What credentials do I need to work in childcare?

Perhaps you worked as a childcare professional in your home country or maybe you want to join our team at CIES. Whatever your background or reason, there is a growing demand for childcare workers in Canada. This is because a large number of single-parent families and parents are taking on multiple jobs to support their families. In fact, almost half of all parents in Canada have used childcare services. How then should you go about getting into the field and what credentials do you need?

The Basics

Wherever you go, there are a series of standards that you should keep in mind. While the following are not the only credentials you’ll need, they are the most basic.

Health and Safety
  • TB/TD vaccination report is only required for innovative childcare. Most typical centres do not require it. If they do, it must be renewed every 10 years
  • First aid/CPR, renewed every 3 years
  • Food and Safety certificate, renewed every 3 years, unless otherwise stated on the certificate
Criminal Background Checks
  • Criminal background check including a vulnerable sector check (done within the last 6 months) OR;
  • A receipt to show that you have started the process
  • A new criminal background check is required every 3-5 years depending on the type of centre.
  • The process can be done online at https://policeinformationcheck.calgarypolice.ca/
Child Development Assistant

To receive these credentials you must have:

  • Completed the Childcare Orientation Course (Alberta Government sponsored course); OR
  • Completed CCS 3110, 3120, 3130, 3140, and 3150 offered through Alberta high schools; OR
  • Completed a 3 credit (45 hour) college/university-level course related to child development; OR
  • Completed the Step Ahead Family Day Home Training or Family Child Care Training Program. This must be done through an approved Alberta Family Day Home Agency registered with the Alberta Family Child Care Association.
Child Development Worker

To receive these credentials you must have:

  • Completed a one-year Early Learning and Child Care certificate program offered by an Alberta public college or university; OR
  • Completed an equivalent level of training (refer to the Equivalencies Charts at www.humanservices.alberta.ca/certification); OR
  • Successfully completed the Life Experience Equivalency Process (LEEP)
Child Development Supervisor

To receive these credentials you must have:

  • Completed a two-year Early Learning and Child Care diploma program offered by an Alberta public college; OR
  • Completed an equivalent level of training (refer to the Equivalencies Charts on the website at www.humanservices.alberta.ca/certification)

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Thanks to Tanis Hykaway for help with this guide. If you want to suggest a correction to this guide, or want to submit one of your own, please contact us.