Ontario College Diploma
2 Years; 60 weeks

Early Childhood Education

Coming in 2024

Overview

This program combines theory and coursework with real experience in the field. Students will learn the importance of play in children’s learning, family involvement, and curriculum design. Graduates will be qualified to work in a variety of jobs including child care centres, early learning and family centres. There are four semesters, which include the field placement.

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Program Code

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Credential

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Program Highlights

Graduates from this program will gain diverse and dynamic skills for the evolving world of childhood education. You’ll be qualified to work in a range of jobs including child care centres, early learning and family centres, before and after school programs and with school boards.

This two-year Ontario College Diploma program will develop students’ knowledge and professional skills in the early childhood educator’s role and responsibilities. Your work placement will expose you to a wide variety of age groups and multiple organizations. You’ll have had dynamic and eclectic experiences that will make you more valuable to the field of Early Childhood Education.

Courses

Level 1

Gen Ed – Take a 3 credit General Education elective course.

Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:

This workshop will provide an overview of the Co-operative Education consultants and students’ roles and responsibilities as well as the Co-operative Education Policy. It will provide students with employment preparatory skills specifically related to co-operative education work assignments and will prepare students for their work term.

This course provides an introduction to the foundations and principles of early childhood education. It identifies the importance of a play based pedagogical approach to ‘How Does Learning Happen?’ Students will examine the role of the Early Childhood Educator in maintaining an inclusive, child centered and developmentally appropriate practice.

This course provides the opportunity to analyze the role of the educator in building supportive relationships that respond with sensitivity and respect to all children, enhance emotional and social development, and guide children’s behaviour in ways which facilitate self esteem and self-control.

In this course students will investigate foundational child development theorists and their linkage to practice and pedagogy in early care and education systems. A continuum-based approach within the context of early year’s programs, will be explored. Students will have opportunities to examine the structure and function of the brain, as well as consider the role that both heredity and environment play in the developing child. Current research, that informs policy in the early year’s field, will additionally be analyzed.

This course will introduce the concepts of bias-free values and multiple perspectives of diversity as foundations for effective interpersonal relationships. In this course, students will assess personal values and Professional disposition which influence attitudes towards and relationships with, children, families and colleagues. Sensitive, effective and supportive communication methods will be identified and practiced within the classroom setting. Both verbal and non-verbal communication skills and attitudes required for collaborative professional interactions will be emphasized throughout.

Students will be introduced to the profession of Early Childhood Education. The class content will support the student in understanding the importance of building relationships with children, principles of practice, value of learning through play and being an ECE professional. The students will visit a child care agency and work with a Mentor to be oriented into the Field Practicum experience. Professional attitudes and behaviours are expected at an introductory level.

Level 2

Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:

This course, designed for students who plan to work in the field of Community Studies, focuses on professional written and verbal communication skills. Students learn to prepare a variety of work-related documents. In addition, students learn about research methods and documentation formats. The principles of effective writing – organization, grammar, style, clarity, and tone – are reinforced throughout the course. The goal of the course is to prepare students for the communication tasks and considerations they will encounter in the Community Studies workplace in order to meet the needs of employers and/or the communities they will serve.

This course, designed for students who plan to work in the field of Community Studies, focuses on professional written and verbal communication skills. Students learn to prepare a variety of work-related documents. In addition, students learn about research methods and documentation formats. The principles of effective writing – organization, grammar, style, clarity, and tone – are reinforced throughout the course. The goal of the course is to prepare students for the communication tasks and considerations they will encounter in the Community Studies workplace in order to meet the needs of employers and/or the communities they will serve.

In this course students will explore theories of child development that inform pedagogy and practice prenatal through the first three years of life. Brain structure and function during this critical period of development will be analyzed. Sensitive and responsive interaction strategies and their connection to belonging, well-being, engagement and expression of the young child will be explored. The implications of temperament and attachment in the early years will be appraised.

In a child care setting with infants, toddlers or preschoolers students will have the opportunity to integrate their knowledge of child development, play based curriculum by implementing ‘How Does Learning Happen’, using appropriate and inclusive practice through routines, interactions and experiences which encourage play and exploration. Students will foster nurturing and supportive relationships, responding sensitively to the children’s needs and utilizing guidance techniques that balance autonomy and security. Professional attitudes and behaviours are expected.

This course examines the critical role of the early childhood educator in creating caring and responsive relationships with children zero-three, their families, and communities. This course focuses on children’s holistic development and wellbeing by understanding and responding to children’s unique, capabilities, interests, and experiences through the integration of the principles from ‘How Does Learning Happen?’ Students will have opportunities to collaborate and facilitate observation-based inquiry and play-based early learning experiences using pedagogical documents*. As this course is focused on understanding and responding to infant and toddler development, emphasis is placed on the use of open-ended materials that scaffold learning and support investigation, creativity, reasonable risk taking and problem-solving. *ELECT, How Does Learning Happen?, Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework

This course will identify components of a safe and healthy environment which meets the requirements of current legislation and regulatory bodies. The nutritional and health needs of young children are identified, and the implementation of appropriate environments and practices are discussed.

This course identifies the importance of establishing respectful, inclusive and responsive relationships with families. Students examine positive strategies for engaging families that promote collaboration and well-being for children in their families. Students examine the role of advocacy and community resources and how they best support individual families and their needs.

This course is designed to integrate theory with practice, as well as to provide peer support for problem solving and sharing successful practicum experiences. This gives students an open forum to write, discuss, practice and reflect on the skills, knowledge and dispositions needed to be successful in the child care field. The students will develop a professional e-portfolio as a tool for documenting their skills, knowledge of the Vocational Learning Outcomes and ongoing professional learning.

Level 3 

Take the following Mandatory Course:

This course explores ethics, leadership and diversity in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. You will be introduced to various frameworks for ethical decision-making to assist in leadership roles to effectively manage people and North American tourism & hospitality businesses. Through use of discussions, debates, and research students will apply strategies to create positive change.

This course examines the principles and practices of an inclusive philosophy in early childhood programs. Students will analyze current childcare practices through theoretical concepts such as the social model for disability and critical (race, gender and disability) theories in order to take a strengths-based approach to inclusion and the implementation of inclusive practices and environments. Through this course, students will work together to identify resources and strategies. This course places emphasis on creating classrooms that promote full inclusion, equity and access to all children and families.

In a Kindergarten or Child Care setting with children ages 3-6 years students will have the opportunity to integrate their knowledge of child development, play based curriculum by implementing the Kindergarten document or How Does Learning Happen? document, using appropriate and inclusive practice through routines, interactions and experiences which encourage play, exploration and inquiry based learning. Students will foster nurturing and supportive relationships, responding sensitively to the children’s needs and utilizing guidance techniques that balance autonomy and security. Professional attitudes and behaviours are expected.

In this course students will examine theories of preschool and kindergarten development and their impact on current pedagogy and practice. Preschool and kindergarten continuums will be utilized as a foundation to articulate development. Brain structure and function and their impact on the multi-faceted growth and development of the child will be investigated. Ethical and objective documentation, and the role of the early childhood educator in scaffolding child development will be explored.

This course examines and engages with the concepts of play-based learning, inquiry-based practice, and child centred pedagogy. Through this course, students will build on understandings gained in ECED 1076 and work to hone their skills in curriculum planning and the development of their pedagogical approach. Through this course, we will focus on collaborating to co construct learning and support an understanding of how observation and pedagogical documentation can be used to facilitate and enhance play-based learning environments that are responsive to children’s strengths, needs, and interests as well as their skill development within the four frames of the kindergarten program document. Students will practice the skills necessary to become collaborative, critically reflective practitioners through focused group work opportunities in and outside of class. Students will also have the opportunity to practice planning and implementing curriculum, and analyze and create examples of pedagogical documentation to support the whole child in ways that that are engaging and responsive to children’s diverse strengths and needs.

This course explores the need for Early Childhood Educators to establish relationships, support play and foster children’s acceptance within the peer group. It examines strategies for creating an environment and curriculum that enhance positive peer interactions and pro-social behaviour. Based on research in resilience, this course identifies risk and protective factors affecting emotional development, and impacting behaviour in early childhood settings. Students explore specific strategies for Early Childhood Educators to promote resilience in children at risk.

This course is designed to integrate theory with practice, as well as to provide peer support for problem solving and sharing successful practicum experiences. This gives students an open forum to write, discuss, practice and reflect on the skills, knowledge and dispositions needed to be successful in the field. The students will continue to develop their professional e-portfolio as a tool for documenting their skills and knowledge and ongoing professional learning.

Level 4 

Take the following Mandatory Course:

This course will explore the development of school age children ages 6-12, and will identify guidelines for implementing developmentally appropriate practices in programs for school-age children. Observation, play based curriculum and pedagogical documentation will be explored to provide the students skills to implement an interesting, engaging and developmentally appropriate school age program.

This online course examines the legislation regarding the Early Childhood Educator’s legal responsibilities to identify, and report suspected child abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic abuse. The course focuses on the different types of abuse including physical and behavioural indicators that a child may be abused and recognizing behaviours in abusive adults. Students will examine the causes and dynamics of child maltreatment and analyze theoretical approaches to understanding abuse in a variety of contexts and populations. Students will consider their own well-being through the course and in the future in the field by exploring a self-care strategy.

In this course, students will consider issues and perspectives that influence the professional behaviour and image of early childhood education, including implementation of a common philosophy, ethics, advocacy, and ongoing professional development. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own professionalism and appreciate the valuable contribution made by early childhood educators, both individually and collectively, to the broad spectrum of services for children and families.

In this course students will have the opportunity to integrate and consolidate theoretical and practical learning while applying an understanding of reflective practice and pedagogical leadership in the context of best practice in the field of early education. Development is documented and supported through the revision and development of a professional e-portfolio.

This course introduces students to different windows (theories) to understanding the issues families and children face. These sociological theories or perspectives are used to guide our thinking as applied to family life in all its forms. The intent is to learn how to best support the lives of children and parents as they work through various stressors to achieve success in their social worlds of education, work and leisure. The course is focused on the changing worlds and social structures that affect Canadian families, with particular emphasis on how the increasingly diverse nature of families shape policy, interactions, life-ways as well as living their day to day lives. Students will be encouraged to recognize the historical nature that has built Canadian values and the increasing challenges presented by achieving postmodern lives, GBLTQIP, ethnicity, economics, immigration and diversity that continue to shape beliefs, traditions and Canadian culture. Diversity both directly and indirectly shapes the experiences of all Canadian children. Students will develop skill in critical thinking and basic research and apply this knowledge to family and children’s lives. Small picture or family issues are analyzed through the perspectives of economics, globalization, and culture.

In an Early Years setting with children ages 0-12 years, students will have the opportunity to integrate their knowledge of child development, play based curriculum by implementing the Early Childhood Education documents They will use appropriate and inclusive practice through routines, interactions and experiences which encourage play, exploration and inquiry based learning. Students will foster nurturing and supportive relationships, responding sensitively to the children’s needs and utilizing guidance techniques that balance autonomy and security. Professional attitudes and behaviours are expected.

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