About the trade

A Child Development Practitioner plans and implements age-appropriate service, supports, and programs for children that facilitate physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth. They deliver services in multiple settings, including, but not limited to: childcare centres/facilities, preschool sections of hospitals and schools, and Ontario Early Years Centres. Specifically, a Child Development Practitioner:

  • practises and promotes health
  • fosters relationships with children
  • plans developmentally appropriate programs and supports emergent learning practices
  • cultivates family, cultural and social relationships
  • applies intervention strategies
  • participates in a team environment with families, colleagues, community members and support services providers
  • works in an interdisciplinary team environment and communicates with other professionals
  • practices professionalism and adheres to ethical standards

In Ontario this trade is voluntary, which means the completion of an apprenticeship program is optional and certification is not legally required to practice the trade.

Apprenticeship program

The Child Development Practitioner (620C) apprenticeship program consists of on-the-job and in-school training. The program typically takes three years to complete and consists of:

  • 5,280 hours of on-the-job training/work experience
  • 750 hours of in-school training

On-the-job training

A Child Development Practitioner apprenticeship involves practical training provided on-the-job by a skilled worker or trainer. The skills or competencies to be developed through this training include:

  • practicing and promoting health, safety and well being
  • performing administrative and organizational duties
  • fostering relationships that support learning
  • assessing children’s learning and development
  • creating learning experiences and environments

See all skills and competencies in the Apprenticeship Training Standard (PDF). 

In-school training

A Child Development Practitioner apprenticeship includes reportable subject-based theoretical training delivered in a classroom, which includes subjects such as:

  • health, safety, and nutrition
  • child development
  • creative expression
  • foundations of early learning environment
  • preschool and school age learning environment

See all in-school training subjects in the Curriculum Training Standard (PDF).

Red Seal Program

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program is the nationally recognized standard for skilled trades workers in Canada.

This trade is not part of the Red Seal Program.

If you are a tradesperson who holds a Red Seal-endorsed trade certificate, learn how you can apply to obtain an Ontario Certificate of Qualification in that trade without further training or examination. 

Trade certification for experienced workers 

If you have work experience and/or training in a skilled trade, from another province or territory in Canada, or from another country, you may be eligible for certification through a Trade Equivalency Assessment. Learn more about Trade Equivalency Assessments for Child Development Practitioners and bridging towards an Early Childhood Education diploma at a community college.

Updated: July 30, 2021
Published: August 25, 2020