It is significantly easier to become certified to work in a preschool or daycare setting than it is to be a school teacher in Saskatchewan. The minimum level of education required to work in a daycare setting requires an Early Childhood Education Level 1 certification.
An applicant needs to complete nine credit hours, or three classes, to receive level 1 certification. The requirements state applicants need a class in each of the three core categories: child development, programming, and relationships. Teachers require significantly more experience and education, such as a grade 12 education, minimum four years of post-secondary education in addition to a bachelors degree, a practicum, and have completed a teacher education program of at least 48 credit hours.
An operator of a daycare or preschool needs to have more experience than just nine credit hours, but still does not have the amount of post-secondary experience as a certified teacher. Teachers are usually employed by municipal governments in public schools while daycares and pre-schools can be private businesses. This means daycares do not have to follow the same stringent rules as teachers. Children are at risk of being mishandled or potentially traumatised and daycare operators would not be disciplined as a teacher would in the same scenario.
While there has been news coverage of school teachers and daycare mishaps in the past, such as the child who was left on a school bus in Gravelbourg, Sask., there has been little to no coverage of the actual qualifications needed to own and operate a daycare.
Government of Saskatchewan, "Services for People Wishing to Become an Early Childhood Educator in Saskatchewan." Accessed February 26, 2015. http://www.education.gov.sk.ca/ELCC-certification.
Government of Saskatchewan, "How Do I Start a Child Care Centre?" Accessed February 26, 2015. http://www.education.gov.sk.ca/elcc/start-child-care-centre/.
Government of Saskatchewan, "Teacher Certification." Accessed February 26, 2015. http://www.education.gov.sk.ca/educator-faq-teacher-certification.
CBC News, "Sask. School Division Investigates after Child Left on School Bus." January 12, 2015. Accessed February 26, 2015. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-school-division-investigates-after-child-left-on-school-bus-1.2898299.
Student researcher: Creeden Martell (University of Regina)
Faculty advisor: Patricia Elliott (University of Regina)