Early Childhood Educators & Assistants – Opportunities for Canada Immigration in 2023

Are you early childhood educators (ECE) looking for immigration opportunities in Canada? The government of British Columbia (BC) released a list of the occupations that are forecasted to be in demand over the next five years in the province. Early childhood educators and assistants are on this list as prioritized occupations, increasing support for the care economy.

Canada Immigration Opportunities for Early Childhood Educators & Assistants in 2023

Early Childhood Educators and Assistants in BC

Who are early childhood educators (ECEs) and ECE Assistants

ECEs work with young children from birth to age five. They create and run educational programs that fuel children’s intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth.

ECE assistants work under the supervision of ECEs.

Example Titles

Baby-care workerEarly childhood educator – preschool
Baby-care worker assistantEarly childhood educator (ECE)
Baby-care workers supervisorEarly childhood educator (ECE) assistant
Child care worker – daycareEarly childhood educator assistant – junior kindergarten
Child care worker assistantEarly childhood educator assistant – kindergarten
Daycare aideEarly childhood program staff assistant
Daycare attendant Early childhood program supervisor
Daycare coordinator Early childhood supervisor
Daycare helperEducator assistant – junior kindergarten
Daycare supervisorInfant daycare workers supervisor
Daycare teacherInfants’ daycare worker
Daycare worker Nursery school aide
Daycare worker assistant Nursery school helper
Early childhood assistant Nursery school teacher
Early childhood education worker Preschool helper
Early childhood educator – junior kindergartenPreschool supervisor
Early childhood educator – kindergarten
Example titles of ECEs and ECE assistants in Canada

Work environment of early childhood educators and assistants

Most ECEs and ECE assistants work in licensed settings such as child-care centres, StrongStart BC centres, before- and after-school programs or preschool programs. These can be located in schools, community centres or workplaces that offer child care to their employees. The work is varied, depending on the setting.

ECEs and ECE assistants may work full time or part time, and hours can vary. Preschool and school-based programs usually run during the school year. Most child-care centres are open all year. They may have longer hours or use staggered shifts to fit the needs of working parents. There is a growing demand, for example, for late-night child care by parents who work shifts.

The working environment of ECEs and ECE assistants is varied, depending on the setting.


ECEs and assistants work hands-on with children to:

  • Teach with stories, music, play, field trips, art, drama and movement
  • Help each child participate and succeed
  • Protect children’s health and safety
  • Help children learn good eating, dressing and toileting habits
  • Help each child build their sense of identity and belonging
  • Observe and value each child’s way of expressing themselves
  • Assess learning and development
  • Deal with signs of learning, development and behavioural issues
  • Provide fair but firm discipline
  • Respect the culture of all children
  • Work with Indigenous children in ways that are respectful and attentive

They also:

  • Do paperwork and keep records
  • Develop teaching aids and projects
  • Maintain and clean equipment
  • Prepare food
  • Create indoor and outdoor spaces for play and learning
  • Evaluate educational programs
  • Take part in professional development
  • Build relationships with co-workers, children’s families and community services
  • Communicate regularly with parents and guardians

ECEs may also supervise and mentor others, including ECE assistants and students.

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

ECEs and ECE assistants (ECEA) must be certified to work in most licensed child-care programs. There are 5 levels of certification:

  • ECE – one year
  • ECE – five year
  • ECEA
  • Infant Toddler Educator (ITE)
  • Special Needs Educator (SNE)

Early childhood educators would need to have:

  • Completed a two-to-four-year college program in early childhood education or a bachelor’s degree in child development
  • A licence issued by a provincial or territorial association for early childhood educators (ECE)

Early childhood educator assistants would need to have:

  • Completed secondary school
  • Experience in childcare
  • Completed an early childhood education assistant certificate program or post-secondary courses in early childhood education and,
  • A licence issued by a provincial or territorial association for early childhood educators (ECE)

ECEs must complete an early childhood education program at a recognized university or college. They can then be certified through the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development.

ECEAs can earn a certificate after taking courses in child development, children’s well-being and curriculum planning.

ITEs and SNEs must be certified as ECEs before taking their additional training and certification.

To stay certified, workers must continue to do professional development, get work experience and meet character and skill requirements.

For those who trained outside of Canada and never received certification from any Canadian jurisdiction, a full assessment is needed. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants.

Additional Information

These professionals can progress to senior positions such as day care supervisors with several years of experience. Alternatively, they could combine their experience with advanced early childhood educators (ECE) qualification levels.

The below list shows most of work-related skills, ranked in order of importance for this career.

Most of work-related skills for this career.
Analysis based on the U.S. Department of Labour/Employment and Training Administration, The O*NET Content Model.

Early Childhood Educators and Assistants in BC

B.C. government has committed to significantly increase the number of child-care spaces across the province. As a result, 8,600 more ECEs will likely be needed over the next decade.

Rural areas continue to have a shortage of qualified workers. Educators certified to work with children with special needs, infants or toddlers are also in especially high demand.

Immigration opportunities for ECEs and ECEAs in British Columbia Canada

Canada is open to welcome nearly 1.2 million new immigrants in the next three years. About 60% of the total target will be achieved through economic-class programs through which foreign skilled workers, international students, foreign entrepreneurs are set to become the largest beneficiaries.

About British Columbia

British Columbia is also one of the most diverse provinces in all of Canada. British Columbia’s economy focuses on a strong natural resources sector, with an emphasis on forestry and mining. Its natural environment, with expansive forests and a unique coastal climate, is renowned as one of the most beautiful in Canada, and indeed the world.

Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) aims to accelerate the process for those wishing to obtain Canadian permanent resident (PR) status and who intend to settle permanently in BC.

The program is operated by the BC government in partnership with the federal immigration department, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Interested candidates must follow a two-stage process: apply for nomination to the provincial government, and then, if nominated, apply for PR to the federal government.

IRCC allocates to BC PNP a limited number of nominations each year.

There are 3 options for BCPNP Streams:

  • Skills Immigration
  • Express Entry B.C.
  • Entrepreneur Immigration

Each of above options has their own streams.

The BCPNP is one of the most popular and active PNPs of Canada that regularly hold the draws and invite the candidates to apply for provincial nomination for Canadian PR under various BCPNP categories.

The BC issues ITAs to the registered candidates in the below categories:

  • Skilled worker
  • International Graduate
  • Entry Level and Semi-Skilled
  • Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category
  • Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot

Most BCPNP Skills Immigration programs require candidates to hold a valid job offer with a BC employer.

British Columbia Immigration target occupations

On March 10, 2022, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs announced that B.C. is responding to the crucial need for more healthcare workers and early childhood educators (ECEs) by implementing changes to the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Skills Immigration stream to prioritize these occupations and increase support for the care economy. 

As a result, a list of targeted occupation for the skilled worker streams of the BCPNP was published.

There are three categories in this list: Healthcare, Childcare and other priority occupations.

Immigration opportunities for ECEs and ECEAs in BC

Under BCPNP, ECEs and ECEAs (NOC 42202, TEER Category 2) are prioritized occupations, increasing support for care economy.

These changes, announced on March 10, 2022, prioritize ECEs and ECEAs in the application process and will increase the number of people nominated in these occupations for permanent residence. Changes also immediately provide a pathway to permanent residence for people already living in B.C. and working in these sectors.

How do BCPNP draws work?

  • Step 1: Candidates that meet the requirements for BC’s Skilled Worker, International Graduate, or Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Worker pathways can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the province.
  • Step 2: Once a candidate creates an EOI profile, they are ranked by the province’s Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) and given a “SIRS” score.
  • Step 3: The highest-ranking candidates will receive an invitation from BC to apply for nomination.
  • Step 4: After receiving an invitation, candidates have 30 days to prepare and submit their online application to the province.
  • Step 5: Nominated candidates are then invited to apply to the federal government for Permanent Residence.

Updated draws for BCPNP targeted occupations

Skills Immigration Invitations

Stream: Skilled Worker, International Graduate (includes EEBC option)

Targeted draw: Childcare: Early Childhood Educators and Assistants, NOC 42202

DateNumber of InvitationsMinimum Score
January 24, 20233160
January 17, 20231860
January 10, 2023<560
January 4, 20232860
December 20, 20221560
December 13, 20221960
December 6, 20223260
November 28, 20224960
October 12, 20222560
October 4, 20223260
September 27, 20222860
September 21, 20221160
September 13, 20222760
September 7, 2022860
August 30, 20222960
August 23, 2022<560
August 16, 20222660
August 10, 2022560
August 3, 20222260
July 26, 20222260
July 19, 20221860
July 12, 20222260
July 5, 20222160
June 28, 20221760
June 21, 20221460
June 14, 20221260
June 7, 20221660
May 31, 20221560
May 24, 20221160
May 17, 20222162
May 10, 20222062
May 3, 20222865
April 26, 20222365
April 19, 20222070
April 12, 20222470
April 5, 20224370
March 29, 20223775
March 22, 20224778
March 14, 20222785
An overview of the Latest BC PNP draws targeted occupation:
Childcare: Early Childhood Educators and Assistants, NOC 42202.
Source: welcomebc.ca

To know more about how to move to the British Columbia province via BC PNP, give us a call on 1-778-366-0660. Our experienced immigration consultant will help you to strategize your immigration plan to Canada and help in maximizing your chance to get the Canada PR.

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