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).
We are currently accepting all applications for the Fall 2023 semester. We will begin accepting applications for the Winter 2024 semester on Monday, November 27, 2023.
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.
How can I submit my application form and supporting documents?
Application forms and all supporting documents are accepted 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 email@example.com.
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.