Confederation College Offers Fast Track in Early Childhood Education



Greenstone (Longlac)
Lake of the Woods (Kenora)

THUNDER BAY, ON, June 2, 2023 – Confederation College has partnered with the Thunder Bay District Social Services Board (TBDSSAB) to create access to training for a new Fast-Track Early Childhood Education Diploma  program. The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for people currently employed in early year programs and childcare centres the ability to obtain their Early Childhood Education diploma through a prior learning assessment and flexible course delivery. This Fast-Track ECE program will allow qualified students to complete the program in as little as 15 months, while also being able to continue their employment within early year programs and childcare centres. 

The program was created in response to challenges in staff shortages and recruitment efforts in the early years and childcare sector across Northwestern Ontario. The program will be offered through a combination of online course work, portfolio development, a prior learning assessment and placements with no need for learners to leave their communities.

“This innovative program provides flexible learning solutions for students in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area,” says Confederation College’s Vice-President Academic, Richard Gemmill. “This exciting initiative will have a positive impact on our region’s early year programs and child care centres.”

"The new fast-track program is an exciting opportunity to grow the number of educators in our District” says Bill Bradica, Chief Administrative Officer for the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board. “We’ve seen the impact that staffing shortages have had on families in need of child care. We’re grateful for this partnership with the College, and pleased TBDSSAB was able to support the implementation of this program.”


The goal is that upon completion of the program, these individuals will continue to work  within the licensed childcare sector as a qualified RECE, thus alleviating some of the pressures the system is currently facing regarding the recruitment of needed staff.


“The Fast Track ECE certificate will provide essential and critical knowledge to those currently working in the field of Early Childhood Education but who have not yet completed a diploma program,” said Nancy Ibey, Fast-Track Early Childhood Educator Program Coordinator.

Interested students need to have at least 1800-hours of work experience in early year programs or child care centres. The program is being offered through a variety of flexible delivery methods and learners can participate without having to leave their community. Those interested in learning more about this free program or who want to register  may contact Nancy Ibey, Fast-Track Early Childhood Educator Program Coordinator, at [email protected]


Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has seven regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Greenstone, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout and Red Lake, as well as a growing Distance Education division.


Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 4,800 combined full- and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 600 full- and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $703.3 million annually.

For more information, please contact:

Scott Hobbs, Communications Consultant

Phone: (807) 475-6295

E-mail: [email protected]

The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) is the service system manager for Child Care and Early Years programs, Community Housing, the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative and the delivery of Ontario Works for the District of Thunder Bay. Visit the TBDSSAB website for more information at

For more information, please contact:                  

Carole Lem, Communications & Engagement Officer

Phone: 807-766-4219, Email: [email protected]