Job prospects Early Childhood Educator Assistant in Ontario

Job opportunities for Early childhood educators and assistants (NOC 4214) are fair in Ontario over the next 3 years. These job prospects are also applicable to people working as an early childhood educator assistant.

Note that these employment prospects were published in December 2019 based on information available at that time. You can read our new special report to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on some occupations in your province or territory. You can also visit the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard to find the latest data on the demand and work requirements for this occupation.

Job opportunities in Ontario

early childhood educator assistant
Prospects over the next 3 years
Fair

The employment outlook will be fair for Early childhood educators and assistants (NOC 4214) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to a moderate number of new positions.
  • Not many positions will become available due to retirements.
  • There are a small number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.

Employment of early childhood educators (ECE) and assistants has grown steadily in Ontario over the past decade. Job opportunities will continue to be driven by demographic factors, such as the projected growth of the population aged 5 to 14, and the increase in the number of dual-income earner families, creating the need for daycare services as parents return to work. The majority of these workers were employed by childcare services, and to a lesser extent, by elementary schools. Provincial data shows a large increase in early childhood educator positions in Ontario elementary schools from 2012/13 onwards, with the number of positions having remained stable around 9,000 since 2014/15.

For children four years and under, daycare centres are the most common type of childcare arrangements made by parents in Ontario. There is a growing need for childcare spaces for children within this age group due to demographic factors, which will continue to support favourable demand for these workers. The provincial government announced a new Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit which is expected to provide up to 75% of their eligible childcare expenses on top of the existing Child Care Expense Deduction (CCED), and will help create new opportunities for this profession.

The provincial government has also committed up to $1 billion over the next five years to create up to 30,000 childcare spaces in schools, which should create new opportunities for early childhood educators and assistants in the forecast period. There will also be greater demand for ECEs as the age requirement for authorized recreation programs that serve children after school in Ontario has been reduced from six-years-old to four-years-old. However, ECEs and assistants working in daycare centres may face stronger competition from home-based childcare providers who can now take care of a greater number of young children under new provincial regulations.

Job requirements vary for individuals within this occupational group. The College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE) regulates early childhood educators; therefore, candidates are required to be members of CECE to work in the profession. The completion of accredited college-level training and the newly introduced Continuous Professional Learning Regulation are other skill requirements associated with this occupation. There are indications that, compared to all college programs, graduates of some courses leading to the ECE profession have a lower rate of unemployment, but higher part-time tendencies.

Assistants are not required to be members of the CECE. Completion of high school and experience working with specific age groups are common requirements. However, individuals who have completed the Child Development Practitioner voluntary skilled trade may fare better in the job market. As in the case of early childhood educators, a large portion of the assistant positions are part-time.

ECEs and assistants is a large occupational group with a workforce younger than the provincial average. A significant amount of opportunities is also expected from staff turnover. Some positions are for non-standard work hours and split shift, so flexibility will be an asset in securing employment. Seasonal work has been on the rise, with fewer opportunities within school boards during the summer months.

Here are some key facts about Early childhood educators and assistants in the Ontario region:

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