Home Programs & Courses Full-Time Programs Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education (ECEP)

Available as a two-year program, distance or apprenticeship studies

Children’s experiences in their first five years are critically important to their future success — academically, economically and socially. Early childhood educators get to be part of that magic, guiding children through play-based learning and exploration. Make a difference that can last a lifetime.
  • Program Code


  • Credential
    • Two-year Ontario College Diploma

  • Start Date

    September entry

Find your career

Graduates work as early childhood educators in settings that include:

  • Full-day kindergarten programs
  • Child care centres
  • Nursery schools
  • Private home child care
  • Live-in and live-out nanny
  • Resource centres
  • Cruise ships and resorts

Ongoing personal and professional growth is encouraged to meet national Occupational Standards for Early Childhood Educators.

By the numbers: 91 per cent of 2014 Loyalist grads were employed within six months of graduation (KPI Survey 2014, Forum Research Inc. for MTCU).

Our grads get great jobs

  • Early Childhood Educator, Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board
  • Educational Assistant, Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board
  • Acting Assistant Director & Head Preschool Teacher, Catundra Day Care Centre
  • Early Childhood Educator, Kinder Learning Centre
  • Toddler Teacher, Montessori School House

Is it for you?

You love kids. Of course you do. But is this the career for you? It may be a good fit if you have:

  • Patience and compassion
  • A creative approach to problem solving
  • The ability to approach a challenge from different perspectives
  • A sense of fun

What employers say

“Early Childhood Education students are getting an extremely formative background here at Loyalist. They are led by people that have a real vision for play-based learning and they’re given lots of opportunities to apply theory into practice.”
Lynne Crawford Beare
Curriculum Coordinator, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

Experiential learning

Loyalist’s ECE program consistently ranks high in student and graduate satisfaction, combining theory with practice:

  • Design and implement curriculum to meet the diverse learning needs of children at different stages
  • Learning emphasizes inclusive practices, partnerships with families, multiple intelligences, and evidence-based practices supported by current research
  • Develop reflective practitioner skills with one-on-one faculty mentoring

Gain practical on-the-job training during three field placements:

  • Develop authentic relationships with children while you put theory into practice
  • Get a range of experiences in child care centres, kindergartens and school-age community programs

There are many flexible options for learning – find the right fit for you:

  • Applicants with a related degree or diploma may be eligible for advanced standing
  • The entire program is also offered online — take up to seven years to complete your studies at your own pace via distance
  • An apprenticeship certificate is also available to students interested in completing their studies while they continue to work
  • For more information on distance and apprenticeship options, please see the Admissions Requirements tab, or visit

Outstanding faculty make the difference

  • Experienced faculty share their knowledge of best practices and today’s job realities
  • Teachers work with students in the selection of placement experiences to support their individual interests and career goals

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