The Challenge

In 2009, the Child Care Human Resources Sector Council (CCHRSC) sought to revise occupational standards for Early Childhood Educators to reflect the skills, knowledge and abilities of today’s practitioners. Upon development of the standards, the CCHRSC envisioned a workshop to promote the practical use of the occupational standards among sector stakeholders. The Council also recognized the need to conduct a training gap analysis to determine where curricula or professional development initiatives should be developed or expanded. This analysis would encompass the full scope of the newly-identified core role of Early Childhood Educators in Canada.

The Solution

The Competency Group conducted a two-phase project consisting of developing updated occupational standards for Early Childhood Educators (OS for ECEs) and conducting a post-secondary education training gap analysis. To develop the OS for ECEs, The Competency Group consulted with over 1000 ECEs from across the country through national development workshops, regional validation workshops in both English and French, key informant interviews, and online survey responses from across the country. This consultation with sector stakeholders resulted in occupational standards that are reflective of ECEs working with children aged 0-12 years in a variety of settings and groupings.

To obtain a copy of the occupational standards developed by The Competency Group, complete the request form on the CCHHRSC website.

In addition, our team developed the “How To Use the OS for ECEs” user guide, video , and interactive workshop series that have been delivered in 12 locations across the country and online.

The Competency Group also conducted a detailed training gap analysis of post-secondary education of ECEs across Canada. Our team conducted extensive consultation with faculty from across the country through online and face-to-face workshops and an online survey to identify key training needs; prioritize training gaps; and identify practical ways for various sector stakeholders to address these gaps.

The Outcome

Through The Competency Group’s research, the CCHRSC was able to:

  • Provide the child care sector with current and relevant occupational standards for Early Childhood Educators[1];
  • Educate sector stakeholders regarding the use of the occupational standards for Early Childhood Educators; and
  • Identify practical recommendations to address training and professional development needs of Early Childhood Educators.


[1] For more information, visit the CCHRSC website and follow the Occupational Standards for ECEs link.