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Designated Early Childhood Educators are champions for children

October 16, 2018

On Tuesday, October 16, Child Care Workers and Early Childhood Educators Appreciation Day, ETFO celebrates Designated Early Childhood Educators (DECE) for their critical role in the development of full-day Kindergarten learners.

"DECEs are truly champions for Kindergarten children. Working with teachers, they bring a specialized focus to make sure the youngest students have the support they need to develop their learning and emotional skills," said Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario.

DECEs across Ontario bring a rich background of professional study in child development, socio-emotional skills and developmental psychology to the teaching partnership in schools.

"Children learn through play and inquiry, building on their natural curiosity through guided exploration, investigation and communication. The instructional partnership allows for DECEs and teachers to work individually with children to nurture their growth and that is what makes Ontario's full-day Kindergarten uniquely successful and world-class."

As Ontario's union representing elementary educators in the public system, ETFO represents DECE members in 10 locals. ETFO supports its educator teams with professional scholarship and curriculum initiatives at its Professional Learning in the Early Years website at

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario is committed to building better schools. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at ETFO is a union that represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.

For more information, contact ETFO Media Relations:
Valerie Dugale, 1-888-838-3836 x2331, cell 416-948-0195,