family Support Worker
  • Instructor/Professor
  • Field Placement Advisor
  • Quality Assurance

How do I become an Early Childhood Educator?

  1. Research the career: Visit (external link) and speak to your guidance counsellor about the ECE profession.
  2. Gain practical experience through:
    • Volunteering
    • Related co-opopportunities
    • The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program:Child Development Practitioner or Educational Assistant
    • Dual-credit programs
  3. Take high school courses that will prepare you for postsecondary studies:
    • Families in Canada
    • Human Development Throughout theLifespan
    • Working with Infants and Young Children
    •  Raising Healthy Children
    • Working with School-Age Children and Adolescents
  4. Find post-secondary programs for Early Childhood Education: A list of post-secondary programs is found at (external link).
  5. Find local colleges and universities with programs approved by the College of ECEs:
    • Centennial College
    • Durham College
    • George Brown College
    • Humber College
    • Mohawk College
    • Mothercraft College
    • Seneca College
    • Sheridan College
    • Toronto Metropolitan University
    • University of Guelph

What financial supports are available?

  • Ontario ECE Grants
  • Early Childhood Education Scholarships in Ontario for college and university students

Did you know?

Early childhood education is a regulated profession. To work as an early childhood educator in Ontario, graduates are required to register with the Ontario College of Early Childhood Educators.

The Halton Resource Connection offers a professional resource library and professional learning opportunities to help educators grow, learn and reflect on their practice.


Contact our Children’s Services team

Do you have questions about Halton Region’s Early Years and Child Care Workforce Strategy or recruitment and retention initiatives? You can email our Children’s Services team with any questions about the Workforce Strategy at