ECE Placements & Observing the Young Child FAQs

If you are wanting to apply for a field placement, please read the following list of Frequently Asked Questions thoroughly.
If your question is not answered in one of these FAQs, please feel free to contact the placement officer at pplplacements@durhamcollege.ca

ECE Program Specific FAQs

How do I request access to upload my placement paperwork?

All students wishing to apply for a field placement, must first request to be activated in their program's Pre-Placement Activation Module in order to submit the required documentation by the posted deadline.

Please complete the following steps below in order to request activation for DC Connect and access to Verified by Synergy Gateway:

Email pplplacements@durhamcollege.ca and provide the following information:

  1. First & Last Name
  2. Student ID Number
  3. Program Name
  4. Placement level (if applicable) eg: Level 1, 2 or 3

NOTES

  • Please submit your request only once.
  • Students will be required to upload pre-placement paperwork to VERIFIED by Synergy Gateway which is Durham College's third party documentation submission partner.  Once you have been activated with VERIFIED by Synergy Gateway, you must begin uploading your required paperwork to Synergy's platform.
  • Students will also be required to upload their program's field placement application in the DC Connect Placement Application module.
  • Students are required to monitor their dcmail.ca email account during the application process and throughout placement, as placement correspondence will only be sent to the student's dcmail.ca address.  Personal email addresses will not be used.
What documents are required for my field placement?

The following are the documents required for each of the ECE field placements.

Upload to DC Connect:

  • ECE Field Placement application form and/or Observing the Young Child Application form

Upload to Verified by Synergy Gateway:

  • Entry Immunization Form
  • Criminal Reference Check with Vulnerable Sector Screen (Valid within 6 months**)
  • Standard First Aid with CPR – Level C
  • Four Online Health & Safety Training Modules:
    • Worker Health & Safety Awareness in 4 Steps
    • WHMIS
    • AODA
    • Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention
  • Diversity Certificate Module

**Please note that you must provide a CRC for each placement in your program.

Winter Placements – If your placement begins in January, the CRC cannot be issued prior to August of the previous year.
Spring Placements – If your placement begins in May, the CRC cannot be issued prior to December of the previous year.
Fall Placements – If your placement begins in September, the CRC cannot be issued prior to April of the same year.

I am registered for field placement and observing the young child, do I have to submit the same paperwork?

Students who are registered for ECE Field Placement Level 1 and Observing the Young Child at the same time must also upload the Observing the Young Child application form to the DC Connect Application module.

    I have had a criminal reference check completed in the past, do I need a new one?

    The Criminal Reference Check must be valid within 6 months of your placement, and remain valid for the duration of your placement. (Note: Depending on where you are placed, your placement host may require a CRC newer than Durham College’s requirement. – example: Regional Daycare centres often require the CRC is no more than 1 month old). You must provide an Original CRC for every placement.
    Winter Placements: If your placement begins in January, the CRC cannot be issued prior to August of the previous year.
    Spring/Summer Placements:
    If your placement begins in May, the CRC cannot be issued prior to December of the previous year.
    Fall Placements:
    If your placement begins in September, the CRC cannot be issued prior to April of the same year.

    How many hours must I complete for placement?

    Students are required to complete the hours, as indicated below, and must be completed by the course end date as advertised.
    Students will be required to complete seminar hours online and actively participate in online discussions.
    The hours required for each placement are as follows:
    Field Placement 1: 196 hrs (agency) + 14 hrs (online) = 210 hrs
    Field Placement 2: 182 hrs (agency) + 14 hrs (online) = 196 hrs
    Field Placement 3: 245 hrs (agency) + 14 hrs (online) = 259 hrs
    Students must complete ALL required hours & final evaluation on or before the published course end date. Failure to do so will result in the student receiving an unsatisfactory grade for the field placement course.

    I work full time, how can I do a placement also?

    Students may find it necessary to make personal adjustments to work and/or family schedules in order to complete the field placement. Options to be considered are: leaves of absence, use of vacation time, extended work hours to free up hours for placement, etc. We recognize that such arrangements require a great deal of time and effort on the students’ (and their families’) part and applaud their commitment to the achievement of their goals.

    Is there a minimum/maximum number of hours required per shift?

    Student shifts must be no shorter than Five (5) consecutive hours and not extend beyond Nine (9) consecutive hours.

    Does my lunch hour count toward my placement hours?

    No.  Only the hours you complete in active placement activities will count toward your required hours.

    Am I allowed to find my own placement?

    Students within the Durham Region are not permitted to contact the host agency to arrange their placement.  Students are required to complete the application and upload to DC Connect Application module. The Placement Officer will contact the host agency and arrange the placement on your behalf. Due to the limited availability of host agencies, students will be placed in the first available agency approved by the Placement Officer.

    Students OUTSIDE of the Durham Region must secure their own placements and provide the host details on the Outside Durham Region portion of the application form found in the DC Connect Application module.

    I live outside of Durham Region, am I allowed to find my own placement?

    Yes. Professional and Part-time Learning students who are living outside of the Durham Region are required to contact the host agency to arrange their placement. Students are required to provide the agency contact information required on the application form and upload to DC Connect Pre-Placement Paperwork module for the term they are registering in. The Placement Officer will contact the host agency to confirm and finalize the placement.

    Placement Level 3 students requesting specialized (School) placements are required to contact their local School Board office for instructions on how to arrange their placements.  Many school boards have different approval processes, and you must follow your school board's requirements.  Approval by only the school's principal may not guarantee your acceptance with the school board.

    Can I do my placement in another province?

    Field Placements in this program must be completed within the Province of Ontario.

    How is my placement setting decided?

    Students in the Durham Region are not permitted to arrange their own placements.
    Students are placed at the first available agency based on the student's area of residence as well as the availability of placement opportunities in the surrounding area.
    Students may be required to travel to placement if there are no opportunities available close by.
    Students are required to provide their availability on the application form found in the DC Connect Application module in order to allow the host agency to determine whether or not they can accommodate each student.

    Students residing outside of Durham Region will be required to research and secure their own placements and provide the agency information on the Outside of Durham Region form. The college Placement Officer will contact the setting to confirm and finalize the arrangements provided on the application form.

    Individual agency requests will be assessed according to the following criteria, as determined by the Placement Officer:

    • The requested placement setting has availability with the appropriate age group.
    • A qualified RECE or Ministry of Education certified teacher (School Placements) in the setting is available and willing to supervise the student during the proposed time frame.
    • The requested placement setting meets the Insurance coverage requirement.

    Wherever possible, college staff will attempt to organize placement experiences to meet the requests and needs of applicants.

    What do I need to do in order to apply for a specialized placement (school setting)?

    If you wish to complete your placement in a specialized setting you MUST NOT contact the setting directly, unless you are doing your placement outside of the Durham Region.
    Please note:  You must be eligible and approved for a specialized setting - students applying outside of Durham Region must advise their proposed agency that approvals will be provided AFTER the paperwork submission deadline.

    You are requested to complete the Specialized Placement Application and upload to the DC Connect Pre-Placement Paperwork module.  If you are eligible, the placement officer will process your application and contact the setting on your behalf.

    A specialized placement can only be completed in Level 3.

    You will not be eligible for a specialized placement if you PLAR challenged Levels 1 & 2.

    The opportunity to complete a Field Placement in a specialized setting is a privilege to be earned by each student interested in this type of placement. Because the number of specialized settings available is limited and the skills required in these settings are advanced, students need to demonstrate their ability to manage in these environments. Specialized settings include, but are not limited to, placements in Public/Catholic Schools, Ontario Early Years Centres, Centres for children with exceptionalities, and Montessori Schools.

    Final eligibility will be based in large part on the behaviour of the student during their previous two placements. Any breach of the conditions outlined below may result in ineligibility of the student for the Specialized Placement. Eligibility for these settings will be determined based on the following 4 factors:

    1. The student has had successful, incident free completion of field placements I and II. Please note:  If you PLAR Challenged BOTH field placements I and II, you will not be eligible for a specialized placement setting in level III.
    2. The following behaviours have been demonstrated in current and past placements or courses:- honesty and integrity (no Student Alerts on file) - appropriate spelling and grammar in all written work - ability to meet deadlines as evidenced by the complete and timely submission of all paperwork and credentials for Field Placement (application form & pre-placement documentation)
    3. Cumulative GPA of 4.0 or higher.
    4. ESSAY - Please complete the following and submit along with this application. This submission needs to follow the instructions completely. You will be evaluated based on your professional presentation skills as indicated in your written submission and on your adherence to the structure and limitations identified.

    In a typed (size 10 or 11 font), one page, double-spaced paper, respond to the following questions using full essay format:

    1. What are your career goals? Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?
    2. What are three strengths you demonstrate that make you a suitable candidate for the environment you have chosen to apply to?
    3. What is one area of your skills as an educator that you need to develop further?
    May I do my placement where I work?

    Doing your placement where you work is a conflict of interest and is not permitted.

    May I do my placement where a relative is employed?

    Students are not permitted to complete a placement experience where they have a relative or familial relationship with anyone with supervisory responsibility at the agency. This would be considered a conflict of interest.

    May I do my placement where my child attends?

    Students are not permitted to complete a placement experience in the setting in which they are also a parent.

    May I do all of my placements at the same setting?

    Students are not permitted to attend the same setting for more than one placement.
    Students are required to attend different age groups for each placement. This provides a greater variety in experience and greater flexibility in the job market.

    My agency host wants to pay me, is this allowed?

    Field placements are unpaid learning opportunities, and therefore, students are not permitted to accept payment for the field placement experience.

    May I begin my placement before the course begins?

    Students must ensure that they have been officially cleared prior to beginning their hours at the host agency.  Clearance will not occur prior to the start date for the placement course.

    Any hours completed prior to official clearance will not be counted and must be made up before the end of the course.

    How will I know when I can begin my hours?

    Each student will receive official clearance via email to their DCMAIL.ca account only advising them of placement details and official clearance date.

    Am I able to challenge any/all of my field placements?

    Only ECE Field Placement levels 1 and 2 are eligible for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR).
    ECE Field Placement 3 is not eligible for PLAR.

    For more information on the PLAR process, please call 905-712-3053 or email plar@durhamcollege.ca

    Please note:
    If you PLAR Challenged BOTH field placements I and II, you will not be eligible for a specialized placement setting in level III.

    If you are planning on PLAR challenging your first placement, it is recommended that you also challenge ECE Field Placement Preparation 2, as it is a co-requisite course with ECE Field Placement 1.

    What is the withdrawal policy for field placements?

    Students may withdraw/transfer during the first 13 days after the official start date.

    If students have been given official clearance to begin placement, no refund or transfer will be accepted.