Earn a Qualified

Early Childhood Education Diploma

The objective of the Early Childhood Educators Qualifications Upgrade Program is to financially support individuals studying in the field, who work in Early Years settings, to obtain an ECE diploma and become eligible to apply for membership with the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE).

Financial support is available to eligible applicants in the form of an education grant, travel grant, and training allowance.

We are currently accepting all applications for the Fall 2021 semester as well as all applications for the Winter 2022 semester.

Education Grant

The education grant is available to cover tuition fees related to study in a recognized Early Childhood Education diploma. Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis once all documents required to process an application have been received. Funding is based on the number of applications received, and available funding per semester.

If you are taking your first aid training in the semester you are applying for, you must submit the following:

  • Course information
  • Proof of payment
  • Certificate of completion once available

Please see the application form for more details.

Eligibility

In addition to better meeting the needs of the child care and early years sectors across Ontario, funds under the ECE Qualifications Upgrade program will be targeted to support Francophone, First Nation, Métis and Inuit Individuals  as well as those working under a Director Approval (DA). Funding will be prioritized for Francophone, First Nation, Métis and Inuit Individuals, those with a Director Approval status or those working under a letter of permission from a school board. In order to be eligible to receive funds under the grant program, an individual must:

  • Be an employee of EarlyON Child and Family Centre or employed in a child care and family program funded under any Indigenous-led Child & Family Centres. Required 6 months of employment is exempted.
  • Special Needs Resourcing (SNR) agencies providing ongoing support to children with special needs attending licensed childcare or EarlyON settings. Required 6 months of employment is exempted.
  • Applicants who have completed the Skills Ontario Pilot for employment in child care are exempt from the required 6 months of employment.

OR

  • Individuals must work for 6 months past or present within:
    • Licensed Child Care Centres
    • Licensed Home Child Care
    • Unlicensed Home Child Care
    • Formal early learning settings, which include:
      • School Boards
      • Head Start programs
      • Private schools
      • Other formal early learning child care, child and family programs, special needs resourcing agencies or school curriculum-linked programs

NOTE: Francophone, First Nation, Métis and Inuit Individuals are exempted from the required 6 months of employment (past or present), however must have a minimum of 1 day of employment within and eligible agency.

AND

  • Be enrolled in or accepted to a recognized community college in Ontario for full-time or part-time studies towards an Early Childhood Education diploma.
  • Disclose if the applicant is receiving bursaries/grants or awards from other sources (excluding Loans).
  • Be living and/or working in Ontario.

ELIGIBILITY FOR UNLICENSED PROVIDERS

In order to be eligible to apply for the education grant, unlicensed home child care providers must meet the following:

  • Demonstrate that they operate a registered business by including the name of their business, HST and or business number in their application form.
  • Demonstrate that they have cared for children for at least 6 months through reference letters from parents and or suppliers.
  • Be enrolled in or accepted to a recognized community college in Ontario for full-time or part-time studies towards an Early Childhood Education diploma.
  • Disclose if he/she is receiving bursaries/grants or awards from other sources (excluding Loans).
  • Be legally entitled to live and work in Canada.
  • Be living and/or working in Ontario.

Application

Applications are accepted prior to every academic session. Applicants that meet all of the eligibility criteria must submit the following:

  • Completed the application for education grant form.
  • Documentation from their employer confirming their employment start date, and employment status.
  • A copy of the letter of enrollment into a recognized Early Childhood Education diploma program or a copy of their course registration documentation.
  • A copy of their tuition receipt identifying that courses have been paid for in full, that clearly states the amount paid and/or proof of payment for the deposit.

Note: Full-time applicants who are required to pay a non-refundable deposit to the College must provide proof of payment when submitting an application. If the college does not require a deposit a document from the college must indicate this information.

An application checklist detailing all requirements is included as part of the application form. Applicants pursuing part-time studies must apply prior to every semester while applications for full-time studies are only required once per academic year (2 semesters). Please be advised that the Grant Assistance Program reserves the right to request additional information for any grant requests.


APPLICATION DEADLINES

Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis once all documents required to process an application have been received. Funding is based on the number of applications received, and available funding for that semester.

Individuals are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible; preferably prior to the start of classes. Since college registration dates vary for part-time and full-time studies, funding is allocated to ensure that part-time and full-time students have equal opportunity to receive financial support. Once the available funding has been awarded for the academic session, a notice will be posted on the website and no further applications will be accepted.


APPLICATION APPROVAL

Within 4 weeks of receiving all required documents, the Program Administrator will contact the applicant, in writing to advise whether his/her application for a grant has been approved.

  • If approved, the Program Administrator sends the applicant a Grant Assistance Agreement for signature, along with a Confirmation of Payment Instruction form.
  • With a witness, the applicant signs the Grant Assistance Agreement and returns all documentation to the Program Administrator.
  • The Program Administrator signs the agreement and returns a copy to the applicant for his/her records.

GRANT PAYMENTS

The education grant is based on applicable tuition fees, minus any other grants or awards; excluding OSAP Provincial Student Loans. Payments are made once the Program Administrator receives the applicant’s signed Grant Assistance Agreement.

For full-time studies, grants are payable in two payments. The first at the beginning of the academic year, and the second payable mid-year once the applicant submits a transcript for their first semester. For part-time studies, grants are payable at the beginning of every semester.

Grant recipients will be issued a T4A slip at the end of every calendar year in which they received payment.

Application Form

Get started on the process for eligibility by completing your application for the education grant. Use the links below to apply online or download a PDF version of the form.

Travel Grant

Travel Grants are available to assist students with daily commute expenses incurred while attending classes, first aid training, and/or completing the placement component of their program. Travel Grants may also provide assistance to individuals who are required to live temporarily away from their homes to pursue their studies.

The Travel Grant amount for travel by car is determined by multiplying the kilometre rate of $0.40/km in Southern Ontario and $0.41/km in Northern Ontario by the return distance between the applicant’s home address and the educational institution location, and then by the number of days of the individual attends classes. Evidence of the distance between the education/training/placement location and the student’s home must be provided in the form of a Google map.

For travel by bus or train, a coach class economy fare is the standard for ticket purchase. Applicants must provide the estimated cost of bus or train fare with their application, along with the number of days the individual attends classes. The cost of the bus or train fare for the days that the applicant attends classes will be reimbursed. All documentation, including receipts and tickets, must be provided to the program administrator for reconciliation.

Individuals who are required to fly in order to attend courses or placements must provide the estimated cost of air fare with their application. Economy (coach) class is the standard option for ticket purchase. The cost of air fare will be reimbursed. Proof of payment with first and last name  must be provided to the program administrator for reconciliation along with the in-class attendance form.

Individuals who are required to live temporarily away from home must submit the anticipated costs of their accommodations, and indicate the number of days they will require accommodation. These individuals will receive a daily stipend for meal expenses in alignment with the government’s Travel, Meals and Hospitality Expenses Directive, multiplied by the number of days they are living away from home. Receipts for accommodation expenses must be provided to the program administrator for reconciliation.

If for any reason, a Travel Grant recipient is unable to travel for one or more of their in-class sessions, the recipient will be required to reimburse the program for the days not traveled. Reasons include but are not limited to, inclement weather, illness, and/or family circumstances.

Eligibility

FOR TRAVEL GRANTS

In order to be eligible to receive funds under the grant program, the following need apply:

  • Applicants must be approved for an education grant under this program.
  • The educational institution and or placement location must be more than 20 kilometres one-way from the applicant’s home address.

ACCOMMODATION REIMBURSEMENT

Hotel selections must be in line with the Government of Canada Accommodation Directory. Therefore applicants must ensure their hotel is listed as an acceptable accommodation by searching for their city through the directory. Proof of payment for accommodations must be provided prior to reimbursement.


MEAL ALLOWANCE

Students who must live away from home to attend their in class session may also be eligible to receive a meal allowance of $45.00 per day for the duration of the in-class session.

Application

THE PROCESS

Applicants that meet all of the eligibility criteria must submit a completed application for travel grant form. This form can be submitted with the application for education grant form, in order to expedite the approval process.


TRAVEL GRANT PAYMENT

The travel grant is determined by multiplying the kilometre rate of $0.40 per kilometre by the return distance between the applicant’s home address and the educational institution or placement location, and then by the number of days of the classes or placement.

For full-time studies, grants are payable in two equal payments, the first at the beginning of the academic year and the second payable mid-year (after one semester), once the applicant submits a transcript for the first semester. For part-time studies, grants are payable at the beginning of every semester.

Travel grant payments are deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account. The travel grant is taxable as income. Grant recipients will be issued a T4A slip at the end of every calendar year in which they received payment.

NOTE: If for any reason a travel grant recipient is unable to travel for one or more of their in class sessions, the recipient will be required to reimburse the grant program for the days not traveled. Reasons include but are not limited to, inclement weather, illness, and or family circumstances.

Application Form

Get started on the process for eligibility by completing your application for a travel grant. Use the links below to apply online or download a PDF version of the form.

Training Allowance

A training allowance is available to assist education grant recipients with living expenses and other incremental costs incurred while pursuing their Early Childhood Education diploma.

Please be advised that the Grant Assistance Program reserves the right to request additional information for any grant requests. Students may be required to submit a letter from their employer as evidence that they are no longer employed, or are employed part-time. If so, the letter must indicate the number of hours worked per week in order to receive any type of training allowance.

Eligibility

FOR TRAINING ALLOWANCE

In order to be eligible to receive a training allowance, an individual must be approved for the education grant under this program. Training allowance will be allocated as follows:

  • Full-time students who have left their employment to pursue full-time studies will receive the full training allowance in the amount of $5,000.00 per semester.
  • Full time students who remain employed will receive a $300.00 training allowance for each course taken per semester.
  • Part time students will receive a $300.00 training allowance for each course taken for minimum of $500 per semester.

Application

THE PROCESS

All approved education grant recipients (full-time and part-time) are automatically assessed for a training allowance.


TRAINING ALLOWANCE PAYMENT

For full-time studies, grant payments are separated into two equal payments; the first at the beginning of the academic year, and the second payable mid-year (after one semester), once the applicant submits a transcript for the first semester. For part-time studies, grants are payable at the beginning of every semester.

Training allowance payments are deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account. The training allowance is taxable as income. Grant recipients will be issued a T4A slip at the end of every calendar year in which they received payment.

Allowance Principle

In order to be eligible to receive a training allowance, an individual must be approved for the education grant under this program.

Eligible Programs

Financially supporting Early Childhood Educators in Ontario, to obtain their ECE Qualifications Upgrade diploma. To the right is a listing of ECE programs found within Ontario colleges that are potentially eligible for funding.

Qualifications Upgrade

Programs Breakdown

The following educational institutions have programs that may be eligible for financial support through our Qualifications Upgrade program. Click on the links below for more information.

Algonquin College

Location
Enrolment Status
Ottawa Campus Full-Time | Part-Time
Ottawa Campus Intensive
Pembroke Campus Full-Time | Part-Time
Perth Campus Full-Time | Part-Time

Cambrian College

Location
Enrolment Status
Barrydowne Campus Full-Time | Part-Time
Barrydown Campus Full-Time | Flex Learning

Canadore College

Location
Enrolment Status
Stanford Campus Full-Time (2 years)
College Drive Campus Full-Time (2 years)
College Drive Campus Accelerated
Thunder Bay Campus
(Wenjack Education Institution)
Blended
Fort Frances Campus (Seven Generations Education Institute) Full-Time (2 years)
Kenjgewin Teg Full-Time | Blended
First Nations Technical Institute Online

Centennial College

Location
Enrolment Status
Ashtonbee Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Progress Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Progress Campus Part-Time

College Boréal

Location
Enrolment Status
En ligne | Hybride Temps plein | Temps partiel

Conestoga College

Location
Enrolment Status
Brantford Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Brantford Campus Fast Track (1 year)

Confederation College

Location
Enrollment Status
Thunder Bay Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Dryden Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Fort Frances Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Greenstone Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Kenora Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Marathon Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Red Lake Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Sioux Lookout Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Wawa Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Various Campuses Distance Education

La Cité Collégiale

Location
Enrolment Status
Ottawa Campus Temps plein | Temps partiel
Toronto Campus Temps plein (2 ans)
En ligne Temps plein | Temps partiel

Durham College

Location
Enrolment Status
Oshawa Campus Full-Time (2 years)

Fanshawe College

Location
Enrolment Status
London | Clinton | St. Thomas| Woodstock Campuses Full-Time (2 years)
London Campus Fast Track
London Campus Accelerated | Blended (weekend)
Simcoe/Norfolk Campus Accelerated (1 year)

Fleming College

Location
Enrolment Status
Sutherland Campus Full-Time (4 semesters)

George Brown College

Location
Enrolment Status
Ryerson Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Ryerson Campus Full-Time (16 months)
Ryerson Campus Fast Track (10.5 months)
Ryerson Campus Part-Time

Georgian College

Location
Enrolment Status
Orangeville | Orillia | Owen Sound Campuses Full-Time | Part-Time
Orangeville | Orillia | Owen Sound Campuses Part-Time

Humber College

Location
Enrolment Status
Orangeville | North Campus Full-Time

Lambton College

Location
Enrolment Status
Sarnia Campus Full-Time (2 years)

Loyalist College

Location
Enrolment Status
Belleville Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Belleville Campus Distance

Mohawk College

Location
Enrolment Status
Fennell Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Fennell Campus Intensive

Mothercraft College

Location
Enrolment Status
Toronto Campus Full-Time | Intensive (1 year)

Niagara College

Location
Enrolment Status
Welland Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Welland Campus | Advanced Standing Full-Time (1 year)
Six Nations Campus Full-Time (2 years)

Northern College

Location
Enrolment Status
Timmins Campus | Kirkland Lake Campus | Moosonee Campus Full-Time (2 years)

Sault College

Location
Enrolment Status
Sault Ste. Marie Campus Full-Time

Seneca College

Location
Enrolment Status
King | Newnham Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Newnham Campus Full-Time | Accelerated (35 weeks)
Newnham Campus Part-Time
Newnham Campus Part-Time | Accelerated

Sheridan College

Location
Enrolment Status
Davis Campus Full-Time | Part-Time
Davis Campus Full-Time | Intensive (1 year)
Trafalgar Road Campus Full-Time | Part-Time
Trafalgar Road Campus Full-Time | Intensive (1 year)

St. Clair College

Location
Enrolment Status
Windsor | Chatham Campus Full-Time (2 years)
First Nation Sites Full-Time (2 years)
Anishinabek Educational Institute  Full-Time (2 years)
Windsor Campus Full-Time | Accelerated (1 year)

St. Lawrence College

Location
Enrolment Status
Cornwall Campus Full-Time (2 years)
Kingston Campus Full-Time (2 years)

Questions &

Answers

Do I have to work for a minimum period of time within an eligible agency before I can apply for financial assistance under the Early Childhood Educators Qualifications Upgrade program?

Yes. Individuals must work for a minimum of six months (past or present).

NOTE: Individuals whom meet the following criteria are now exempt from the required six months of employment within an eligible agency:

  • Individuals whom identify as Francophone
  • Individuals whom identify as First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities
  • Individuals working at an Ontario EarlyON Child and Family Centre
  • Those whom are employed in Special Needs Resourcing (SNR) agencies provide ongoing support to children with special needs attending licensed childcare or EarlyON settings.
  • Those whom are taking part in the Skill Advance Ontario Pilot
Will the program consider my total employment period within eligible agencies for the purpose of the six months eligibility period?

Yes. The total period of time that you have been employed within eligible agencies in Ontario will be considered toward the six months eligibility period.

Do I need to work a minimum amount of hours in order to be eligible?

No. Financial assistance is available to employees working in an eligible agency.

What does it mean to have Director Approval or Letter pf Permission?

Director Approval (Otherwise Approved)

Pertains to an individual having permission from the Ministry of Education to work in a licensed Registered ECE position without having their designation. A copy of this letter must also be submitted at the time of application.

Letter of Permission

Pertains to an individual having permission from the Ministry of Education to work in a Registered ECE position without designation in a publicly funded school setting.

Can I terminate my employment in order to return to school in an approved program?

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. Please review the application checklist for details regarding this process.

What type of financial assistance is available through the Early Childhood Educators Qualification Upgrade grant program?

The following types of financial assistance are available through this program:

  • Education Grants are available to cover tuition fees related to a recognized Early Childhood Education diploma.
  • Travel Grants are available to assist Education Grant recipients with daily commute expenses & accommodations incurred to attend classes or to complete the placement component of their program.
  • Training allowance is automatically assessed in order to assist education grant recipients with living expenses and other incremental costs incurred while pursuing their Early Childhood Education diploma.
How is my Education Grant calculated?

The education grant is based on your tuition fees, minus any other grants or awards; excluding loans.

Do I need to claim my grant funding on my income tax?

Yes. Grant recipients will be issued a T4A slip at the end of every calendar year in which they received payment.

What happens if I am approved for financial assistance?

You will be mailed an approval package with payment instructions. Review carefully and return to our office by e-mail, mail (post) or fax.

When can I expect to receive my grant payments?

Payments are only deposited once the program administrator receives your signed Grant Assistance Agreement. The Grant Program issues payments on the last day of every month. Documents must therefore be received by our office no later than the 20th of any given month in order for your grant payment to be issued at the end of that same month.

Can I receive reimbursement for previously completed semesters in the Early Childhood Education program?

No. Funding is not available once the semester is completed.

Are the fees related to apprenticeship training eligible under this program?

Only General Education/ Elective courses under the Apprenticeship Program are eligible for funding under the Early Childhood Educators Qualifications Upgrade program. The cost of Apprenticeship courses are already subsidized by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities we cannot provide any further funding for those specific courses.

Is the Early Childhood Education diploma offered through Mothercraft eligible under this program?

Yes. This diploma is eligible for financial assistance.

Are Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) fees eligible for reimbursement?

Yes. Funding to cover PLAR fees within the current semester are now eligible for reimbursement under the Qualification Upgrade program.

Are university programs in the field of Early Childhood Education or other related college programs eligible for financial assistance?

No. Only the Early Childhood Education diploma program from a recognized community college in Ontario is eligible.

What Indigenous programs are available?

Programs are offered through the following institutes:

  • First Nations Technical Institute in partnership with Canadore College
  • Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The WenJack Education Institute in partnership with Canadore College
  • Seven Generations Education Institute in partnership with Canadore College
  • Kenjgewin Teg in partnership with Canadore College
  • Anishinabek Educational Institute in partnership with St. Clair College
  • Six Nations Polytechnic in partnership with Niagara College
Will the program consider courses offered at colleges outside of Ontario?

No. Funding is only offered for programs within Ontario.

What if I am unable to pay my tuition fees?

If you are unable to pay for your tuition to the college you can select the sponsorship option on the application form and your tuition fees will be paid directly to the college. If you have already paid your tuition or deposit amount to the College you must submit your proof of payment within your application

What happens if I withdraw, fail or get exempted from any course?

If there are any changes during the semester in which you are receiving funding, you must inform the grant Program Administrator immediately.

What is considered full-time studies?

You must be considered a full-time student by your educational institution, and you must carry at least a 60% course load during the semester.

How can I submit my application form and supporting documents?

Application forms and all supporting documents are accepted by email, fax, mail (post) or online directly from our website. Note all documents must be submitted as attachments in either PDF or in Jpg. format and must include your first and last name. You cannot manually add your name to a supporting document.

If you require any further information, please contact our office directly by calling our toll free number at 1-866-989-9299 or by email at info@ecegrants.on.ca.

Ontario ECE Grants
Ontario ECE Grants
Ontario ECE Grants
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Still Have a Question?

Simply use the form below and submit your inquiry to our email. We will be happy to get back to you in a timely manner.