Glossary for Parents/Public | Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta

Glossary for Parents/Public

Many of these glossary definitions are from other reliable/credible websites and have been adapted in hopes that they are family-friendly and specific to Alberta guidelines.

Early Learning and Child Care Regulations

Level 1 Early Childhood Educator (formerly Child Development Assistant)

Level 1 Early Childhood Educators (formerly Child Development Assistant) with this qualification have one of the following: 

  • one specified high school or college course 
  • a 54-hour government sponsored orientation course
  • an approved family day home provider training course or 
  • have been granted an equivalency from the government of Alberta based on their previous training
  • For more information: Child Care Staff Certification Guide

*Children's Services website - February 22, 2021 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (February 2021))

Level 2 Early Childhood Educator (formerly Child Development Worker)

Level 2 Early Childhood Educators (formerly Child Development Worker) with this qualification have either:

  • completed a one year Early Learning And Child Care certificate program at an Alberta college or 
  • have been granted an equivalency from the government of Alberta based on previous training.  
  • For more information: Child Care Staff Certification Guide

*Children's Services website - February 22, 2021 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (February 2021))

Level 3 Early Childhood Educator (formerly Child Development Supervisor)

Level 3 Early Childhood Educators (formerly Child Development Supervisor) with this qualification have:

  • completed at least a two year Early Learning and Child Care diploma program at an Alberta college or 
  • have been granted an equivalency from the government of Alberta based on previous training. 
  • Educators with Level 3 qualifications may also hold a degree, masters, or PhD in fields closely related to Early Learning and Child Care. 
  • For more information: Child Care Staff Certification Guide

*Children's Services website - February 22, 2021 (Child Care Staff Certification Guide (February 2021))

Educator/Early Childhood Educator/Early Childhood Practitioner

Individuals with specialized knowledge, skills and competencies who can work either in a child care centre, out of school program, preschool program or in family child care. Formerly known as a caregiver/ daycare worker or child care provider.

Family Day Home or Family Child Care

Care provided in an individual’s private residence. The educator can provide care for up to 6 children at one time, not including their own children. Children of all ages may participate in approved family day homes.

The program may or may not be licensed/regulated and educators may or may not have early childhood education qualifications. 

Licensed Facility-Based Daycare

Also referred to as Early Learning and Child Care. Licensed facility-based daycare programs provide care and programming for infants, preschool children, and kindergarten children for four or more consecutive hours in each day the program is provided. Daycares may serve from birth to kindergarten. 

Licensed Capacity

Licensed capacity refers to the maximum number of children allowed to be in a licensed or regulated child care program or setting at any one time.

Licensing Inspection

Children’s Services licensing staff inspect licensed child care programs at least twice per year. Additional inspections also may occur to investigate critical incidents, to respond to complaints about the program, and to ensure that corrective action was taken in response to identified violations of the legislation. Inspections are coded on the Child Care Lookup Tool (http://www.humanservices.alberta.ca/oldfusion/ChildCareLookup.cfm) as follows:

Inspection or visit type

Program type

Purpose

Incident Report

Licensed Child Care & Contracted Approved Family Day Home Agency

Approved Family Day Home Agencies and Licensed Child Care programs are required to complete incidents reports. An investigation will occur. Any non-compliances as a result of the incident will be listed and enforcement actions.

Initial License Inspection

Licensed Child Care

Conducted to determine the eligibility of an applicant for an initial license.

Complaint Investigation

Licensed Child Care & Contracted Approved Family Day Home Agency

An inspection/visit conducted in response to a complaint about a child care program. The inspection is typically done as part of the investigation into the complaint.

Renewal License Inspection

Licensed Child Care

An inspection conducted to determine the eligibility of an applicant for a renewal license.

Consultation

Licensed Child Care & Contracted Approved Family Day Home Agency

An inspection conducted to provide consultation on improving practices or to provide information to a program and its staff.

Follow-up to Enforcement Action/Non-Compliance

Licensed Child Care & Contracted Approved Family Day Home Agency

An inspection conducted to determine if a program has complied with an enforcement action.

Provider Review

Approved Family Day Home Agency

A visit to a Family Day Home provider by the Family Day Home Agency Consultant to determine if the provider is complying with provincial standards

Agency Review

Approved Family Day Home Agency

A visit to a Family Day Home Agency by regional licensing staff to determine if the agency is complying with provincial standards.

Licensed Facility-Based Out of School Care (or Afterschool or School Age Care programs or OOSC)

Licensed programs that serve children and youth ages 5 - 12 during non-instructional time, including non-school days, before and after school hours, non-instructional days, and school holidays. These programs encompass and promote a broad range of focus areas including social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and cognitive development and range in program delivery and philosophy. Out of school care programs promote positive social relationships with peers, School Age Educators, community and families by providing a safe and nurturing environment for children.

Licensed Facility-Based Preschool

Licensed child care program provided to preschool-aged children and kindergarten-aged children for up to 4-hours per day per child. Preschools may serve children who are at least 19 months old to kindergarten.

Unlicensed Child Care

Child care programs that have not been licensed nor are regulated by the province of Alberta therefore, not monitored by a set of standards that ensure safety and quality are maintained. 

Early Learning and Child Care Programming

Curriculum

“Curriculum is the whole range of experiences, planned and unplanned, direct and indirect, that occurs within an environment designed to foster learning.”(Makovichuk, et.al., 2014, p.142)
Retrieved from: www.flightframework.ca
 

Curriculum Framework

“May include principles, values, and goals of the program, as well as program standards and guidelines through which educators support children’s learning.” (Makovichuk, et.al., 2014, p.143)

In early learning, it is typically used to describe curriculum. Flight: Alberta’s Early Learning and Care Framework is Alberta’s curriculum framework.”

Retrieved from: www.flightframework.ca

Dispositions to Learn

“Refer to the manner in which a child approaches learning, individually and within groups.” Examples include: “Playing and playful, Seeking, Participating, Persisting, and Caring.”(Makovichuk, et.al., 2014, p.143)

Retrieved from: www.flightframework.ca

Equity

“Refers to ideas of fairness and social justice in order to provide different treatment or special measures for individuals or groups to ensure they have equal opportunities to succeed.”(Makovichuk, et.al., 2014, p.143)

Retrieved from: www.flightframework.ca

Flight: Alberta’s Early Learning and Care Framework

A flexible curriculum framework that some early learning and child care programs use to guide their work with children and their families. It is focused on the uniqueness of childhood, considering learning and care with broad holistic goals for children’s development and learning, highlighting the importance of play, relationships and family diversity.

Retrieved from: www.flightframework.ca

Family (Parent) Engagement

Refers to an interactive process of relationship-building between educators and families that is mutual, respectful, and responsive to the family’s language and culture.

Intercultural Competency

“the understanding that cultural differences are embedded in family practices and traditions and that this diversity is a resource for learning and strengthening early childhood communities.” (Makovichuk, et.al., 2014, p.144)

Retrieved from: www.flightframework.ca

Inclusion

Every child has the right to participate and to feel a sense of belonging. Inclusion is the idea of ensuring these rights are met by actively making choices or designing policies, programs, and physical environments so that all children, regardless of their different backgrounds or abilities, can participate actively and meaningfully within their learning environments and larger communities.

Pedagogical Documentation

“Documented moments of children and educators create the focus for pedagogical dialogue through images, child-made artifacts, and recorded words.” (Makovichuk, et.al., 2014, p.145)

“A tool of meaning making—for reflecting on and revealing the way people look at and think about early childhood practices.” (Makovichuk, et.al., 2014, p.145)

Retrieved from: www.flightframework.ca

Scaffolding

Informed by Vygotsky’s theories whereby an educator’s decisions, actions, and interactions build on the children’s existing knowledge and skills to enhance their learning. (Makovichuk, et.al., 2014, p.146)

Retrieved from: www.flightframework.ca

Strength-based

An approach that recognizes and values children and families unique strengths that may include, their interests, cultural backgrounds and personal resources.

Children’s Development

Cognitive Development

The process by which the brain develops the abilities to learn and remember. 
Retrieved from: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=ue5462

Also can be referred to as thinking skills—learning, understanding, problem-solving, reasoning, and remembering.
For more information: https://www.healthyparentshealthychildren.ca/
For more information: www.caringforkids.cps.ca/

Developmental Stages

Development happens in stages which is a period of time when a child is typically learning specific skills or tasks. Each stage of development builds upon the stage that came before it.

Emotional Development

The process of developing feelings and learning how to handle them appropriately. Every child has emotional needs. 

Retrieved from: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=hw250018

Fine Motor Skills

Skills that use the small muscles in the hands and fingers. They develop over time and also involve hand-eye coordination. Examples include using hands to eat, draw, dress, play, and write. 

Retrieved from: www.caringforkids.cps.ca

Gross Motor Skills

Skills that use the movements of the body’s large muscles. Examples include sitting, standing, walking, running, keeping balance, and changing positions.

Retrieved from: www.caringforkids.cps.ca

Holistic Development

A term that refers to all areas of development at once. Holistic development looks at the child as a whole and recognizes that all areas of development are very much related and intertwined

Physical Development

The process of growth in height and weight throughout the body. Includes Fine Motor Skills and Gross Motor skills.

For more information: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/

Social Skills

Connecting and having relationships with others. It includes cooperating, and responding to others' feelings. 

For more information: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/

Temperament

Temperament is each person's unique way of thinking, behaving, and reacting to other people and situations. Although every person is different, basic patterns of temperament exist.

For more information: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/

Resiliency

The ability to bounce back from adversity or challenging times.

For more information: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=hw250018
For more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm6Bf7JwK4g

Specialized Services or Child Care Supports

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Focuses on fine motor skills, visual-motor skills, perceptual skills, self-care skills, play skills, or for children who need more support with coping within their environment.

Retrieved from: albertahealthservices.ca

Physical Therapy (PT)

Focuses on gross motor skills including posture, balance, coordination, and the effect of muscles and joints on these skills.

Retrieved from: albertahealthservices.ca

Speech-Language Therapy (SLP)

Focuses on assessment and treatment of communication and feeding/swallowing development issues.

Retrieved from: albertahealthservices.ca

 

 

AECEA would like to thank The Community Initiatives Program (CIP)  for the Project-Based grant awarded in 2019 to create resources and videos on quality child care for parents, early childhood educators, and the general public. AECEA would also like to thank the Alberta Early Learning and Care Leaders Caucus for their assistance and support in the creation of the videos and resources.