ARCHIVED—Advancing the Profession: Make a Commitment To Professional Growth
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"Years ago, a group of early childhood educators in Nova Scotia realized that it would be good to reflect on our practice after we got into the field and began working with children," explains Patricia Hogan, who works at Dartmouth Preschool.
The work this group began doing slowly evolved into a certification process. Unlike many other professional certification processes, it is a volunteer process after training for professional development. Applicants must have worked with children for two years.
The group set themselves up as the Certification Council of Early Childhood Educators of Nova Scotia and is supported by members' fees as well as a little help from grants to run seminars and similar events. The organization also gets support from Childcare Connections Nova Scotia, which provides major assistance to the group by giving it a place to meet and taking care of the administrative tasks.
The certification process involves a triplet of early childhood educators getting certified together. With the help of a mentor from the certification council, they visit each other's centres, observe each other in action and fill out the required documentation for each other. The process can take up to a year, after which, a validator reviews the material and then the executive of the certification council makes the final decision on certification status.
Those who have been certified are then required to send in a letter of accountability every year, showing that they have continued their professional development by attending workshops and are keeping current on the profession.
The certification process is very rewarding, says Hogan. "We have approximately 50 certified members in Nova Scotia and we're just constantly growing."
For more information, go to the Certification Council of Early Childhood Educators of Nova Scotia website.