Certification

Terra Centre EC

 

Certification is the process used to review post-secondary education and equivalent training to better determine an individual's eligibility to work in Alberta's regulated child care system. The Ministry of Alberta Children's Services issues certification for the following three levels of early childhood educators able to work in licensed/approved programs in Alberta:

Child Development Supervisor 

Child Development Worker 

Child Development Assistant

Parents, as a child’s first teacher, and a child's caregiver play important roles in the development of a child's early growth and development and this partnership between the two is significant. Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) that have a foundational knowledge of early learning and child care (ELCC) can help to create better outcomes for all children and their families.

The AECEA advocates for new certification standards for ECEs that will increase their required (ELCC) educational level and that they also undertake ongoing professional learning to strengthen their competency in the following areas:

- how to care ethically (children, families, other staff & self)
- foundational knowledge of how young children learn and develop for an early years pedagogy based on play
- able to support children with diverse abilities
- able to work alongside and communicate with families
- work with evidence based curricular resources
- communicate within a democratic community
- understand how to link research to practice and policy.

Certification Office

Certification Office – Children's Services
Toll free: 1-800-661-9754
Fax: 780-427-1258
Email: cs.staffcertification@gov.ab.ca

Certification FAQ

Do I need to be certified to work in child care?

If you are looking to work in a licensed day care program, out-of-school care program, or pre-school program you need to be certified. Child care staff must be certified within 6 months of employment and must not have unsupervised access to children until certified.

Once you apply, your application will be reviewed to determine if you are eligible for one of the 3 levels of child care staff certification:

  • Child Development Assistant (formerly Level 1)
  • Child Development Worker (formerly Level 2)
  • Child Development Supervisor (formerly Level 3)

For more information, see the Child Care Staff Certification Guide

*Children's Services website - September 12, 2019 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 2018))

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

What are the certification levels?

There are three certification levels in Alberta:

  • Child Development Assistant (CDA), formerly Level 1
  • Child Development Worker (CDW), formerly Level 2
  • Child Development Supervisor (CDS), formerly Level 3

*Children's Services website - September 12, 2019 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 2018))

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

 

What are the language proficiency requirements for CDW and CDS Certification?

An approved language proficiency assessment is required for certification as child development worker or supervisor unless an individual’s education was completed in a country where English or French is the primary language of instruction throughout all levels of schooling.

The countries below have been identified as providing instruction in English throughout all levels of schooling

If the education was completed in a country not listed below, a language proficiency assessment is required.

Australia

Bahamas

Barbados

Belize

British Virgin Islands

Canada

Cayman Islands

Dominica

Gibraltar

Grenada

Guyana

Ireland

Jamaica

New Zealand

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Lucia

Trinidad and Tobago

United Kingdom

United States of America

 

 

Language proficiency assessments accepted for certification:

  • CELPIP General (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program).

Level 7 must be achieved in all areas (reading, writing, listening, speaking)
Website: www.celpip.ca
Toll free phone: 1-800-958-5186

  • IELTS General (International English Language Testing System)

A score of 6 must be achieved in all areas (reading, writing, listening, speaking) .
Website: www.ielts.org

 

*Children's Services website - September 12, 2019 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 2018))

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

 

What are the recognized educational equivalencies for certification?

Child Development Assistant

Child Development Worker

Child Development Supervisor

45-hour (3 credit) college-level course in early learning and child care

Early Learning and Child Care certificate

Early Learning and Child Care diploma

Child Care Orientation Course (Alberta government sponsored course)

Disability Studies diploma

Alberta Teaching Certificate

CCS 3110-3150 offered though Career and Technology Studies at Alberta high schools

Educational Assistant diploma

Bachelor of Child Studies Degree

The Step Ahead Family Day Home Training or Family Child Care Training Program

Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology - family ecology major

Bachelor of Education: 4-year degree or 2-year after degree

 

Bachelor of Kinesiology (B.Kin.) or Kinesiology diploma

Child and Youth Care diploma or degree

 

Community Rehabilitation degree or Rehabilitation Assistant diploma

Bachelor of Social Work degree

 

Therapeutic Recreation diploma or degree

 

 

Social Work diploma

 

 

Individuals who have completed some related coursework but have not received an educational credential may be assessed against the content and hours from Alberta Early Learning and Child Care certificate and diploma programs. To view the coursework equivalencies, go here.

*Children's Services website - September 12, 2019 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 2018))

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

What are the requirements to obtain each certification level?

Child Development Assistant

You will be eligible to receive a child development assistant certificate upon completion of one of the following:

  • a 45-hour (3 credit) post-secondary course related to child development
  • the Child Care Orientation Course
  • CCS 3110, 3120, 3130, 3140, and 3150 offered through Career and Technology Studies at Alberta high schools
  • the Step Ahead Family Day Home Training or Family Child Care Training Program through an approved Alberta Family Day Home Agency registered with the Alberta Family Child Care Association.

Acceptable 3-credit post-secondary courses related to child development include:

  • Introduction to early learning and child care
  • Learning through play
  • Educational psychology

Child Development Worker

You will be eligible to receive a child development worker certificate upon completion of either:

  • a 1-year early learning and child care certificate program offered by an Alberta college or university; or
  • an approved educational equivalency

Approved educational equivalencies recognized for child development worker certification:

  • Disability Studies: 2-year diploma
  • Educational Assistant: 2-year diploma
  • Bachelor of Science in human ecology: 4-year degree with a major in family ecology
  • Kinesiology: 4-year Bachelor degree (B.Kin.) or 2-year Kinesiology diploma
  • Community Rehabilitation: 4-year degree or Rehabilitation Assistant 2- year diploma
  • Therapeutic Recreation: 2-year diploma or 4-year degree
  • Social Work: 2-year diploma

Child Development Supervisor

You will be eligible to receive a child development supervisor certificate upon completion of either:

  • a 2-year early learning and child care diploma program offered by an Alberta college or university; or
  • an approved educational equivalency

Approved educational equivalencies recognized for child development supervisor certification:

  • Alberta Teaching Certificate
  • Bachelor of Child Studies: 4-year degree
  • Bachelor of Education: 4-year degree or 2-year after degree
  • Child and Youth care: 4-year degree or 2-year diploma
  • Bachelor of Social Work: 4-year degree

A Coursework Equivalency is available for individuals who have completed related coursework but have not received an educational credential. Courses are assessed against the content and hours from Alberta ELCC certificate and diploma programs for child development worker or supervisor certification. See the chart here.

*Children's Services website - September 12, 2019 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 2018))

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

What if I have certification already in another province?

Early childhood professionals certified in another province are eligible for certification in Alberta without another formal assessment of the person’s educational credentials.

Alberta

Child Development Assistant

Child Development Worker

Child Development Supervisor

British Columbia

Early Childhood Educator Assistant

Early Childhood Educator

Early Childhood Educator with Special Needs or Infant/Toddler

Manitoba

None

None

Early Childhood Educator II or III

Newfoundland/Labrador

None

Level 1

Level 2, 3, or 4

Nova Scotia

Entry Level or Level 1

None

Level 2, 3, or School Age Approval

Ontario

None

None

Early Childhood Educator

Prince Edward Island

None

Early Childhood Program Staff

Early Childhood Supervisor

Saskatchewan

Early Childhood Educator I

Early Childhood Educator II

Early Childhood Educator III

Yukon Territory

Child Care Worker 1 or 1a

Child Care Worker 2 or 2a

Child Care Worker 3

 

To apply for Alberta certification under this equivalency, submit the following:

*Children's Services website - September 12, 2019 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 2018))

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

What if my education is from outside of Canada?

Education that has been completed outside of Canada may be recognized for certification; however, additional documents may be required.

It is recommended that first time applicants apply for certification by submitting the following:

  • a completed Application for Child Care Staff Certification. You will need to print and sign the form; 
  • a copy of your personal identification that includes your birth date and signature; and
  • a copy of your post-secondary transcripts or marks sheets, including a copy of your graduation certificate. Please do not submit original documents.

Once your application has been assessed, a letter will be sent to you by mail. The letter will explain what certification level you could be eligible for and what documents to provide to be assessed at that level.


If you are eligible for child development worker or supervisor certification, you may be asked to provide one or more of the following documents:

  • Official post-secondary (higher education) transcripts, or verified copies of marks sheets and graduation certificates, sent directly from the college or university where you completed your education to the Alberta Certification Office.

These documents must be sent from the school to the Alberta Child Care Staff Certification Office in an envelope sealed by the school. The envelope must not be opened, and it cannot be sent by a relative or friend.

  • English language proficiency assessment. If your education was completed in a a country in which English or French is not the primary language, you will be required to submit this.
  • English translation of transcripts. If your official transcripts and/or graduation certificates have been issued in a language other than English or French, they must be translated into English by a certified translator. Please note that the official transcripts must first be sent to the Alberta Certification Office directly from the educational institution. The Alberta Certification Office will then send you a photocopy of these transcripts for translation.
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) basic credential assessment. If the Alberta Certification Office is not familiar with your education, they may request that you provide an IQAS assessment to determine the equivalent Canadian education. The process to obtain an IQAS assessment can be found at iqas.alberta.ca

*Children's Services website - September 12, 2019 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 2018))

*AECEA makes every effort to ensure this information is up to date. Please consult original documentation/website to confirm accuracy*

Are you interested in increasing your certification level? Take a look at the ELCC post-secondary options in Alberta here.