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Early Childcare Assistant

Early Childcare Assistants (ECA) work alongside Early Childhood Educators to provide developmentally appropriate child care for children up to age 8.  They are employed in child care facilities, early learning centres, and school aged children programs.

Graduates of the NACC ECA program have received thorough training and practical experience in areas vital to child development and care.  Through classroom instruction, discussion, observation, group work, demonstration, assignments and evaluations, they cover theory, case studies and skills needed for childcare. Through hands-on practical opportunities and assessment they develop the necessary abilities to succeed in a childcare or early learning centre.

Topics Covered in the NACC ECA Program:

  • Role of the Childcare Worker
  • Introduction to Technology
  • Observation Skills
  • Child Development
  • Guiding Children
  • Program Planning
  • Children and Technology
  • Communication Skills
  • Health and Safety
  • Nutrition
  • First Aid and CPR

Practicum:

Graduates of the NACC ECA program have participated in a minimum of 280 hours of placement in a childcare or early learning centre.  During their placement they participate in the day-to-day activities of the centers, gaining valuable hands-on experience.  They experience the responsibilities of a childcare worker focusing on age appropriate cognitive, language, physical, emotional and social development.

NACC ECA Standard:

NACC colleges are provincially registered and regulated.  We take pride in our students’ success in the work force; after all, our students’ success is a reflection of our success as educators.  Each NACC college is dedicated to the highest standard of skills development, and programs are designed and modified to meet specific job requirements.  This means that our ECA graduates have acquired the skills, knowledge and confidence that they need to work effectively in a childcare environment.

Final ECA Examination:

The NACC final examination evaluates the theory component of the training and determines whether the candidate has met the required level of knowledge.  The external setting and marking provide unbiased and consistent evaluation, adhering to ECA standards.

NACC’s Exam Services Committee monitors and reviews the ECA examination system.  The Exam Services Committee also serves as a resource for member colleges offering support and advice for delivery of the program.

Examinations are developed by the committee with input from the childcare sector and Common Standards Group Colleges, and examinations are offered on a monthly basis.

The standardized curricula and third party examinations not only demonstrate NACC’s commitment to promote national standards but also facilitate credit transfer and mobility for students seeking further qualifications.

NACC Certificate and Pin:

Successful students are awarded a numbered certificate and a correspondingly-numbered pin identifying the graduate as having successfully passed the theory portion of the ECA program.

Why You Should Hire an NACC Early Childcare Assistant Program Graduate:

Benefits to potential employers hiring graduates of the Common Standards Group Early Childcare Assistant Program include:

  • Assurance that graduates have been trained to meet established learning outcomes and program standards
  • Assurance that the graduate has the knowledge required to do the job as verified by third party testing
  • Assurance that the skills required to do the job have been verified prior to graduation

Key Elements of the Program:

Entrance Requirements:

  • Grade 12 (college or university track) from a Canadian High School or equivalent as determined by an approved test
  • Literacy Test to be completed by all applicants
  • Mathematical aptitude test
  • Medical Certificate attesting to fitness to undertake the program, up to date immunizations
  • Standard First Aid and Basic Rescuer CPR
  • Police Check of Criminal Record – must include Vulnerable Sector Check.
  • Interview + 2 references from employers or volunteer work in early child care field.

Program Length:

  • 455 hours classroom instruction
  • 490 practicum placement

Instructor Requirements:

  • Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education with minimum of 5 years current working experience in Canada and current membership in the provincial association for Early Childhood Educators
  • OR an Early Childhood Educator Diploma from a registered college in Canada with a minimum of 5 years current experience in Canada as an ECE and current membership in the provincial association for Early Childhood Educators

Text books:

  • Student textbooks and resources are listed in the NACC ECA Information package
  • NACC ECA Skills Handbook

NACC Final Theory Examination:

  • Students write the final theory examination at the end of the program.  There is a maximum of 3 writings.  Certificate and pin are awarded to those who pass the exam.

For a complete list of member colleges offering the NACC Early Childcare Assistant (ECA) program, click here.