Early Childhood Education (ECEP)
Available as a two-year program, distance or apprenticeship studies
- Program Code
Two-year Ontario College Diploma
- Start Date
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: 95% of 2013 Loyalist grads were employed within six months of graduation (KPI Survey 2013, 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 keep come at 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
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; please see “Admissions Requirements” for details
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
- First Year - Semester One
- ECEP2004 Child, Family and Community
- In this course, students are introduced to the role of the early childhood educator in developing partnerships with the children, their families and the community. The issues facing contemporary families and the impact of multi-faceted and complex problems such as child abuse are an integral part of this course.
- COMM1048 College Writing Skills
- This course focuses on writing and research skills required for successful completion of college-level studies. The course will promote development and improvement of research and writing skills that can be applied to students’ chosen programs of study.
- CADW1005 Creative Play
- This course will provide an introduction to play as a means to early learning that capitalizes on children's natural curiosity and exuberance. Students explore the role of play in early learning and development and will be introduced to a variety of play-based learning opportunities.
- CADW1007 Introduction to Child Development
- This course gives an overview of the domains and key theories of child development. Genetics and heredity including the interaction of heredity and the environment is described. Prenatal development is discussed as a process of inherited potential within a controlled environment. This course concludes with the childbirth process.
- ECEP1006 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
- This foundation course introduces the field of early childhood development in Canada and the historical perspectives that have led to joining education and child care into early learning and care programs striving to offer seamless experiences for children from birth to age six. The policies and legislation that shape the range of models, services and settings are explored, along with evidence based practices in regard to quality of service delivery. The opportunities and challenges for the early childhood workforce and for the individual's professional growth are established as themes that will be further investigated in later courses.
- ECEP1010 Observing Early Development
- This course will examine a variety of observation techniques used in the field of early learning and care. Developing proficiency in the use of different observation techniques will be a focus of this course. Quality indicators and facilitator interactions to create responsive learning environments for children aged 18 months to five years will be explored.
- GNED1019 Personal Development
- This course gives an overview of self-understanding including learning styles and tendencies. The concepts of healthy living and the promotion of health practices for continued health while a learner at Loyalist College are explored. Goal setting, self-evaluation and developing personal resources are examined.
- First Year - Semester Two
- HLTH1003 Health, Safety and Nutrition
- This course provides students with the foundation knowledge for establishing healthy and safe environments for infants to school aged children. Curriculum strategies for promoting children’s learning regarding personal safety, health and nutrition are explored. The impact of current research on legislation and policies is investigated regarding children’s environments and occupational health practices for the ECE practitioner.
- CADW1006 Infant Toddler Development
- This course is an in-depth study of child development from birth to 30 months of age. Issues related to current research on infant and toddler development and applying developmental theory to practice in the field of early childhood education is an integral part of this course.
- ECEP1008 Infant Toddler Learning Environment
- This course examines the role of the early childhood educator in creating responsive environments to promote infant and toddler development. Students identify best practices and determine developmentally appropriate learning experiences for infants and toddlers.
- WKPL1004 Practicum 1
- In an infant or toddler practicum setting, students develop skills in planning, implementing, and evaluating learning experiences that reflect information collected about the children's needs and interests. Demonstration of appropriate health and safety practices is critical.
- PROF1010 Practicum Seminar 1
- Introduction to the Practicum Guide enables learners to document their accomplishments, determine time management strategies, and meet the required expectations for professionalism. Students are introduced to a variety of curriculum ideas.
- ECEP1011 Responsive Relationships Part 1
- This foundation course identifies the adult role in adult-child interactions and the factors that influence various adult interaction styles and the characteristics of effective ECE practitioners. The course identifies strategies for forming close relationships with infants and toddlers and promoting positive, supportive teacher-child interactions in guidance situations. The self-reflection process is used to explore adult biases in thinking and responding to typical child guidance scenarios with infants and toddlers.
- GNED General Education Elective
- General Education Courses
- Second Year - Semester Three
- COMM1037 Interpersonal Communications
- This course prepares students to become effective communicators in both their personal and professional lives. It explores new methods of communication through technology; personal communication skills through self-assessment exercises and application of communication principles through reflection, discussion.
- WKPL2027 Practicum 2
- This course supports students in acquiring effective ECE facilitation skills relating to: providing a responsive environment, communicating effectively with adults and children, promoting positive team work, using positive child guidance techniques, engaging in self-reflection, and identifying professional goals. Curriculum planning and implementation demonstrates an inclusive, child centered approach across all domains.
- PROF2017 Practicum Seminar 2
- This course supports students with curriculum planning, implementation and analysis process for curriculum offered across all domains, in a child centered, inclusive program. The student will identify professional goals in response to the knowledge and skills described in the Occupational Standards for Practitioners, previous feedback and the self-reflective process.
- CADW2001 Preschool Development
- This course examines the contributions of key theorists in all domains of development for children aged 30 months to five years. Examining related current child development research and the application of that research and developmental theory to practice is a key focus of this course.
- ECEP2002 Preschool Learning Environment
- This course provides students with a foundation in play, strategies to establish a responsive environment, and curriculum approaches that promote holistic development in the preschool years in a variety of early learning and care settings. The partnership role of the ECE with the child and family is explored in relation to evidence-based practices that support the parent role.
- ECEP2003 Responsive Relationships Part 2
- This course expands student’s repertoire of developmentally appropriate techniques appropriate for guiding preschool and school aged children in a variety of early learning and care settings. The emphasis is on the adult as role model and guide to help children identify the influence of their thinking and behaviour in responding to situations, conflict and stress. Specific problem solving strategies including resilient thinking are explored.
- GNED General Education Elective
- General Education Courses
- Second Year - Semester Four
- CADW2002 Children with Exceptionalities
- The course explores children’s exceptionalities from a developmental framework and examines inclusive programming based on current research and developmentally appropriate practice. Policies that reinforce or deter inclusive practices will be examined.
- ECEP2007 Evidence Based Practices
- This course will examine how research influences the field of early learning and care and the establishment of evidence-based practices. The focus will be on acquiring proficiency in the use of specific evidence-based curriculum programs and articulating the rationale for their use in the context of the ELECT, FDEL-K and role of the ECE.
- ECEP2006 Management & Advocacy
- Upon successful completion of this course, students are able to outline the principles and procedures involved in the administration of an early childhood learning environment including the advocacy for child care issues relating to children, family and child care programs.
- WKPL2028 Practicum 3
- This course supports students in designing, implementing and analyzing developmentally appropriate inclusive curricula projects while demonstrating effective ECE facilitation skills that support individual children's involvement. Children's active involvement in the curriculum project is documented through portfolios and learning stories.
- CADW2003 School Age Development
- This course examines the contributions of key theorists in all domains of development for children aged six to 12 years. Examining related current child development research and the application of that research and developmental theory to practice is a key focus of this course.
- ECEP2005 School Age Learning Environment
- This course explores the issues relating to school aged children's social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development and their impact on the types of services required for children and their families. The ECE role in providing a responsive environment to meet the ranges of ages and abilities is described, along with considerations for engaging children in meaningful curricula projects and recreational pursuits. Quality indicators and evidence based practices are researched and incorporated into curriculum planning.
Expand your qualifications at Loyalist
ECE graduates are eligible for advanced standing in the following programs:
- Child and Youth Worker, advanced standing
- Developmental Services Worker, accelerated stream
- Social Service Worker, accelerated stream
Turn your diploma into a degree
Many universities across Canada and abroad will provide credit recognition for your diploma studies at Loyalist. The following is a list of agreements that are currently in place. There are many more options, and new agreements are added annually. Contact your university of choice to make individual arrangements.
- Athabasca University – Bachelor of Professional Arts in Human Services
- Brock University – Early Childhood Education
- Carleton University – various degrees
- Davenport University – Bachelor of Arts – General Business
- George Brown College – Bachelor of Applied Arts in Early Childhood Leadership
- Griffith University – Bachelor of Arts
- Institutes of Technology Ireland
- Lakehead University – Bachelor of Education (Concurrent Education) – Primary/Junior Specialization
- Laurier Brantford – any honours program
- Nipissing University – Bachelor of Arts
- Ryerson University – Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies
- Seneca College – Bachelor of Child Development
- University of Guelph – Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) in Early Childhood
- University of Windsor
- Bachelor of Arts (General or Honours)
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Disability Studies
- Bachelor of Social Work
What universities say
“Some of our best students have come from Loyalist so we know the academic training you guys are giving them is excellent!”
S. Parlow, Ph.D., Program Coordinator
Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (Child Studies) and Associate Professor of Psychology, Carleton University
How much will it cost?
Approximate costs (2013-14)
- Domestic Tuition/Ancillary Fees: $3,659 (two semesters)
- Consumables Fee: $155
- Books, Practicum Clothing and Supplies: $1,600
- Additional costs, such as travel and parking, may be incurred during placements.
Bursaries and financial assistance
Loyalist has a number of scholarships, bursaries and academic awards available to students. Our Financial Services Office can help you explore your options, or assist you with a student loan.
Required academic preparation
- OSSD/OSSGD or equivalent with courses at the general, advanced, (C), (U) or (M) level, and
- Grade 12 English (C) level or equivalent
- A formal, confidential health history, up-to-date immunization and Tuberculosis (two-step TB) test are required as part of the registration process
- Standard First Aid and Level “C” CPR certification
- Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check
- If you have been convicted of an offence under the Criminal Code for which you have not been pardoned, you may be ineligible for field placement; please contact the coordinator to discuss your options
Advanced standing options
- Graduates of Human Studies programs may be eligible for advanced standing in the ECE program; please contact the program coordinator for further information
- Applicants with degrees and unrelated diplomas may be required to complete a Prior Learning Assessment portfolio in application for course exemptions or advanced standing
Distance program (ECED)
- Loyalist offers the entire Early Childhood Education program by distance learning
- Work at your own pace – take up to seven years to complete your diploma
- You can stop and start your studies without losing credits
- There is no on-campus requirement; some students may be required to complete a field placement at a mandatory location as set by Loyalist
- Distance education students enrolled in a minimum number of courses may qualify for financial assistance through OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program)
- For information about registration and course fees, please see loyalistfocus.com
Child Development Practitioner Apprenticeship Certificate (ECEM)
- Begin your certificate in September, January or May
- You can complete your studies while you continue to work as a registered apprentice with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. You and your employer must enter into a contract representing your employer’s willingness to support you through this certificate
- In addition to the admission requirements listed above, you must be 16 years of age or over to apply
- There is no on-campus requirement to earn an apprenticeship certificate. For more information about registration and course fees, please see loyalistfocus.com
- Information about qualification requirements leading to certification are available from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, 416-326-5800, or a regional office: Belleville 613-968-5558; Kingston 613-545-4338; Pickering 905-837-7721; or Peterborough 705-745-1918
- With three approved general education courses and proof of Standard First Aid and Level “C” CPR certification, as well as a certificate in dealing with anaphylaxis, apprenticeship certificate holders are eligible to receive a Loyalist ECE Ontario College Diploma
Prior learning assessment and recognition
Applicants with work experiences or other types of non-credentialed learning may be eligible for credits at Loyalist. Graded credits (as opposed to exemptions) are granted. Click here for more information about our assessment and credit challenge process.
Click here for information about how to apply, international student fees and more.
College of Early Childhood Educators Representative at Loyalist
On March 20th, Laura Sheehan, Director of Registration and Member Services at the College of Early Childhood Educators, spoke with Loyalist Early Childhood Education (ECE) students. It was ... Read More
ECE Program CELEBRATES PLAY with Community Members
The Loyalist College Early Childhood Education Program partnered with education-focused institutions in the community, including the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) in Hastings-Pri... Read More
Loyalist College ECE Student Recognized as a Difference Maker by Rick ...
This week Leah Bunnett, an Early Childhood Education (ECE) student at Loyalist College, was given a very special opportunity. Leah was a medal bearer for Rick Hansen, joining him in the Tyendinaga seg... Read More
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