What is the Training Opportunities Project (TOP)?
TOP is a Citizenship and Immigration Canada-funded program designed specifically for LINC, ELT and OCC Caregivers staff. This project provides childminding staff with an opportunity to be reimbursed for skill-enhancing courses and workshops that are successfully completed.
Who can apply?
All childminding staff considered continuous employees (i.e. permanent, regular or contract) of a LINC or ELT Childminding Program in Ontario and OCC caregivers who work 21 hours/week or more for their organization in Ontario are eligible. TOP is open to childminding supervisors, leads and childminders.
How do I apply?
All sections of the TOP Application form must be completed and submitted to the TOP coordinator at the CMAS office. Once received and reviewed, the applicant will receive a TOP Approval letter stating that the requested course/workshop has been approved for reimbursement. If an application is refused, the applicant will be contacted and informed of the reason for non-approval. Incomplete applications will be returned with a letter noting the missing but required information. Applicants are responsible for paying the necessary course fees. Reimbursement is made upon successful completion of the approved course and the submission of all requested documents by the due date noted on the Letter of Approval.
Who will receive first priority for reimbursement?
All eligible staff members are welcome to apply for course/workshop approval and reimbursement regardless of their level of education. The main priority is, however, to reimburse childminding staff working towards an Early Childhood Education diploma. CPR and First Aid training requests (supply childminders included) will receive reimbursement if the individual SPO does not have funding from other
What types of courses/workshops will be approved?
Courses/workshops that enhance the childminder’s knowledge of current childcare methods and ideas that improve the quality of care given to the children will be approved. Two documents will be used as a guide for approval. The documents are:
The National LINC Childminding Requirements, which is in every childminding site and on the web: National LINC Childminding Requirements.
Occupational Standards for Childcare Practitioners, which can be found in the Resources and References section of the TOP binder and on the web: www.cccf-fcsge.ca
How much money can I be reimbursed for?
The number of applications that are approved is based on the available funding. LINC and ELT caregivers can apply for up to $250 maximum reimbursement per course. One course per application form is required. No more than two applications will be accepted from any participant at any time. Applicants can receive reimbursement for a maximum of 2 ECE courses, workshops, and/or First Aid/CPR.
How much money can OCC caregivers be reimbursed for?
The number of applications that are approved is based on the available funding. OCC caregivers can apply for up to $100 in reimbursement towards First Aid/CPR training.
What costs are covered?
TOP covers the cost of tuition only. There will be no money available for other expenses related to the course such as transportation, books, tutoring or late fees.
How do I know if my course is likely to be approved?
In order to be approved for reimbursement, courses or workshops must be of benefit to both the childminder and the childminding program. Two documents: the National LINC Childminding Requirements and the Occupational Standards for Childcare Practitioners will be used as the basis for approval of all courses and workshops. All course/workshop requests will be reviewed to ensure that they offer training that supports the mandates and goals of both of these texts. For information about these documents, refer to the Resources and References section of the TOP binder or on the web at: National LINC Childminding Requirements for National LINC Childminding Requirements and www.cccf-fcsge.ca for Occupational Standards for Childcare Practitioners
Where can I get help to select eligible courses?
The Workshops and Courses section of the TOP binder provides information about all community college and university courses, Public Health and other training providers, for your consideration. Applicants might also ask their LINC coordinator, CMAS consultant or TOP administrator for suggestions. Additionally, you can search through: http://atwork.settlement.org/atwork/home.asp and the CMAS website: www.newcomerfamilies.ca TOP section for other training ideas.
Are ESL courses covered?
Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek out and use free community ESL courses as a first option. ESL courses are covered if they cannot be obtained for free or if they are required to gain admission to a college-level course.
How do I get reimbursed?
Along with your TOP Approval letter you will receive a Request for Reimbursement form. The TOP Approval Letter lists the documents needed to obtain reimbursement. A due-date is assigned for the submission of documents and is listed in the Letter of Approval. Upon successful completion of the course, you must submit to the TOP coordinator:
The completed Request for Reimbursement form including all required documents.
An original receipt issued by the training organization is required. The Request for Reimbursement form will be reviewed and a reimbursement cheque will be sent directly to you. The Request for Reimbursement form is required by the due-date listed on the approval letter. Extenuating circumstances will be given consideration when submitted to the TOP Coordinator.
What does successful course completion mean?
Successful completion is the requirement for reimbursement. Successful course completion means that you have a passing mark from the training organization that you attended. For other courses that do not assign grades, a Certificate of Completion or Participant form, signed by the trainer/training organization will be accepted as proof of successful course completion.
What happens if my selected workshop or course does not provide me with a grade or document indicating proof of completion?
Many great training opportunities are available locally but are done in a format that does not allow for transcripts or certificates. In these situations, the TOP administrator will ask you to complete a Participant form or a Certificate of Completion. The presenter or the conference/workshop provider can sign this form, which can then be submitted with your Request for Reimbursement form and your Evaluation form. The form will be supplied when required.
What happens if I drop out of the course?
Applicants are only reimbursed for courses that are successfully completed. Those who do not complete the course will have to assume its full cost.
What happens if I sign up for a course before getting approval?
You can still submit a TOP Application form but because there is limited funding and not all courses will meet the criteria for funding, you must apply for approval prior to starting your course. Should there be extenuating circumstances that result in the delay of application, the TOP coordinator must be contacted. Applications for courses that have already been completed will not be reimbursed.
What happens if I leave the organization while taking the course?
You must be employed as regular staff member by a LLINC, ELT, or OCC program at the start and at the finish of your course. If you are no longer employed as regular staff by a LINC Childminding program, you must assume full responsibility for the cost of the course.
Where can I get additional TOP information?
For additional information visit the About Us page on the CMAS web site. It will have information on how to contact the TOP coordinator and how to connect to a site that may help you find your desired
courses. Additionally, all colleges that have ECE and post-ECE courses have web sites for you to access.