Careers: Specialized Language Training For Childcare?

by Julia Chemali

Do you like to work with children? Are you internationally trained in Childcare
Education? If you answered yes to these questions, then you should consider enrolling in the Specialized Language Training for Childcare programs offered by the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB).

The TCDSB Adult Education program has been providing a wide variety of ESL courses for adults for more than 40 years. These programs are funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and run on different schedules in the city. Starting in 2007 a new program called Specialized Language Training for Childcare opened in several parts of the city to help newcomers who are interested in pursuing a career in Home Daycare, Early Childcare Assistance or Early Childcare Education.

With the help of these programs, newcomers, who were trained as Childcare Educators in their country or who are looking for training in this sector, can identify the learning path that will lead them to their goal. Some applicants may be interested in providing home daycare but need to improve their language skills to communicate better with children, parents and licensing bodies. Other applicants may need to improve their language skills before admission to a bridging program and others may want to improve their language skills in order to access Early Childhood Education programs.

TCDSB Adult Education is also working with AECEO (Association of Early Childhood Education in Ontario) to ensure that the curricula designed for these programs are relevant to learners’ goals. These curricula will help learners develop essential skills that are required in childcare occupations: reading and following safety rules, working with others, taking and leaving phone messages, maintaining standards, filling in forms and reports, problem solving and writing notes to parents.

How to start

A CLBPT(Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test) is used to assess learners’ language skills so they are placed in the appropriate program. Part of the assessment includes a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) in order to understand learners’ background in education and employment.

Different schedules have been arranged to meet the needs of working candidates, including evening and weekend. Daytime classes run for 16 weeks with 200 hours of instruction from September to December. Evening classes run twice a week for two and a half hours every evening for 40 weeks from September to July. Weekend classes take place on Saturdays for five hours every Saturday for 40 weeks.

To learn more about these programs, please call 416-397-6219 or visit their website at: www.tcdsb.org/adulted. For information about their ESL, LINC and other Specialized Language Training Programs, please contact 416-397-6446 or 416-397-6211.

CNM