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Sheridan partners with Halton and Peel Regions to strengthen child care workforce with new micro-credential

Aug 8, 2023
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Sheridan is introducing a new Early Childhood Education Leadership micro-credential this fall. Sheridan’s Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS) and the Regions of Halton and Peel have partnered to develop this new program to help create career and leadership pathways that ensure effective recruitment, retention and growth in the child care and early years sector. 

Students can now enrol in the micro-credential, which is set to begin in September 2023. The program is designed for professionals trained in Early Childhood Education who are currently employed in leadership positions or who are aspiring to be leaders in the field. 

The development of this micro-credential was funded in partnership with the Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada under the Canada-Ontario Early Childhood Workforce Agreement, which provides one-time federal funding to support the retention and recruitment of a high-quality child care and early years workforce. The one-time federal funding supported service system managers across the province in developing local strategies to recruit, retain and attract a high-quality early years and child care workforce. 

As part of their strategies, the Regions of Halton and Peel approached Sheridan College to help develop a program to strengthen their communities’ child care and early years workforce. Curriculum development was a shared effort as Sheridan’s curriculum development team collaborated with the Regions on the program’s priorities and then tailored the program to address gaps in the ECE leadership community.

“Sheridan is thrilled to partner with the Regions of Halton and Peel on this innovative initiative which will enhance access to opportunities for the workforce in our campus communities and beyond,” said Allison Okopny, Manager for Curriculum Development and Excellence at Sheridan. “Supported by this important federal funding, Continuing and Professional Studies at Sheridan has the unique capability and skills to develop and deliver the micro-credential program, thanks to our team of experts with both academic and practical expertise.” 

Micro-credentials certify an individual’s achievement in specific skills and differ from traditional credentials, such as degrees and diplomas, in that they are shorter, can be personalized and help prepare students for a specific role. An Early Childhood Education Micro-Credential will help ECE professionals to advance their careers and make a positive impact in the early childhood education sector, promoting positive childhood development and advocating for quality education.

Efforts to address recruitment and retention of early childhood educators have been a priority for Halton and Peel for several years. The new micro-credential addresses a gap in learning opportunities for individuals to build essential skills in administration, human resources and leadership which are needed for those in supervisory and/or director roles.

“We are proud to work with world-class institutions like Sheridan to strengthen and develop the early years and child care sector in Halton,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Our partnership is not only enhancing opportunities for learning and job growth for professionals, but is another way to increase access to high-quality, affordable and inclusive child care as the Region continues to grow. Thank you to everyone for your dedication and the positive impact you are having on children, their families and our community.”

“Peel Region is proud to partner with Halton Region and Sheridan to introduce the Early Childhood Education Leadership micro-credential,” said Peel Regional Chair Nando Iannicca. “The launch of this program supports further growth and learning of early childhood professionals and the essential role they play in providing children with the foundation they need to thrive. We look forward to seeing the continued impact that these early childhood leaders will have in supporting children and their families in our communities.” 

Learn more about what Halton Region and Peel Region are doing for the early years and child care workforce in their communities. 

Interested in enrolling? Students can learn more here.

Grants may be available through the Ontario ECE Grant Program.

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