Early Childhood Educators and Assistants

(NOC 4214)

in All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Early childhood educators plan, organize and implement programs for children between the ages of infancy and 12 years. Early childhood educator assistants provide care for infants and preschool- to school-age children under the guidance of early childhood educators. They work for regulated child-care centres, family home day care agencies, pre-primary programs, early intervention programs, family resource centres, and other settings where early childhood education services are provided. Supervisors of early childhood educators and assistants are included in this group.

Job Outlook

Good

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  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 320 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

  • Estimate 770 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

In March, daycares were closed by the provincial government to limit the spread of COVID-19. Many early childhood educators (ECEs) were laid off and training programs were suspended to avoid adding unnecessarily to the number of unemployed jobseekers. Daycares were later permitted to reopen, but enrolment was slow to rebound for a variety of reasons, creating revenue challenges for some operators. Some have chosen to shut down altogether, laying off staff permanently. In some areas of the province, daycares that have remained in operation have encountered a shortage of certified ECEs to fill job vacancies. There is a larger than usual need for substitutes, as regular staff must stay home if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. In some cases, this shortage is alleviated by hiring.

The multi-year rollout of the provincial government’s pre-primary program wrapped up in the fall of 2020. The program employs 850 ECEs, increasing overall demand. The program’s creation resulted in openings in the private sector as well, as some daycare employees moved to the public pre-primary program. There are typically many job vacancies in this occupation, with openings occurring all over the province. This is due in part to a high rate of turnover among ECEs.

The median employment income for the 43% of Early Childhood Educators and Assistants who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $29,141. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median employment income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.95

Minimum

$17.00

Median

$23.08

Maximum

Annual Pay

$3,119

Minimum

$20,817

Median

$35,707

Maximum

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Hourly Pay

$14.74

Minimum

$33.28

Median

$46.76

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Early childhood educators plan, organize and implement programs for children between the ages of infancy and 12 years. Early childhood educator assistants provide care for infants and preschool- to school-age children under the guidance of early childhood educators. They work for regulated child-care centres, family home day care agencies, pre-primary programs, early intervention programs, family resource centres, and other settings where early childhood education services are provided. Supervisors of early childhood educators and assistants are included in this group.

Job duties

Early childhood educators:

  • Plan, implement, and assess developmentally appropriate indoor and outdoor learning environments for young children.
  • Design programs based on an in-depth knowledge of child development and the observed needs of children.
  • Create and carry out a daily routine that incorporates child-directed activity, care routines and transition times.
  • Help children express themselves by listening and responding with questions or comments that extend conversations.
  • Use a variety of teaching techniques that include modelling, observing, questioning, demonstrating, and reinforcing.
  • Use knowledge of child development and developmentally appropriate strategies to guide children’s behaviour.
  • Plan and carry out experiences that promote an understanding of a variety of cultures and value systems.
  • Provide play materials and experiences that promote diversity and acceptance in interactions and attitudes.
  • Participate in short- and long-term program planning and evaluation.

Early childhood educator assistants:

  • Support early childhood educators in carrying out programs that promote the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of children.
  • Engage children in activities by telling stories, singing, and preparing activities.
  • Prepare snacks and arrange rooms or furniture for lunch and rest periods.
  • Help with proper eating, dressing and toilet habits.
  • Discuss observations on children with early childhood educators or supervisors.
  • Maintain daycare equipment and assist in housekeeping and cooking duties.
  • Attend staff meetings.
  • May assist early childhood educators or supervisors in keeping records.

Sample job titles

  • childcare staff
  • daycare director
  • daycare teacher
  • daycare worker
  • early childhood assistant
  • early childhood education worker
  • early childhood educator (E.C.E.)
  • early childhood educator assistant
  • nursery school teacher
  • preschool helper

Skills

You should have an interest in child development and enjoy working with children. Good health and physical stamina are needed. You must be patient, imaginative, resourceful, and have the ability to work cooperatively with a team. The ability to communicate ideas in a clear, concise, and pleasant manner is also necessary.

Job requirements

Early childhood educators:

  • A two-year college program in early childhood education or a bachelor's degree in child development is required.
  • Licensing by the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development is required for work in regulated child care in Nova Scotia.

Early childhood educator assistants:

  • High school is required.
  • An early childhood education assistant certificate program or post-secondary courses in early childhood education may be required.

Other considerations

Self-employment and part-time work are both relatively common for this group. Experience in child care is required for early childhood educator assistants. Movement to senior positions like daycare supervisor, is possible with several years of experience or with experience and advanced ECE qualification levels.

By the numbers

Quick look

3,800

employed in 2016

70.1%

employed full-time

12.5%

self employed

96.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
3.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
37.8

median age

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

55,420

employed in 2016

76.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

64.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

54.2%

Halifax

12.3%

Annapolis Valley

12.2%

North Shore

11.5%

Southern

9.9%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

85.7%

Health care and social assistance

10.7%

Educational services

2.4%

Other services (except public administration)

0.6%

Public administration

0.3%

Retail trade

What is the age of Employment?

25.0%

25-34

23.0%

35-44

21.0%

45-54

19.0%

15-24

11.0%

55-64

2.0%

65+

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

24.2%

35-44

22.7%

45-54

21.4%

25-34

17.2%

55-64

8.4%

15-24

Top levels of education

46.7%

College Diploma

$25,081 median annual income
19.5%

High school

$13,311 median annual income
17.8%

Bachelor

$21,337 median annual income
5.8%

Less than high school

$6,297 median annual income
4.6%

Apprenticeship

$22,251 median annual income

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

28.9%

Bachelor

$45,929 median annual income
21.2%

College Diploma

$35,398 median annual income
16.8%

Master

$71,043 median annual income
14.6%

High school

$29,055 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$100,443 median annual income

Education & training

Child development

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This program engages students in practical training and theoretical explorations in child and youth work, early childhood education, as well as early intervention and inclusive development.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Early childhood education and teaching

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This program prepares students to work with young children ranging in age from birth to 12 years, in a variety of early learning and childcare settings.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education Society

6208 Quinpool Road, 2nd Floor

Halifax, NS B3L 1A3

(902) 423-7114

Island Career Academy

721 Alexandra Street

Sydney, NS B1S 2H4

(902) 564-6112

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Jane Norman College (Truro)

60 Lorne Street, Suite 1

Truro, NS B2N 3K3

(902) 893-3342

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Unit 37, 115 Chain Lake Drive

Halifax, NS B3S 1B3

(877) 491-6774

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Early Childhood Educator

Special Requirements: The Day Care Regulations identify training qualifications for this job in Nova Scotia. A license to practice (classification) is a legal requirement to work in a licensed childcare centre, family home day care agency or pre-primary program.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Department of Education & Early Childhood Development - Early Years Branch
PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

Contacts

St. John Ambulance - NS, PEI
72 Highfield Park Drive
Dartmouth, NS B3A 4X2
Tel: (902) 463-5646
Fax: (902) 469-9609

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.