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NOC Code: NOC Code: 4214b Occupation: Early Childhood Educators and Assistants
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Early childhood educators plan and organize activities for pre-school and school age children. Early childhood educator assistants provide care and guidance to pre-school children under the supervision of early childhood educators. Early childhood educators and assistants lead children in activities to stimulate and develop their intellectual, physical and emotional growth. They are employed in child-care centres, kindergartens, nursery schools, agencies for exceptional children, and other environments where early childhood education services are provided, or they may be self-employed. Early childhood educators who are supervisors are included in this group. Early childhood educators plan and organize activities for pre-school and school age children. Early childhood educator assistants provide care and guidance to pre-school children under the supervision of early childhood educators. Early childhood educators and assistants lead children in activities to stimulate and develop their intellectual, physical and emotional growth. They are employed in child-care centres, kindergartens, nursery schools, agencies for exceptional children, and other environments where early childhood education services are provided, or they may be self-employed. Early childhood educators who are supervisors are included in this group.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4 5
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read instructions and warnings on product labels. For example, read about side effects on medication labels, and instructions on labels of cleaning products to ensure proper use. (1)
  • Read notes from parents and entries in logbooks. For example, read notes from parents to learn about children's allergies and to review directions for administering medications. Read entries in daily logbooks for information about staff and student absences, special requests from parents and upcoming meetings. (1)
  • Read instructional plans. For example, early childhood educator assistants read instructional plans to become familiar with curriculum topics and activities. Supervisors read teachers' instructional plans to ensure they comply with curriculum expectations. (2)
  • Read letters and memos. For example, read letters from parents expressing concern with children's behaviours and memos from supervisors about staff meeting agendas, speech therapists' schedules and upcoming inspections. (2)
  • Read minutes of various meetings. For example, read about future directions of programs and related community initiatives in minutes of boards of directors' meetings. Read minutes from early childhood education advisory committee meetings. (2)
  • Read newsletters and trade magazines. For example, read organizations' and professional associations' newsletters to remain knowledgeable about changes such as increases in fees and reports of special events and new developments in early childhood education practices. Read articles in Young Children and Parenting magazines on topics such as healthy eating habits for toddlers and bullying. (3)
  • Read policy and procedure manuals, curriculum and instruction guides, legislation and contracts. For example, educators read manuals outlining their responsibilities, professional ethics, equipment maintenance and procedures for handling illness and allergic reactions. They read curriculum and instructional guides when planning programs and making adaptations for children with special needs and second language requirements. Supervisors read the Day Nurseries Act and legislation outlining child-to-educator ratios for each age group, subsidy guidelines for eligible children and compliance requirements for fire and emergencies. Educators and assistants may read union contract clauses stipulating hours of work, days allocated for vacations, bereavement, maternity and family emergencies, and grievance procedures. (4)
  • Read articles in journals and textbooks. For example, read articles on autism, development of expression, creativity and psychomotor skills in young children in Early Childhood Educator Journal. Read textbooks to increase knowledge of behavioural problems, causes, observable symptoms and intervention strategies, and child developmental stages of intelligence and personality. (5)
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Writing
  • Write reminder notes. For example, write notes to remember time commitments and changes to lesson plans. Early childhood education assistants note children's comments to use for artwork captions. (1)
  • Write short letters and memos. For example, early childhood educator supervisors and teachers write to parents informing them of earthquake procedures, upcoming field trips, asking for volunteers and donations for projects. Supervisors and teachers write reference letters for student teachers and letters to speech therapists regarding children's language difficulties. Supervisors write memos to staff outlining changes to procedures. (2)
  • Write descriptions and explanations on accident reporting and evaluation forms. For example, describe what occurred, who was involved and what actions were taken when completing incident reporting forms. Write evaluation reports on practicum students in which the quality of students' instructional skills are outlined and the challenges encountered and may provide recommendations for further placements and certification. Early childhood educators record their observations of children's progress, interactions and behavioural concerns when completing report cards. (2)
  • Write notes to co-workers and parents. For example, early childhood education assistants describe children's lunch break activities in notes to parents. Early childhood educators write notes to inform other staff about parents' concerns. They write notes to parents informing them about forms to be completed. Supervisors write notes approving requests for vacation time. (2)
  • Write learning plans. For example, early childhood educators may write annual program overviews and daily learning plans outlining activities and specifying learning resources and special equipment needed. (3)
  • Write articles for school newsletters. For example, write summaries of school program goals, special events such as field trips, and suggestions for additional activities to be completed at home. Write short articles on timely topics such as changes to child care funding. (3)
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Document Use
  • Locate information in lists and tables. For example, scan lists for contact information, names of people authorized to pick up children and students' ages, birthdates, emergency contacts, allergies and medications. Scan lists of songs, books and classroom activities to identify those appropriate for different age groups. Locate classroom activities and scheduled holidays on calendars and verify attendance on monthly schedules. (1)
  • Scan labels on various products, For example, identify ingredients which may cause allergic reactions on snack labels, confirm colours on packaged paper labels and recommended dosage amounts on prescription medicines. (1)
  • Complete forms. For example, record dates and times, and sign forms such as fire drill logs, records of diaper changes and administration of medication forms. Enter quantities and product descriptions on supply order forms and personal data on course registration, licensing renewal, and expense reimbursement forms and timesheets. Supervisors and teachers record children's names and language proficiency test results, complete evaluation reports for practicum students and grant applications for supplementary funding. (2)
  • Scan forms to locate and verify data. For example, scan permission forms such as field trip consent and medical treatment for signatures and to see if parents have checked the 'allergies' boxes. Review admission, registration, immunization and pick-up authorization forms. Supervisors scan applications for open positions to verify applicants' qualifications and experience. (2)
  • Locate and integrate data in large and complicated tables. For example, early childhood educators refer to tables displaying developmental characteristics such as motor skills and language acquisition for each age group. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use Internet search engines to research topics and activities for the classrooms. Access professional development calendars and research articles on early childhood education websites. (2)
  • Use communication software to send email to parents reminding them of items needed for special projects and upcoming field trips. (2)
  • Use graphic software. For example, use image-editing programs such as Photoshop to scan and save photographs. (2)
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, supervisors of early childhood educators may create spreadsheets to organize children's and parents' contact information and track children's attendance, progress and payment of fees. (3)
  • Use word processing. For example, early childhood educators may use word processing to create a variety of short documents such as checklists, tracking forms, memos and letters to parents. They write progress reports and create newsletters using advanced features of these programs. They may insert clip art and photos in newsletters. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Listen to announcements over intercoms and parents' messages on voicemail systems. (1)
  • Reassure and comfort children who are upset due to illness and separation from their parents. For example, hold and comfort children who are not feeling well. Distract children's attention by drawing them into a variety of activities when parents are departing. (2)
  • Teach children and guide them through learning activities. For example, teach concepts and themes such as the alphabet, counting, colours, weather, animals and the seasons. Engage children in conversations and listen to children's interactions with each other. (2)
  • Discuss behaviours with children and try to have them take responsibility for their actions. For example, speak to children about their actions and behaviours, explain and demonstrate why the actions are inappropriate and provide suggestions on how to manage emotions. (2)
  • Organize and lead discussions of children's progress with parents, caregivers and guardians. For example, discuss children's progress and behaviours and may have to tell parents they need to refer their children to speech therapists and behaviour modification counsellors. (3)
  • Present information to co-workers and colleagues. For example, early childhood educators may present information to their colleagues on new approaches to instruction during staff meetings and training sessions. Supervisors of early childhood educators may present information on admission policies and special programs to small groups of parents. Supervisors lead parent advisory committee discussions about changes to government regulations and report on budgets, staffing and programs. (3)
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers and colleagues. For example, discuss daily schedules and learning activities with assistants. Assign tasks such as preparing snacks, sanitizing toys and attending to individual children to volunteers. Exchange ideas on learning activities with colleagues and seek advice on ways to deal with difficult children's behaviours. Early childhood educators and supervisors may explain tasks to practicum students, plan learning activities with them, respond to their questions and provide criticism of their performances. (3)
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Money Math
  • Purchase classroom supplies using cash and credit cards. For example, early childhood educators and assistants purchase snacks, paper goods and educational materials such as puzzles, games and seasonal supplies. (1)
  • Total monies collected. For example, total monies collected for field trips and special events and activities. (2)
  • Confirm calculations on suppliers' invoices. For example, early childhood educators and supervisors confirm totals of purchases, applied discounts and taxes on invoices prior to approving payment. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Create schedules of learning activities to meet educational program goals. For example, early childhood educators create monthly learning schedules which they divide into weekly plans and daily lessons. They allocate varying numbers of short time blocks for various learning and recreational activities and adjust schedules frequently to accommodate children's learning needs. (2)
  • Create staff schedules. For example, supervisors of early childhood educators plan annual shift schedules for full and part-time staff. They adjust schedules to accommodate staff absences and vacation leaves. (2)
  • Compare costs of programs and purchases to determine best value. For example, supervisors of early childhood educators compare costs of their programs and services to competitors while the educators and assistants compare costs of snack foods, supplies and materials. (2)
  • Create and monitor budgets of small educational facilities and programs. For example, supervisors of early childhood educators plan operational budgets and allocate funds for staffing, classroom resources and field trips. They record regular and overtime hours and monitor expenditures which may require budget adjustments. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure volumes, weights, heights and temperatures. For example, early childhood educators and assistants measure ingredients for cooking and dosages of children's medication. They measure children's weights, heights and temperatures and read temperatures on thermometers and oven gauges. (1)
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Data Analysis
  • Manage inventories of classroom supplies. Count stock and replenish supplies as needed. (2)
  • Analyze enrolment data. For example, early childhood educator supervisors compare numbers of children enrolled and applicants on wait lists to previous years, morning to afternoon attendances and calculate male-to-female ratios. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate quantities of materials required to complete teaching activities. For example, estimate the numbers of building blocks required for children to build play houses. (1)
  • Estimate times required to complete activities. For example, early childhood educators estimate times needed for children to achieve learning goals and complete activities such as puzzles and drawings. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Early childhood educators plan a variety of job tasks to meet program goals and children's learning needs on a daily basis. They may have to adjust their plans to ensure children are continuously engaged. Supervisors of early childhood educators assign tasks and duties to assistants, teachers' aides and parent volunteers. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Select a wide range of sanctions and rewards for employees you supervise. For example, supervisors of early childhood educators may decide to terminate staff whose performance is substandard. They make their decisions in accordance with union contracts and provincial labour regulations. They may write letters of commendation and recommend pay raises for employees who demonstrate superior skills and behaviours. (3)
  • Determine admissions. For example, supervisors of early childhood educators may admit children to their programs. They follow established procedures, give priority to families with children currently registered, review wait list positions and consider special needs requirements. (3)
  • Select learning activities, programs of studies and interventions for children in your care. For example, choose learning activities which align with the seasons and with holidays such as Thanksgiving. Determine timelines, pacing for activities. Select learning resources such as books, games and puzzles and activities such as field trips, role playing, singing and drawing to engage children. Decide to use specific language programs to develop introductory communication skills. Decide to refer children to speech therapists when severe speech abnormalities are observed. Refer children to social services when abuse and neglect is suspected. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Find that activity schedules are disrupted when equipment is broken and unsafe. Order replacements for broken items and organize activities which use other toys and games. For example, when bad weather and shoddy maintenance make outdoor playground equipment unsafe, use indoor gymnasiums and nearby parks for physical activities. (1)
  • Find that unfamiliar people want to pick up children. Review names on authorized pick-up forms. If necessary, contact parents to receive further directions and permission to release their children. (1)
  • Staff and volunteers don't show up for work and there are large groups of children that need supervision. Ask school aides to help and contact substitute teachers and assistants. Reassign duties to cover areas as needed and ask parents to remain to maintain proper ratios of adults to children. (2)
  • Find that children are unmanageable and learning activities cannot be completed. Attempt to engage them using other toys and alternate activities. Consider isolating misbehaving and aggressive children, explaining expected behaviours and assigning appropriate consequences. It may be necessary to call parents when children's behaviour is unmanageable. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about teaching resources and methods by reading manuals, consulting co-workers and searching for specific topics on the Internet. (3)
  • Find information about particular children by observing their interactions, reviewing their files and speaking to co-workers and parents. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate children's progress. For example, early childhood educators assess children's drawing abilities using evaluation grids. They assess linguistic development by observing children's understanding of questions and their ability to name colours and use correct pronunciation. They monitor children's abilities to complete personal hygiene tasks to acceptable standards. (2)
  • Evaluate the safety of learning and recreation activities, environments and equipment. For example, when staff are not available to supervise and ratios of adults to children are too low, supervisors of early childhood educators close equipment such as playground slides. (3)
  • Assess children's physical well-being and emotional health. For example, to identify impending asthma attacks, ask children to describe how they are feeling and observe physical symptoms such as redness of the face and breathing difficulties. Study children's body language, interactions with others and overall demeanour when assessing their emotional wellness. (3)
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