Early Childhood Education (ECE)
- Ontario College Diploma
- College Code:
- Community Services
- Program Code:
- Accelerated Delivery:
- Academic Year:
- 2017 / 2018
About the ProgramThis two-year diploma program prepares students for professional practice in the field of early learning and child care. Through interactive classroom learning and integrative field placement experiences, students will develop skills that will enable them to work in collaboration with families, colleagues and communities for the purpose of designing, implementing and evaluating inclusive play-based early learning programs. Building on a thorough understanding of child development and principles of responsive practice, students will work in partnership with college-operated child development centres, kindergarten classrooms, licensed early learning and care programs and community agencies in order to integrate classroom theory and practice in meaningful and engaging ways.
Conestoga also offers a degree program related to the early childhood field.
Program InformationLength: Two-year Ontario College Diploma program
Doon (Kitchener) - September/2017 - Fall | Winter | Fall | Winter
Doon (Kitchener) - January/2018 - Winter | Spring/Summer | Fall | Winter
Location: Doon (Kitchener)
Start: September and January
First-Year Capacity: 130 (September), 80 (January)
- The January intake offers the opportunity for accelerated completion. The program is delivered in four consecutive semesters.
- Successfully completing the Human Services Foundations program prior to applying to the Early Childhood Education diploma program is an opportunity to obtain a year of personal growth and education that may contribute to success in this career-focused program.
- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or 19 years of age or older with mature student status (See Mature Student definition for details.)
- Grade 12 compulsory English, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Communications (COMM1270)
- For more information on preparatory programs, visit Academic Upgrading
- An academic strength is calculated by averaging the submitted marks of required subjects. If more than one mark is received for a required subject, the highest mark will be used in the calculation.
- Ten (10) additional marks are added to each Advanced level, OAC, U, U/C, and post-secondary course used in the calculation of academic strength.
- A sound background in English is important for success in this program and is considered during the admission selection process. Minimum cutoffs apply.
- Mandatory practicum health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student field/clinical placements. Successful placement completion is required for students to progress to program completion. To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:
- A complete immunization record including MMR and Tdap. Seasonal flu vaccination is recommended during flu season (October - March).
- TB Testing: Evidence of current 1-step (completed within 1 year of your program start date).
- Standard First Aid and CPR - Level C
- A Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS). Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.
- Students entering the ECE program are expected to have behaviours imperative for the ECE field: self-reflection, responsibility, honesty, integrity, punctuality, strong written, oral and non-verbal communication skills, solid problem-solving abilities, and a sincere commitment to learning and the ECE profession.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition fee details for the 2017-2018 year are listed below. Books and supplies are additional.
Financial AssistanceThe Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a needs-based program designed to help Ontario students cover the cost of post-secondary education. Funded by the federal and provincial governments, OSAP is intended to promote equality of opportunity for post-secondary studies through direct financial assistance for educational costs and living expenses. These interest-free loans are intended to supplement your financial resources and those of your family. The majority of students apply for loan assistance via the OSAP website. Students can also print the application booklet through the OSAP website.
For more information, please visit Financial Services/Awards.
Graduate OpportunitiesGraduates of this program meet the academic requirements for registration with the College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario qualifying them for employment as Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) in licensed child care settings and other community programs serving young children and families and as Designated Early Childhood Educators (DECEs) in full-day kindergarten classrooms in Ontario.
On average, 95% of graduates from the last three years (2013 to 2015) found employment within six months of graduation.
For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home
Pathways & Credit TransferConestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credential. Pathways are formed through agreements between Conestoga programs or partner institutions. View the transfer agreement opportunities for this program.
Often applicants have earned credits from another college or university that may allow a student to be granted advanced standing or exemption. Learn more about credit transfer opportunities at Conestoga.
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)Conestoga recognizes prior learning of skills, knowledge or competencies that have been acquired through employment, formal and informal education, non-formal learning or other life experiences. Prior learning must be measurable at the required academic level and meet Conestoga standards of achievement for current courses. Challenge exams and portfolio development are the primary methods of assessment. Other methods of assessment may be available depending upon the nature of the course objectives. Successful completion of the assessment results in an official course credit that will be recorded on the student's Conestoga transcript. PLAR cannot be used by registered Conestoga students for the clearance of academic deficiencies, to improve grades or to obtain admission into a program.
Learn more about PLAR.
|Course Code||Course Title and Description|
|COMM1085||College Reading & Writing Skills
Description: This course focuses on the reading, writing and critical thinking skills needed for academic and workplace success. Students will analyse, summarize, and discuss a variety of readings and apply the steps of planning, writing, and revising in response to written prompts. This course prepares students for post-secondary writing tasks, research, and documentation.
|ECE1020||Foundations Of Curriculum
Description: This course introduces the concepts of relationship-building and play as the cornerstones of curriculum. Through the lens of holistic development and inclusive early learning, students will examine and describe the elements of meaningful learning for young children of all age groups and the role of the educator in supporting learning. Students will practice emerging skills in observation, reflection and documentation as the basis for planning children's learning.
|ECE1065||Child Development: The Early Years
Description: This course introduces students to the study of child development, which is holistic and interdependent, and focuses on the period from conception to early childhood. The biologically determined characteristics and the influences of family, culture and society are explored. Major theories of development and learning are introduced and used as a framework for examining the developmental process. The course introduces students to the role observation plays to incorporate a child's development into planning for an inclusive, play-based curriculum for infants and toddlers.
|ECE1375||Introduction to Early Learning
Description: This course will introduce students to the profession of Early Learning and Care. Within the scope of professional practice, the variety of settings, and the range of other professionals with whom educators interact, students will examine the evolution of the profession and the language that describes it. Students will consider and explore the relevant legislation and regulations, regulatory bodies, curriculum documents as well as curriculum approaches that impact the practice, of early learning and care. Specifically, they will examine how these shape professional practices and others' views of those practices.
|ECE1380||Introduction to Practice
Description: This field placement experience introduces students to working with children in early learning settings. Students will have opportunity to observe and examine the role of an Early Childhood Educator, and under his or her direction, begin to practice working with children and families. Students will observe children's abilities, interests and ideas and will describe and develop skills in the areas of human qualities, communication and professionalism.
|OHS1320||Safety in the Workplace
Description: This course focuses on developing awareness and skills for the student to safely manage and conduct him or herself within a variety of employment settings. Through the nine units of the course, participants will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of General Health and Safety guidelines, including WHMIS, Fire Safety and Workplace Violence. The unit on Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act will instruct the student on the requirements for Accessible Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulations. General information on Safe Driving, Privacy of Information and Hand Washing will be addressed as well. The course also provides participants with critical information regarding their insurance coverage (WSIB or other) while employed. As well as guidelines to follow in the event of an injury. Participants will receive a printable Record of Completion upon successful conclusion of this course, in order to demonstrate awareness of safe working practices to their employers.
|ECE1015||Responsive Curriculum in Early Learning
Description: Building on elements covered in Foundations of Curriculum, this course will examine observed abilities, interests and ideas of children of all ages as essential components of quality early learning.. Using observation and reflection as critical elements of meaningful learning for children of all ages and age groupingss of children, students will design, implement and document inclusive, play-based curriculum. Students will demonstrate the importance of supportive play environments and responsive relationships in designing and applying professional practices that reflect constructivist-inspired curriculum.
|ECE1055||Health Safety & Nutrition
Description: This course will address the interrelationship of health, safety, and nutrition for children of all ages and age groups. Students will examine current legislation, agency policies and evidence-informed practices in order to develop and maintain health, safety and nutrition practices that emphasize prevention and recognition of illness and injury to individual and groups of children in early learning and care settings. In addition, students will develop and evaluate healthy and safe early learning practices that combine to establish diverse, equitable and accessible learning opportunities for children and their families.
|ECE1075||Child Development: The Later Years
Description: Focusing on major theories of development and learning, this course presents the study of the preschool and school age child through a lens of holistic and interdependent development. The biologically determined characteristics and the influences of family, culture and society are explored and the ways in which they interact are examined. Students will continue to refine their observation skills to document their knowledge of child development and to plan inclusive, play-based curriculum for preschoolers and school-age children.
|ECE1100||Field Placement - Fundamentals of Practice Preschool
Description: This field placement experience provides opportunity for students to integrate theory with practice as they develop their skills with children of all ages and families in early learning settings. Students will observe children's abilities, interests and ideas in order to examine, select and implement professional practice skills in the areas of human qualities, communication, professionalism, and curriculum. They will establish responsive relationships with children, families and colleagues through program participation. In addition, they will demonstrate the principles of early learning pedagogy as they design, implement and reflect upon inclusive, play-based early learning curriculum with individual children and groups of children.
|ECE2070||Partnership With Families
Description: This course explores the partnership between the early childhood professionals and the families of children enrolled in early learning and care programs. Students will examine the structural, cultural, and developmental diversities of families in order to validate them as the primary support for children and their learning. Students will articulate the role of the educator in establishing and maintaining strong reciprocal relationships with families that are compatible with ethical and professional obligations. They will explore and practice engaging strategies that highlight collaboration with families.
Electives: General Education
Student must complete a minimum of 42 Hours
|ECE2000||Designing Integrative Curriculum
Description: This course will deepen students' knowledge and skills of engaging children of all ages in inclusive learning through a constructivist-inspired curriculum. With a view to designing integrative curriculum that is equitable and accessible, students will analyze the interconnected nature of children's learning and defend how curriculum supports that learning. Drawing on critical reflection and building on children's observed abilities, interests and ideas, students will collaborate with families and colleagues to design and implement integrative curriculum that is illustrated through pedagogical documentation and authentic assessment
|ECE2145||Field Placement - Expansion of Practice
Description: This field placement experience provides opportunity for students to expand their professional practice skills with children of all ages and families in early learning settings. Students will observe children's abilities, interests and ideas and the environmental context in which these occur in order to examine, select and implement professional practice skills in the areas of human qualities, communication, professionalism and curriculum. Through responsive relationships with children, families and colleagues, students will demonstrate inclusive and integrative play-based curriculum and illustrate through pedagogical documentation and authentic assessment.
Description: This course expands the study of child development across the ages of infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children. The biologically determined characteristics continue to be explored and special consideration is given to how family culture, ethnicity, language, abilities, life experiences, socio-economic status, spirituality, gender, gender-identity, appearance, sexual orientation, size, and age influence development. Students will analyze developmental characteristics of children and articulate the ways in which these characteristics interconnect and contribute to the holistic development of each child. They will apply these considerations in their selection and use of observation, documentation and screening tools in planning for an inclusive and constructivist-inspired curriculum for groups of children.
|ECE2180||Teamwork in Professional Practice
Description: This course explores professional practice in the context of a collaborative early learning team that embraces a commitment to team work, respect and social justice. Students will identify the variety of members who make up the early learning teams and analyze the scope of practice and the unique contributions of each member in supporting the child and the family. Through self-reflection and analysis of professional documents, students will critique and practice effective strategies for initiating and maintaining reciprocal and positive relationships with members of the early learning team.
Electives: General Education
Student must complete a minimum of 42 Hours
|ECE1785||Issues in Quality In Early Learning and Care
Description: This course will explore elements of quality early learning and care from an issue and evidence-based perspective. Students will examine, compare and contrast the research evidence that supports promising practices in the field of early learning and care. In addition, this course will examine the many competing social and economic issues in our society that contribute to quality in early learning and care.
|ECE2085||The ECE Professional
Description: This course will examine the evolution of early learning and care as a profession and the repositioning of the role of the educator within that profession. Students will examine and critique the documents that shape the profession in order to explore the changing professional and social image of the child, the educator and the profession. They will analyze their professional practices and through a process of self-reflection will examine the impact of those practices on their emerging professional identity. In addition, they will create a professional development plan that recognizes documented abilities, professional interests and a commitment to continuous learning.
|ECE2155||Field Placement Consolidation of Practice
Description: This field placement experience provides an opportunity for students to consolidate their professional practices related to children, families and colleagues. Students will refine their skills related to observing children's abilities, interests and ideas and the environment in which these occur. With increased confidence and minimal supervision, students will use evidence in order to plan, implement and evaluate inclusive and integrative play-based curriculum. They will initiate steps in order to promote collaborative relationships with families and colleagues.
|ECE2160||Philosophy in Practice
Description: This course will examine the historical roots and philosophies of early childhood education and their connections to current early learning practices. Using philosophical principles, evidence based research and relevant professional documents as guides to practice, students will combine an analysis of their personal values and quality indicators to develop a philosophy of early childhood education. Through a lens of contextual realities and contemporary issues they will develop a plan to operationalize this philosophy.
|ECE2190||Supporting Children Through Families and Community
Description: This course focuses on supporting infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school agers within his or her family by promoting relationships with the local community agencies and professionals that foster inclusion of children with diverse strengths, need and abilities. Students will become familiar with and gain an understanding of community organizations and professional roles of those supporting inclusion while strengthening respectful, collaborative family/child partnerships through effective use of community and family resources. In addition students will practice preparing and using professional written, verbal, nonverbal and electronic communications to advocate for children and families with colleagues, employers, and community partners.
Electives: General Education
Student must complete a minimum of 42 Hours
- Plan curriculum that is based on a thorough understanding of child development.
- Plan and implement individual programs and curriculum to meet the developmental needs of children.
- Utilize a variety of observation techniques to enhance work with children, families, and co-workers.
- Maintain responsive relationships with individual children and groups of children.
- Establish and maintain safe and healthy environments which meet the requirements of current legislation, regulatory bodies, and program policies.
- Develop and maintain effective written, oral, nonverbal, and electronic communications with children, families, co-workers, employers, and individuals/agencies.
- Apply relevant legislation, policies, procedures, and regulations to early childhood education programs and settings in a changing social context.
- Apply a personal philosophy of early childhood education within the framework of ethical and professional standards.
- Act in a manner consistent with principles of fairness, equity, and diversity to support the development and learning of individual children, within the context of their family, culture, and society.
These are also the learning outcomes expected by the Program Quality Unit of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
Program Advisory CommitteesThe College appoints Program Advisory Committee members for diploma, degree, certificate and apprenticeship programs. Committees are composed of employers, practitioners and recent program graduates. College representatives (students, faculty, and administrators) are resource persons. Each committee advises the Board on the development of new programs, the monitoring of existing programs and community acceptance of programs.
Apply NowDomestic students should apply online at www.ontariocolleges.ca or by phone at 1-888-892-2228.
60 Corporate Court
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Detailed steps on the application process may help you to apply.
International students should apply online using the Conestoga College International Application Portal. Please note: not all programs are open to international students. Interested students should check the listing of open programs on our international students web page before applying.
The College reserves the right to alter information including requirements and fees and to cancel at any time a program, course, or program major or option; to change the location and/or term in which a program or course is offered; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies in the job market or for budgetary reasons; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations, over-acceptance of offers of admission, budgetary constraints, or for other such reasons. In the event the College exercises such a right, the College’s sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to the College.
Students actively registered in cohort delivered programs who take longer than the designed program length of time to complete their studies are accountable for completing any new or additional courses that may result due to changes in the program of study. Unless otherwise stated, students registered in non-cohort delivered programs must complete the program of study within seven years of being admitted to the program.