A Note on Terminology

Language used in ECEC can vary depending on the governance model or province/territory in which you work. Throughout the HR Toolkit, the term “organization” is used to denote a variety of early learning and child care settings – nonprofit, public or commercial. Sometimes the words “centre” “agency” or “facility” are also used. Several sections relate and refer to “boards of directors”. Boards of directors are typically found in nonprofit early childhood education and care programs. In commercial settings, the owner governs the organization; there may be a senior staff person who is responsible for managing staff.

While the term “executive director” is used throughout the toolkit, it is understood that this is only one of many terms—such as “administrator” or “coordinator”, used by organizations in the ECEC sector to refer to their most senior staff person responsible for making HR decisions. The same is true of terms used for other positions. An accountant in one organization may be a financial officer or CFO in another. The important consideration is not the title but the work-related responsibilities and their value within the organization.