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Early Childhood Education Fast Track (ECE)

Ontario College Diploma
College Code:
Community Services
Program Code:
Accelerated Delivery:
Academic Year:
2017 / 2018

About the Program

The Early Childhood Education Fast Track program will provide students with the knowledge and skills to work with young children in the area of early learning and care. In this diploma program, graduates of university programs will build on their existing knowledge and experience in order to develop skills and knowledge necessary to work as early childhood educators. 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.

Note: The Fast Track version of the Early Childhood Education diploma program is designed to be completed in two academic semesters of full-time study.

Program Information

Length: Two-year Ontario College Diploma program
Delivery Sequence: Doon (Kitchener) - September/2017 - Fall | Winter
Location: Doon (Kitchener)
Start: September
First-Year Capacity: 40

Admission Requirements

A degree in humanities or social sciences (psychology, sociology), or equivalent, from an accredited college or university

Note re: Admission Requirements

Admission Procedures

Program Requirements

Tuition & Fees

Domestic fees are currently unavailable; please check back at a later time.

Financial Assistance

The 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 Opportunities

Employment opportunities as a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) are found in licensed child care centres working with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school age children, as well as home day care, integrated centres, and other social agencies. Graduates meet the academic and field work requirement for registration with the College of Early Childhood Educators.

On average, 98% 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:

Pathways & Credit Transfer

Conestoga 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.

Program Courses

Course Details (00031)
Course Code Course Title and Description
Level 1
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.
Hours: 182
Credits: 6
Pre-Requisites: ECE1380

ECE1750 Introduction to Curriculum

Description: The facilitation of effective curriculum in an early learning and care setting for children ages, 2-5 will be explored. The value of developing a quality play environment, based on observation, sound developmental awareness and the principles of play, creativity and diversity will be practiced. An emphasis will be placed on designing an integrated approach to curriculum that includes a variety of areas within an indoor and outdoor learning environment. The role of the teacher in supporting and extending explorative and inquiry teaching and learning processes will be introduced.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3

ECE1760 Developmentally Responsive Practice

Description: Elements of effective curriculum planning and implementation in early learning and care environments will be explored. The value of developing a quality play environment, based on observation, sound developmental awareness, and principles of play. The role of the Early Childhood Educator in providing high quality care through fostering emotional well-being and social competence will be studied. Emphasis will be placed on designing a responsive and holistic curriculum in early learning and care environments.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3

ECE2170 Advanced Development

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.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites: ECE1065, ECE1075

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.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3

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.
Hours: 14
Credits: 1

Level 2
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.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3

ECE1770 Advanced Curriculum

Description: Students will evaluate, critique and assess their own practices in designing curriculum for children from infancy to school age. Various philosophical, theoretical and curricular approaches will be examined with respect to the role of the teacher, integrated play experiences, inclusive curriculum, curriculum planning, implementation and documentation. Application of effective curriculum practices will be applied to various curricular approaches with the design of a unique integrated play based curriculum.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites: ECE1750

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.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3

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.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3

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.
Hours: 182
Credits: 6
Pre-Requisites: ECE1100

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.
Hours: 182
Credits: 6
Pre-Requisites: ECE2145

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.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3

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.
Hours: 28
Credits: 2
Pre-Requisites: ECE2070

Program Outcomes

Program Advisory Committees

The 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.

Program Handbook


Apply Now

Domestic students should apply online at or by phone at 1-888-892-2228.

60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
Canada N1G 5J3

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.
For program information, call the Information Centre at 519-748-5220 ext 3656.


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.


Program Status (Domestic)
Start DateCampusStatus**
SEP, 2018-AD * Doon Open
* AD = Accelerated Delivery
** Status applicable to domestic students
Program status for international students

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Success Stories

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