Q: The Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 (ECE Act) and its related regulations and by-laws enable the College to govern the
profession of early childhood education, and the Day Nurseries Act, 1990 (DNA) sets out specific provincial standards that must be
met by licensed child care settings. As an RECE, what other legislation or policies do I need to know in order to practise according
to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice?
A: Standard IV: Professional Knowledge and Competence of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice states that RECEs have a responsibility to “know, understand and abide by the legislation, policies and procedures that are relevant to their professional practice and to the care and learning of children under their professional supervision.” (Standard IV: A.2)
The standard is written in a broad way because the College is aware that RECEs practise in a range of roles and in a number of different settings, including licensed child care programs, full-day kindergarten, special education and intervention programs, and family resource programs.
Some RECEs work in administrative roles and may not have children under their professional supervision. RECEs may work for the Ministry of Education, a municipality, the College or an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology (OCAAT), for example.
A piece of legislation that applies to all RECEs regardless of their practice setting is College By-law No. 21 Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. This by-law came into force on February 28, 2011 and prescribes the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Practice for all members of the College. By becoming a member of the College, each person makes a commitment to abide by the standards of their profession, to enhance the care and learning of children and to be accountable to the public of Ontario.
There will likely be legislation, policies and procedures that apply specifically to a certain role or practice setting. An RECE working in licensed child care may need to understand the DNA, the Child and Family Services Act,1990 as well as the policies and procedures set out by their employer. Another RECE working in a different setting may need to be more familiar with the Education Act,1990, the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 or other pieces of legislation. The legislation, policies and procedures you should know will depend on the nature of your practice.
Put it into Practice!
Brainstorm with your colleagues to create a list of all of the legislation, policies and procedures that apply to your practice. Do you know and understand this important information? If you have strength in this area, perhaps you can take a leadership role in educating your colleagues on the importance of understanding and abiding by the legislation, policies and procedures that are relevant to your practice setting.