Child Development Practitioner (Apprenticeship)

Ontario College Certificate | Code: 1184

Please note:

To effectively participate in remote learning, students in this program must have reliable Internet access and meet these device requirements.

About the program

The 3-year Child Development Practitioner Apprenticeship (CDP) program is designed to provide those individuals working with young children in a child care setting with the opportunity to pursue formal education and training on a part-time basis. Entry into the program occurs in September. Students take approximately 2-3 courses in each of the Fall, Winter and Spring semesters.

Students will explore the development of children and apply that knowledge to plan, implement and evaluate quality programs for young children in licensed child care settings. Facilitating children's development of a positive self-concept through creativity, play and diversity is the main theme of this program.

Upon successful completion, Apprentices are encouraged to complete the requirements of Conestoga College's ECE diploma program by taking additional General Education courses. Graduates of the ECE diploma program meet the academic and field work requirements for registration with the college of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario.
Note: Admission to the program is required prior to registration for courses.

Admission requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or GED or equivalent
  • Prospective students must be registered apprentices with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and must be a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).

Note re: admission requirements

  • Information related to this apprenticeship program may be obtained from the local Apprenticeship and Client Services Office at 519-653-5758 or 1-866-877-0099 or email
  • Conestoga College delivers the in-school component of this apprenticeship program as required by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development . In addition, the Ministry requires employers to deliver the greater proportion of apprenticeship training on the job.
  • Students are required to demonstrate the same attention to punctuality and attendance as would be required by the business or industry in which they are employed.

Admission procedures

  • Apprentices must register with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and complete the necessary documentation.

Graduate opportunities

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website:

Program outcomes

  • Design, implement and evaluate inclusive and play-based early learning curriculum and programs that support children's holistic development and are responsive to individual children's and groups of children's observed abilities, interests and ideas.
  • Establish and maintain inclusive early learning environments that support diverse, equitable and accessible developmental and learning opportunities for all children and their families.
  • Select and use a variety of screening tools, observation and documentation strategies to review, support and promote children's learning across the continuum of early childhood development.
  • Establish and maintain responsive relationships with individual children, groups of children and families.
  • Assess, develop and maintain safe, healthy and quality early learning environments which meet the requirements of current legislation, agency policies and evidence-based practices in early learning.
  • Prepare and use professional written, verbal, nonverbal and electronic communications when working with children, families, colleagues, employers, and community partners.
  • Identify, select and apply relevant legislation, regulations, college of early childhood educators standards of practice and code of ethics, policies and evidence-based practice guidelines, and interpret their impact on a variety of early learning environments.
  • Apply a developing personal philosophy of early learning in accordance with ethical and professional standards of early childhood education practice.
  • Advocate for quality early learning environments and collaborate with members of the early learning team, families and community partners to establish and promote such settings.
  • Engage in reflective practice, develop learning goals and maintain an ongoing professional development plan in accordance with evidence-based practices in early learning and related fields.

Program related resources

Apprenticeship registration

Before registering as an apprenticeship you must:
  • Find an employer
  • Request registration from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
  • Confirm your seat with Conestoga once you have received your offer of classroom training from the Ministry
  • Pay the appropriate classroom fee

    Registration for the in-school training portion is on a first-come, first-served basis. All apprentices in Ontario are required to be a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Trades. Visit Employment Ontario's Start an apprenticeship website for more details. If you have questions pertaining to the in-school training portion, call Conestoga at 519-748-5220 ext. 3382.

Exemption testing

Exemption tests may be available to challenge for individual Levels. Please contact the Test Centre

Program contact

Continuing Education
Upcoming Registrations

Mark your calendar for our upcoming registration dates, so you can plan your future.

Winter Registration: Opens November 1, 2021
Spring Registration: Opens February 7, 2022