Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

Organization Acronyms

Alberta Association of Child Care Operators

AACCO

Alberta Child Care Association (Former name of AECEA)

ACCA

Alberta Early Learning and Care Leaders Caucus ALC

Alberta Family Child Care Association

AFCCA

Alberta Resource Centre for Quality Enhancement

ARCQE

Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta

AECEA

Canadian Child Care Federation

CCCF

Central Alberta Family Day Home Association

CAFDHA

Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada

CCAAC

Child Care Association for Resources to Administrators

CAFRA

Community University Partnership CUP

Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute

CTRI

Early Childhood Development Support Services

ECDSS

Edmonton Council for Early Learning and Care ECELC
Evaluation Capacity Network ECN

Foothills Children's Wellness Network

FCWN

Getting Ready for Inclusion Today

GRIT Program

Imagine Institute For Learning IIFL

Medicine Hat & District Child Care Association

MHDCCA

Northern Alberta Preschool Teachers Association

NAPTA

School Age Care Directors Association of Alberta

SACDA

Southern Alberta Preschool Teachers Association

SAPTA

General Acronyms

Child Development Assistant

CDA (Now Level 1)

Child Development Worker

CDW (Now Level 2)

Child Development Supervisor

CDS (Now Level 3)

Early Childhood Educator

ECE

Early Learning and Child Care

ELCC

Professional Development

PD

Professional Learning

PL

Professional Learning Community

PLC

Out of School Care

OSC or OOSC

Quality Enhancement Plan

QEP

Developmentally Appropriate Practice

DAP

Individual Program Plan

IPP

Membership FAQ

What types of memberships are available?

AECEA offers three membership categories:

  • Professional members are Alberta-certified early childhood educators (ECEs) and post-secondary educators who work in the field of early learning and child care. This category also includes staff and contractors who work for, or in support of, licensed child care programs and approved family day home agencies.
  • a monthly e-newsletter, Networking News, that includes updates on AECEA’s activities, information about professional learning opportunities and events, links to the latest research and inspirational stories from the field
  • Student members are enrolled in post-secondary early learning and child care programs in Alberta. Students in leadership, management, human resources, and other programs related to early learning and child care are also eligible for AECEA membership.
  • Associate members are agencies or groups that support AECEA’s goals.

Professional members and student members have voting rights at AECEA’s general meetings. Associate members are welcome to attend AECEA meetings, but cannot vote.

How much does membership cost?

  • Membership with AECEA is free for full-time students enrolled in publicly funded post-secondary ECE programs in Alberta.
  • Part-time students pay a reduced membership fee of $50 + GST per year.
  • Annual fees for associate members are $125 + GST.
  • Annual fees for professional members are $125 + GST.
  • Monthly fees for professional members are $10.75 + GST per month.
  • Professional members whose employers participate in AECEA’s group health plan pay $95 + GST for their annual fees.

What are the professional and student member benefits?

AECEA’s professional and student members are part of the association’s strong, united voice on legislation, policy, funding, training, professional learning and other issues that affect ECEs.

Professional and student members enjoy the following benefits:

  • the opportunity to contribute to AECEA’s advocacy for accessible, affordable, high-quality child care delivered by a respected, well-compensated professional ELCC workforce
  • a monthly e-newsletter, Networking News, that includes updates on AECEA’s activities, information about professional learning opportunities and events, links to the latest research and inspirational stories from the field
  • discounts on AECEA-sponsored workshops and events (including the popular annual conference, which is usually sold out)
  • reduced fees for selected educational and professional learning offerings sponsored by AECEA’s partners
  • access to a group health benefits plan (available to professional and student members whose employers are AECEA associate members)
  • reduced membership fees for professional members whose employers participate in AECEA’s group health benefits plan
  • AECEA’s support and organizational backing to empower personal advocacy for the recognition of ECEs as well-qualified, well-compensated professionals
  • opportunities to develop leadership skills and make a difference by getting involved in the association
  • free affiliate membership in the Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF), which is a cost saving of $65
    • CCCF affiliate membership includes discounts on books and resources, weekly email updates and access to the federation’s members-only quarterly journal
  • 15% off the Imagine Institute for Learning (formerly ECDSS) workshops
  • 15% off personal tax returns through UFile
  • 15% off public workshops through the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI) and the ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership and Workplace Performance
  • Up to 40% off home and auto insurance through The Co-Operators

What are the associate member benefits?

AECEA’s associate members enjoy the following benefits:

  • free affiliate membership in the CCCF, which is a cost saving of $90
  • access to a number of workforce and workplace related benefits and discounts, including the following:
    • a comprehensive group health benefit plan that offers life and disability insurance, coverage for prescription drugs, dental and vision care, and medical coverage for travellers
    • access to Foster Park Brokers commercial insurance, which is tailored to the ELCC industry
    • 15% off on-site workshops through the Imagine Institute for Learning (formerly ECDSS)
    • $25 off T2 tax filing through UFile
    • 10% discount on HRDownloads, a web-based HR software that is tailored to your needs

Certification FAQ

What are the certification levels?

There are three certification levels in Alberta:

  • Level 1 Early Childhood Educator
  • Level 2 Early Childhood Educator
  • Level 3 Early Childhood Educator

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:

  • Level 1 Early Childhood Educator
  • Level 2 Early Childhood Educator
  • Level 3 Early Childhood Educator

For more information, see the Child Care Staff Certification Guide

*Children's Services website - April 25, 2022 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 25, 2022))

*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 Level 2 & 3 Certification?

An approved language proficiency assessment is required for certification as a Level 2 or 3 Early Childhood Educator 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

What are the recognized educational equivalencies for certification?

Level 1 Early Childhood Educator Level 2 Early Childhood Educator Level 3 Early Childhood Educator

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. 

*Children's Services website - April 25, 2022 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 2022))

What are the requirements to obtain each certification level?

Level 1 Early Childhood Educator

You will be eligible to receive Level 1 Early Childhood Educator certification upon completion of one of the following:

  • a 45-hour (3 credit) post-secondary course related to child development
    • Acceptable 3-credit post-secondary courses related to child development include:
      • Introduction to early learning and child care
      • Learning through play
      • Educational psychology
  • 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.

Level 2 Early Childhood Educator

You will be eligible to receive Level 2 Early Childhood Educator certification 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 Level 2 Early Childhood Educator 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

Level 3 Early Childhood Educator

You will be eligible to receive Level 3 Early Childhood Educator certification 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 Level 3 Early Childhood Educator 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 Level 1 and 2 Early Childhood Educator certification. 

*Children's Services website - April 25, 2022 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 2022))

What if I have certification 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

Level 1 ECE

Level 2 ECE

Level 3 ECE

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 - February 10, 2021 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (February 2021))

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. Before you apply, read the Certification Guide for Early Childhood Educators to make sure you are eligible and understand all the steps. The guide includes information about the educational and language proficiency requirements. Once you have read the guide, apply online using a computer, tablet or mobile phone through the Early Childhood Educator Certification Application. 

If you are eligible for Level 2 or 3 certification, you must arrange for your official transcripts to be sent directly from your educational institution to the Alberta Child Care Staff Certification Office. You may send a copy of the transcript to be temporarily certified as a Level 1 Early Childhood Educator, if eligible. The certification level will be changed once the official transcripts have been received directly from the institution and have been assessed as meeting the educational training requirements for Level 2 or Level 3 certification. If your education was completed outside of Canada, refer to the Certification Guide for Early Childhood Educators to determine if you require a language proficiency assessment or other additional documents. If you need help or have questions about using the Early Childhood Educator Certification online application, call the Alberta Child Care Staff Certification Office at 1-800-661-9754. *Children's Services website - April 25, 2022 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (April 2022))

Professional Development (PD) Funding FAQ

How do I apply for PD funding?

Step 1: Submit the grant application form

Fill out the online grant application and submit it to the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program using the contact information noted on the form. The grant application form is available online at https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-child-care-grant-funding-program.aspx. 

The Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program will review the grant application once it has been submitted. If the program is eligible, the authorized representative of the licence holder will receive a grant agreement (as specified by the program on the grant application). If the program is ineligible, the authorized representative of the licence holder will receive a written notification explaining why.

Step 2: Review and sign the grant agreement

After a child care program is declared eligible, the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program will send the official (unsigned) grant agreement to the authorized representative of the licence holder as listed on the application.

The licence holder must ensure full understanding and compliance with all requirements for the wage top-up and professional development funding, as contained in this Funding Guide, prior to signing the grant agreement.

The authorized official of the licence holder must sign the grant agreement and return the original signed copy by mail or email to:

Alberta Children’s Services

Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program

6th Floor, Sterling Place, 9940-106 Street

Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2N2

cs.childcarefunding@gov.ab.ca

The approved professional development funding payment will be part of the overall child care program deposit when the next monthly claim is processed. The ECE name and professional development funding payment amount (including the release time grant, if approved) will be reflected on the monthly payment summary statement.

If you have questions about submitting your monthly claim or the payments received, you can call the Alberta Child Care Claims Unit at 1-855-638-6121 or email cs.childcareclaims@gov.ab.ca. For more information, visit https://www.alberta.ca/online-child-care-claims-system.aspx.

How much PD funding am I eligible for?

Professional Development Type

Grant rate per ECE
Workshops and conferences $500/year
Post-secondary coursework and workbooks $1,500/year
Maximum available funding $2,000/year

 

Program Accountability for PD Funding

The program must comply with all the terms set out in the grant agreement that was signed between the grant recipient and the Minister, which includes the content contained in this funding guide.

All child care programs that receive grant funding must maintain required attendance records, receipts, and financial/payroll records to support all funding payments relating to wage top-ups and professional development (and the release time grant, if applicable). Programs are subject to selected or random audits by the Government of Alberta. If a program falsely obtains funds, fails to provide required documentation, or fails to report funding not paid to ECEs, the amount will be adjusted accordingly through the claims payment process. Eligibility for ongoing funding may be terminated.

Failure to comply with the terms set out in the agreement and this funding guide may result in the recovery of the funding.

  • The program must retain a copy of its submitted professional development funding request form, and all receipts supporting the professional development grant payments made to the program.
  • Receipts must indicate the same expenditure that was claimed and must match the ECE’s or program’s name, amount of payment and payment date as was submitted on the professional development funding request form.
  • Any funding that is paid without supporting receipts, not transferred to the ECE, or not used as approved on the professional development funding request form, must be reported using the program funding adjustment form at alberta.ca/online-child-care-claims-system.aspx.
  • The professional development grant is not taxable.
  • If programs receive the release time grant payments:
    • The release time funding is paid to programs as a grant but when the program transfers this funding to their ECE employee, payments fall under the definition of “wage” in Alberta’s Employment Standards Code. As such, the program must administer this funding as a wage in accordance with all applicable legislation.
    • According to the Alberta Employment Standards Code, employers must pay at least the minimum wage. They must also pay to ECE the legislated vacation and general holiday pay on both the employee’s base wage and the wage covered through the release time grant funding. Information about the Employment Standards Code is available at www.alberta.ca/employment-standards.aspx.
    • The employer is also responsible to pay the legislated premiums on the wage covered through the release time grant that includes Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and Worker’s Compensation Board premiums.
    • For licensed family day home agencies, the release time grant paid to family day home educators must be identified as income and administered according to all applicable legislation.
    • Programs must reflect the release time grant funding payments as a provincial government contribution on paystubs.
    • Programs must report any unused or incorrectly reported funding using the program funding adjustment form.

What types of training costs are covered?

Professional development funding helps offset tuition fees and required course textbooks for approved post-secondary coursework. For educators certified as an Early Childhood Educator Level 1 or 2, this coursework should lead to a higher level of certification. For those at Level 3, this coursework should strengthen leadership, management, pedagogical leadership, administration, and early childhood education skills and knowledge.

Professional development funding may also be used to offset the cost of tuition fees, conference and workshop fees related to early learning and child care that have been approved by the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program. Please email the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program at cs.childcarefunding@gov.ab.ca to find out whether the course/conference/workshop you are interested in is eligible for professional development funding.

Professional development funding may not be requested if another grant or bursary has been awarded for the same purpose.

What types of training costs are not covered?

Expenses not covered by professional development:

  • Accommodations, meals, alcohol, and travel costs
  • Additional fees charged by an educational institution
  • Non-approved courses, workshops or conferences (i.e., those not related to child development or not approved by the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program)
  • Language proficiency assessments (CELPIP/IELTS)
  • English as a Second Language coursework
  • First-Aid training and food safety courses
  • Resource books and materials not part of registered coursework

Professional development funding may not be requested if another grant or bursary has been awarded for the same purpose.

Who is eligible for PD funding?

The professional development grant funding is for ECEs who are paid employees or contracted family day home educators of eligible child care programs who:

  •  Provide direct child care, including as program supervisors (as defined in the Early Learning and Child Care Regulation), as well as individuals hired by licensed family day home agencies as agency coordinators or home visitors/consultants
  •  Are certified as Early Childhood Educators, Level 1, 2 or 3
  •  Are Canadian citizens or official Permanent Residents of Canada
  •  Have worked at least 29 hours in at least one month from the date of the expenditure or the date the application was received
  •  Have submitted a Professional Development Funding Request Form from https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-child-caregrant-funding-program.aspx and made a payment for the course, workshop, or conference within the same fiscal year (April to March)

Brain Story Reimbursement FAQ

For all other inquiries please contact us via email at brainstory@aecea.ca. AECEA staff will do their best to respond as soon as possible.

Am I eligible to receive funding for the Brain Story certification course time?

If you work for a licensed and approved program and have successfully completed this course between February 25, 2022 and March 31, 2024, you are eligible to receive funding for the 20-hour course time.

How do I get reimbursed for the 20-hour Brain Story Certification course?

If you have successfully completed the Brain Story Certification course after February 25th, 2022, you can fill out the form here. Once you have completed and submitted this form, AECEA will review your application. When approved, AECEA will send this reimbursement to your program who will then distribute the funds to you. An electronic funds transfer (EFT) form will need to be submitted in the name of the organization.

I took the Brain Story Certification course a while ago and want to refresh my knowledge of this before participating in the Theory-to-Practice sessions; how do I access these modules?

All individuals who have previously completed the Brain Story Certification course can go back to the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative website and login to review the content. If you do not have this log-in information, please contact the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative directly to regain access. 

My application for reimbursement for the Brain Story Certification course was denied – why?

When filling out this form, you must upload your certificate of completion that shows a date of completion anytime between February 25, 2022 and March 31, 2024. If you have completed this certification outside of this timeframe you are not eligible to receive this funding but are welcome to participate in Part 2: Theory-to-Practice sessions. 
Note, you must hold an early childhood educator certificate (Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3) and be employed at a licensed and approved program to be eligible for funding. 

Is the Brain Story reimbursement taxable income?

Yes, the reimbursement you receive for completing the Brain Story course ($17.50 x 20 hours) is taxable income as it is considered wages. AECEA sends the amount to your program and it should be paid through your payroll. 

Contact Us

320 - 11150 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB  T5K 0C7

Phone: (780) 421-7544
Toll Free: 1 (877) 421-9937
Email: info@aecea.ca

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