Early Childhood Education

Ontario College Diploma (29 courses) Part-time On Campus
Program Code: 0430X02PWO Academic Year: 2016/2017

This program is listed under the following fields of study:

Our Program

This Ontario College Diploma program prepares students to become educators of young children in a variety of early learning settings. Students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to work with families and other professionals to support children's learning and development. Emphasis is on the development of inclusive play-based curriculum for children from birth to age 12. Students benefit from opportunities to observe the application of best practices and to apply their knowledge in real-world settings as they participate in field placements.

To qualify for this diploma, you must complete the program within eight years.

Success Factors

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Have strong observational and analytical skills.
  • Enjoy working as a member of a team.
  • Have strong language (oral and written) skills.
  • Are self-reliant and enjoy challenges.
  • Are interested in child development and teaching children through play.
  • Are comfortable using computers and other forms of technology.
  • Enjoy working with children and their families.

Early childhood education is a physically demanding profession. Individuals entering this profession must be able to lift children, materials and equipment (up to 70 pounds). As well, individuals must be able to move quickly/run between areas in the room and outside in order to ensure children's safety. In addition, educators must constantly observe children to ensure safety and to assess children's abilities, skills and interest in order to develop meaningful curricula. Entering the program without these abilities may result in unsuccessful field placements and students who fail to successfully complete field placements are not eligible to graduate from the program.

Your Career

Graduates may find professional employment opportunities as educators in early learning and care programs (infant, toddler, preschool, school-age), nursery schools, resource and Ontario Early Years Centres, full-day kindergartens, programs run by community health agencies and as home child care advisors. Opportunities in entrepreneurial areas (e.g. marketing of educational toys/books/materials consulting) are emerging.

Graduates are required to register with the College of Early Childhood Educators to be eligible to apply for jobs within the profession.

Fees & Expenses

Fees for part-time programs are charged on a course-by-course basis and are published on each individual course page. For questions related to fees, please call the Registrar's Office at 613-727-0002.

Graduation Fee

Once you have completed all the courses in the program, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the Registrar's Office to obtain a certificate/diploma application. A graduation fee of $40 will be charged when the application is submitted. When your certificate/diploma application has been approved, you will be invited to Spring or Fall Convocation.

Cost of books, supplies, etc. varies with each course.

Admission Requirements

College Eligibility
  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent.

Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the basic level, or with workplace or open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR

  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR

Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility
  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent) with a minimum grade of 65%.

Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English.

College Eligibility
  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR

Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $40 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility

English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent) with a minimum grade of 65%.

Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English.



Observing children, visiting centres and participating in field placements are integral to the program of study. Field placements may occur within the first few weeks of classes. It is strongly recommended that Standard First Aid (level C) and CPR, Police Records Check and Health Requirements be completed before the start of classes so that you can complete necessary class assignments. (see Field Placement Eligibility for further details)


Applicants must provide evidence of full and up to date immunizations and a tuberculosis test (two-step test). ParaMed will review the student's record of immunization and provide authorization for entry into field placement. More information in this regard will be mailed to successful applicants. Some field placement agencies may require the Hepatitis B vaccine and the Influenza vaccine.


Successful completion of field placement is a requirement for graduation from the Early Childhood Education program. Agencies that provide placement opportunities may require you to have a clear Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (PRCSVS). Your acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency. If you register in the program without a clear PRCSVS and as a result are unable to participate in placement, you will not be able to graduate.


Students who are taking this program part-time must contact the Online/CE Program Coordinator one semester before their placement. Failure to do so may result in a delay in field placement.

Upon acceptance into the program the following requirements must be met. Failure to complete these requirements will prevent students from participating in the field placement components of the course.

  • Valid Standard First Aid and CPR Certification (St. John Ambulance, Red Cross or equivalent) must be completed prior to the commencement of classes. This certificate must be valid for the duration of the program.
  • Health check: See Health Requirements.
  • Current Police Records Check: See Police Records Check Documentation.

To be eligible for placement, you must submit proof of First Aid certification, PRCSVS and health authorization through ParaMed. More information regarding this process is available online. You will be required to disclose the contents of the PRCSVS, including all notations, to the placement agencies.

It is your responsibility to obtain the PRCSVS from your local Police Department prior to the deadline identified by your Department and to pay any associated costs. It may take a long time to obtain this documentation; please submit your application as early as possible. Should you require further information, please contact the Program Coordinator.

Students in the Early Childhood Education program complete three field placements. These placements are assigned by faculty with an emphasis on having students experience different programs and age groups.

PLEASE NOTE: Students may be required to travel up to 90 minutes to reach their field placement. While every attempt is made to provide students with a field placement close to a preferred area this is not always possible. Student are not permitted to contact child care centres in an attempt to arrange field placement. Hours vary from centre to centre. Students may be starting as early as 7 am and ending as late as 6:15 pm.

This program is also offered full-time on the Woodroffe, Perth and Pembroke Campuses, as well as through Online Learning. For more information on the full-time online and part-time online delivery options, please visit us online.

CCOL Academic Planner

The Academic Planner provides registered part-time students in the Centre for Continuing and Online Learning (CCOL) the ability to declare into a program of study. The Academic Planner outlines successfully completed courses to date, as well as courses that need to be completed in order to meet graduation requirements. It is therefore, essential that all part-time students in CCOL declare to their program of study, allowing administrators to plan course offerings. The tool is available on ACSIS, located under 'Continuing Education' on the left-hand toolbar.

Additional Information

For more information, please contact Wendy Nethercote, Program Coordinator, at 613-727-4723 ext. 6529 or netherw@algonquincollege.com.


Online:Online Learning   On campus: On Campus
HoursCourse NameWinterSummer
Series: 01
ENL1813S45.0Communications IOnline Learning On Campus
FAM100045.0Observation SkillsOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM101530.0Preparation for Field PlacementOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM123645.0Introduction to CurriculumOnline Learning On Campus
FAM124145.0Health and Wellness for ChildrenOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM124260.0Foundations of Early Childhood EducationOnline Learning On Campus
FAM124360.0Child DevelopmentOnline Learning Blank Icon
Series: 02
ENL202730.0Communication II for EceOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM002944.0Music and Movement Experiences for ChildrenOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM100345.0Psychology of LearningOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM123310.0Field Seminar IOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM1234140.0Practice Teaching IOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM124544.0Environments and Programming for Young ChildrenOnline Learning On Campus
FAM124644.0Introduction to Children with ExceptionalitiesOnline Learning On Campus
FAM124844.0Guiding Children's BehaviourOnline Learning Blank Icon
Series: 03
ENL1904F45.0Children's LiteratureOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM003040.0Creative Art Experiences for ChildrenOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM1033140.0Practice Teaching IIOnline Learning Online Learning Blank Icon
FAM124010.0Field Seminar IIOnline Learning Online Learning Blank Icon
FAM124450.0Environments and Programming for Kindergarten and School-Age ChildrenBlank Icon Online Learning Blank Icon
FAM124730.0Creating an Effective CurriculumBlank Icon Online Learning Blank Icon
FAM124940.0Math and Science Experiences for ChildrenBlank Icon Online Learning Blank Icon
Choose one from equivalencies:
GED043045.0General Education ElectiveBlank Icon Blank Icon Blank Icon
Series: 04
FAM1043180.0Practice Teaching IIIOnline Learning Online Learning Blank Icon
FAM123812.0Field Seminar IIIOnline Learning Online Learning Blank Icon
FAM125045.0Language and Emergent LiteracyBlank Icon On CampusOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM125145.0Families and CommunityBlank Icon On CampusOnline Learning Blank Icon
FAM125245.0Assessment of Children's LearningBlank Icon Blank Icon Online Learning On Campus
FAM125345.0Professional and Administrative Practices in EceBlank Icon Blank Icon Online Learning On Campus


ENL1813S Communications I

Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Students practice writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments.

FAM1000 Observation Skills

Observations are used by educators to identify children's skills, abilities and interests. They are also used to determine the effectiveness of early learning and care programs and to plan effective curriculum. Students examine and utilize a variety of observational tools to facilitate assessment and planning.

FAM1015 Preparation for Field Placement

The ability to understand one's professional roles and responsibilities in the workplace is important if an educator is to be successful. Students examine professional ethics, standards of practice, management skills, and the roles and responsibilities of students during field placements in the early learning environment. Students develop an understanding of field placement expectations and their responsibilities.

FAM1236 Introduction to Curriculum

It is expected that educators plan, implement and evaluate play-based curriculum. Students explore a variety of factors that influence early curriculum including developmentally appropriate practice, play-based learning and delivery models. Students learn to apply a set of programming strategies used as part of curriculum development.

FAM1241 Health and Wellness for Children

Creating environments where children can safely explore and learn is an essential aspect of the profession. Students learn to recognize the signs of child maltreatment, environmental hazards and how to follow established protocol. Students also examine legislation regarding health, nutrition and safety requirements in early learning programs. Students examine ways to determine if the environment is safe and what steps to take if the child is at risk.

FAM1242 Foundations of Early Childhood Education

Early childhood educators are knowledgeable professionals who require a strong foundation in the history and philosophy of early childhood education in Canada and globally. Students examine the impact of policies, legislation and regulations across all levels of government on early childhood education. Students analyze the differences and commonalities found between school-based and early learning pedagogies. Students also examine the impact of cultural and family systems on early learning programs and professional relationships.

FAM1243 Child Development

Professionals working with children and families use knowledge of child development to guide their practice. Students examine physical, language, social, emotional and cognitive changes from birth to 12 years of age within a social ecological context. Students research, analyze, compare and assess various approaches addressing the development of the individual. Students have opportunities to link developmental information to the delivery of early learning programs.

ENL2027 Communication II for Ece

Registered early childhood educators require professional writing skills to produce letters, reports, assessments, guidelines, observations and curriculum. Clear and concise writing skills are essential for effective communication within the context of the early childhood education environment. Students refine the mechanics of their writing including organization, grammar, spelling, referencing, audience awareness and format.

Pre-requisites: ENL1813S

FAM0029 Music and Movement Experiences for Children

Music is considered a universal language that touches our heart, mind and body. Exposing children to a variety of musical and movement experiences is essential to children's learning and development. Students explore the pedagogical value of music and movement in early learning environments and actively participate in music and movement activities/games that can be incorporated into a variety of early learning settings.

Pre-requisites: FAM1000 and FAM1236 and FAM1242 and FAM1243

FAM1003 Psychology of Learning

To be successful, individuals need to understand how they acquire new knowledge/skills and how environmental factors impact this process. By examining a variety of theories from both historical and current perspectives, students develop an understanding of how an individual's learning is influenced by developmental, psychological and social elements. Students use real life situations to identify how these theories can be used to support learning and development within continuously changing environments.

FAM1233 Field Seminar I

Taking the time to reflect on one's knowledge, skills and practice is essential to the ongoing development of the educator. Students examine and reflect on their growing skills and competence. Students share and collaborate to facilitate reflection and problem solving.

Pre-requisites: FAM1000 and FAM1015 and FAM1236 and FAM1242 and FAM1243

Co-requisites: FAM1234

FAM1234 Practice Teaching I

Practical learning experiences support the integration of theory and professional expectations in early learning programs. Students practise observational skills, facilitation of routines and transitions and guiding children's behaviour. Students also reflect on their emerging knowledge and skills for working directly with children and families.

Pre-requisites: ENL1813S and FAM1000 and FAM1015 and FAM1236 and FAM1242 and FAM1243

Co-requisites: FAM1233

FAM1245 Environments and Programming for Young Children

Educators must be able to differentiate and implement essential elements that are characteristic of programs for infants, toddlers and young preschoolers. Students explore best practices within programs aimed for these age groups. The impact of family background, child development and legislation on environments, routines, transitions and curriculum implementation is examined.

Pre-requisites: FAM1000 and FAM1236 and FAM1242 and FAM1243

FAM1246 Introduction to Children with Exceptionalities

Educators require the knowledge and skills to create inclusive early learning programs and facilitate the learning and development of all children. Students explore causes of various exceptionalities and their impact on children, families and the early learning environment. Students investigate various topics, such as children at risk, communication disorders, intellectual differences, learning disabilities, sensory impairments and giftedness. Methods for working collaboratively with families and other professionals are also examined.

Pre-requisites: FAM1000 and FAM1236 and FAM1242 and FAM1243

FAM1248 Guiding Children's Behaviour

In early learning programs the guidance of children's behaviour requires the use of a proactive approach designed to help children develop self-regulation and prosocial skills. Students explore various factors that have an influence on the interactions and behaviours of children in early learning environments. Research-based methods and strategies that can be used to facilitate the development of prosocial skills and self-regulation are analyzed. Students examine the skills needed to build and enhance supportive relationships with families and children.

Pre-requisites: FAM1236 and FAM1242 and FAM1243

ENL1904F Children's Literature

Early exposure to effectively presented appropriate literature encourages children to develop language, cognitive, emotional, social and problem-solving skills. Students use critical thinking to select books and poetry, assess and use a variety of story sharing techniques, and create story sharing plans with diverse activities to promote literacy.

Pre-requisites: ENL2027

FAM0030 Creative Art Experiences for Children

Educators must have an understanding of children's artistic development in order to plan and implement appropriate play-based creative experiences. Students explore and assess developmentally appropriate materials and activities for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children. Students examine methods to foster children's creativity and learning.

Pre-requisites: FAM1245 and FAM1246

FAM1033 Practice Teaching II

Practical experience working directly with children and families allows students to broaden and deepen their integration of theory with professional practice in early learning programs. Working at a practice level, within an early learning environment, students guide children through the day with minimal support from their on-site supervisor and plan, implement and evaluate curriculum that facilitates the learning of all children. Students establish goals and determine strategies to successfully meet current and future field placement expectations.

Pre-requisites: FAM1000 and FAM1234 and FAM1241 and FAM1245 and FAM1246

Co-requisites: FAM1240 and FAM1247 and FAM1249

FAM1240 Field Seminar II

Personal and professional values and beliefs have a significant influence on an early childhood educator's practices. Students start to explore their own values and beliefs and the influence of these values and beliefs on their teaching practices. As well, students continue to examine and reflect on their growing skills and competence in working directly with children and their families through discussions in an online community of learners.

Pre-requisites: FAM1233 and FAM1234

Co-requisites: FAM1033

FAM1244 Environments and Programming for Kindergarten and School-Age Children

Full-day early learning kindergartens and after-school programs require educators who have knowledge of differentiated practices in these play-based settings. Students analyze how child development, family background, legislation and organizational structures influence best practices and the roles of the educator in both environments. Students establish how play-based learning differs from teacher-directed learning and explore how to promote play-based learning. Students discuss methods for working effectively and collaboratively with children, colleagues, inter-professional teams and parents.

Pre-requisites: ENL2027 and FAM0029 and FAM1243 and FAM1246 and FAM1248

FAM1247 Creating an Effective Curriculum

It is expected that educators plan, implement and evaluate play-based curriculum. Students develop the skills necessary to implement the curriculum cycle as a framework for creating programs that facilitate play-based learning. In addition, students examine a variety of curriculum approaches with respect to both the curriculum cycle and the guiding principles for best practice in early learning programs. Students also apply established quality assurance measures to examine strategies for enhancing best practices within traditional curriculum.

Pre-requisites: ENL2027 and FAM1003 and FAM1234 and FAM1245 and FAM1246

FAM1249 Math and Science Experiences for Children

To support children's active engagement with math and science educators must provide learning experiences that facilitate these everyday encounters. Building on children's natural interest, students examine how to support children's math and science skills in early learning environments. Students also explore the importance of connecting children to nature through active exploration. Students actively discover ways to engage children in math and science.

Pre-requisites: FAM1234 and FAM1245 and FAM1246

GED0430 General Education Elective

Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: ARC9001 or DSN2001 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GEN1001 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or GED5002 or GED5004 or GED5005 or GED5006 or GED6022 or GED1896 or GED5009 or PSI0003

FAM1043 Practice Teaching III

Students consolidate knowledge and skills gained. Guided by the Ontario College of ECEs Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, students demonstrate competence in management, curriculum development, professionalism and communication. Students develop and implement goals and strategies to support early learning.

Pre-requisites: ENL1904F and FAM1033 and FAM1240 and FAM1247 and FAM1248 and FAM1249

Co-requisites: FAM1238 and FAM1252 and FAM1253

FAM1238 Field Seminar III

A philosophy statement reflects and guides an educator's beliefs, values and practices when working with children and their families. Students build on previously completed work to develop a personal philosophy of early childhood education. Students analyze their emerging beliefs and values on early learning and best practices to create and articulate a professional philosophy.

Pre-requisites: FAM1033 and FAM1240

Co-requisites: FAM1043

FAM1250 Language and Emergent Literacy

Language and early literacy skills are foundational for life-long success; therefore, educators must possess the knowledge and skills to create, prepare and evaluate language-rich environments. Students examine the natural progression of language and literacy development and explore strategies and materials essential for environments that support the multi-dimensional language and literacy skills of children from birth to twelve years of age. Students explore parental involvement as literacy partners, a variety of language and literacy programs and current practices implemented in early learning environments.

Pre-requisites: ENL1904F and FAM1247

FAM1251 Families and Community

Professionals in a variety of fields can enhance their practice through awareness of the diversity which exists among families and communities within Canada. Students examine historical and current factors influencing families and communities within Canadian society. Students identify, implement and evaluate various strategies designed to support or advocate for a community or family.

FAM1252 Assessment of Children's Learning

The ability to assess how children are learning and the quality of the curriculum and educational environment provided for young children are essential to an educator's role. Through the use of a variety of data collection tools, as well as their knowledge of child and curriculum development, students enhance their ability to make summative and formative assessments of children's learning, development and interests necessary for creating appropriate curriculum. Students practise the skills required to efficiently collect, analyze and use data to create effective curriculum and to assess the quality of early learning environments. Effective methods for communicating information about children's learning and development to a variety of stakeholders involved in the educational process are also examined.

Pre-requisites: FAM1247 and FAM1248

FAM1253 Professional and Administrative Practices in Ece

Effective administrative practices are essential for developing and managing an early learning program. Students explore governance models and legislative requirements for different programs (e.g. kindergarten, licensed programs). Students examine administrative and professional practices with an emphasis on the CECE Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Students explore topics related to job recruitment, advocacy, human relations and ethics.

Pre-requisites: FAM1033 and FAM1241 and FAM1242