Early Childhood Education

Faculty in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at Algonquin College are committed to providing students with the knowledge and skills to successfully work within the rapidly expanding field of ECE.


Mobile DeviceBring Your Own Device (BYOD): As a student in this on-campus program, you will require a mobile computing device that meets the specifications outlined by your program at http://algonquincollege.com/byod

(Please note this was previously referred to as a Mobile Learning Program)

Another Mobile Device ImageeTextbooks: As a student in a program that has adopted etextbooks, your required texts and digital resources will be provided to you at the beginning of each term (with the exception of general education electives). For more information and associated fees, go to http://www.algonquincollege.com/etextbooks/

Related Programs: 
Early Childhood Education (Intensive (Ottawa Campus)
Early Childhood Education (Pembroke Campus)
Early Childhood Education (Perth Campus)
Early Childhood Education (Online Leaning, Ottawa Campus,Full Time, Online)
Early Childhood Education (Online Learning, Ottawa Campus, Part Time, On Campus)
Early Childhood Education (Online Learning, Ottawa Campus, Part Time, Online)
Early Childhood Education Administration (Online Learning, Ottawa Campus, Part Time Online)

Ontario College Diploma
2 Year(s)

Program Code: 0430X01FWO
Academic Year: 2016/2017

Our Program

This two-year Ontario College Diploma program (Perth - delivered in a compressed format over 45 weeks) 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 (Woodroffe - in the onsite lab school; Perth/Pembroke - in the community) and to apply their knowledge in real-world settings as they participate in field placements.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Students are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device when registered in this on-campus program. Hardware and software specifications required by your program are outlined at algonquincollege.com/byod. Mobile devices/laptops and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin`s New Technology Store at educational rates.


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 program 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.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Design, implement and evaluate inclusive and play-based early learning curriculum and programs that support children`s holistic development and are responsive to individual children`s and groups of children`s observed abilities, interests and ideas.
  2. Establish and maintain inclusive early learning environments that support diverse, equitable and accessible developmental and learning opportunities for all children and their families.
  3. Select and use a variety of screening tools, observation and documentation strategies to review, support and promote children`s learning across the continuum of early childhood development.
  4. Establish and maintain responsive relationships with individual children, groups of children and families.
  5. Assess, develop and maintain safe, healthy and quality early learning environments which meet the requirements of current legislation, agency policies and evidence-based practices in early learning.
  6. Prepare and use professional written, verbal, nonverbal and electronic communications when working with children, families, colleagues, employers and community partners.
  7. Identify, select and apply relevant legislation, regulations, College of Early Childhood Educators Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics policies and evidence-based practice guidelines and interpret their impact on a variety of early learning environments.
  8. Apply a developing personal philosophy of early learning in accordance with ethical and professional standards of early childhood education practice.
  9. Advocate for quality early learning environments and collaborate with members of the early learning team, families and community partners to establish and promote such settings.
  10. Engage in reflective practice, develop learning goals and maintain an ongoing professional development plan in accordance with evidence-based practices in early learning and related fields.
  11. Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment an environmental stewardship.


Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Level: 01 Hours
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. 45.0
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. 45.0
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. 30.0
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. 45.0
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. 45.0
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. 60.0
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. 60.0
Level: 02 Hours
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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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. 45.0
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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: FAM1236 and FAM1242 and FAM1243
Level: 03 Hours
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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: FAM1234 and FAM1245 and FAM1246
Choose one from equivalencies: Hours
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
Level: 04 Hours
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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: 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. 45.0
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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Prerequisites: FAM1033 and FAM1241 and FAM1242

Fees & Expenses   

2016/2017 Academic Year

Total Fees for the first year of the program:

Domestic tuition/ancillary fees: $5,380.30. *

International tuition/ancillary Fees: $14,906.34. *

* Amounts include tuition fee, program specific lab and material fees, applicable eText fees, Students` Association fees and compulsory ancillary fees. Fees are subject to change. For detailed fees information please visit http://www.algonquincollege.com/ro/pay/tuition-and-expenses

Note: For further information regarding your books, please visit http://www.algonquincollege.com/etexts

The Early Childhood Education program is an etext program. Supplies cost approximately $1,000 in the first year and $200 in the second year.

Admission Requirements   

2017/2018 Academic Year

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 grade of 65% or higher.
  • Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:
    • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band. OR
    • TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 88, with the minimum of 22 in each component: Reading 22; Listening: 22 Speaking: 22, Writing: 22

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

Additional Requirements:

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 and work term components of the program. Valid 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. Students must have Standard First Aid certification.

Health Requirements:

The physical and emotional health of each applicant to the program must be such that he or she can successfully cope with the program of instruction including the demands of field placement (e.g. stress and time management). Individuals who have concerns about their ability to meet these requirements should contact the coordinator of the program prior to submitting an

Police Records Check Documentation:

Students must provide the College with a current Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (PRCSVS) prior to the deadline identified by the department and students are responsible for any associated costs. If this documentation in not submitted on time, students may not be placed and registration in the program will be jeopardized. 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 and will be asked to withdraw.

Field Placement Eligibility:

To be eligible for placement, you must submit proof of Standard First Aid certification, CPR level C, PRCSVS, and complete immunizations through ParaMed. ParaMed services are the third party provider who collects all field placement documentation for the Community Studies department.

Mature students are applicants who have not achieved the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or its equivalent and who are at least 19 years of age on or before the commencement of the program in which they intend to enroll. Mature students have demonstrated academic abilities equivalent to those of Ontario high school graduates, verified by successful completion of courses at the postsecondary level.

Application Information


Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:

60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 5J3

Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should notify their Guidance Office prior to their online application at ontariocolleges.ca

Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at
https://algonquincollege.force.com/myACint/ or by contacting the Registrar`s Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar`s Office
Algonquin College
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
Telephone: 613-727-0002
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723
TTY: 613-727-7766
Fax: 613-727-7632
Email: AskUs@algonquincollege.com

Additional Information

Additional Requirements:

Observing children, visiting centres and participating in field placements are integral to the program of study. The above may occur within the first few weeks of classes, it is therefore strongly recommended that students complete Standard First Aid (level C) and CPR, Police Records Check, and Health Requirements before the start of classes in order to complete necessary class assignments.

Health Requirements:

The physical and emotional health of each applicant to the program must be such that he or she can successfully cope with the program of instruction, including the demands of field placement (e.g. stress and time management). Individuals who have concerns about their ability to meet these requirements should contact the coordinator of the program prior to submitting an

Police Records Check Documentation:

Though not an admission requirement, applicants must note important information listed below regarding Police Records Check program requirements. Students must provide the College with a current Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (PRCSVS) prior to the deadline identified by the department and students are responsible for any associated costs. If this documentation is not submitted on time, students may not be placed and registration in the program will be jeopardized. 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 and will be asked to withdraw.

Field Placement Eligibility:

To be eligible for placement, you must submit proof of Standard First Aid certification, CPR level C, PRCSVS and up-to-date immunizations. All documentation is submitted through ParaMed. ParaMed services are the third party provider who collects all field placement documentation for the Community Studies department. There is a link to ParaMed on the ECE homepage.

The Early Childhood Education program consists of courses that are delivered in a variety of formats including face-to-face in a classroom, hybrid(combination of classroom and online learning) and fully online. Students participate in all three types of learning. Class schedules vary from term to term and courses may be scheduled between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Students complete three field placements. These placements are assigned by faculty with an emphasis on having students experience different programs and age groups. Students entering the program in January complete Levels 01 and 02 during the winter and summer of the first calendar year. Students do not have classes in the Fall term. Students complete Levels 03 and 04 during the winter and summer of the following calendar year.

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. Students are not permitted to contact Early Learning programs in an attempt to arrange field placement. Hours vary from centre to centre. Students may be starting as early as 7 a.m. and ending as late as 6:15 p.m.

A Full-time day program is also offered on the Perth and Pembroke Campuses. While the learning outcomes at the Woodroffe, Perth and Pembroke Campuses are the same, the curriculum order and subject delivery are reflective of the local circumstances which affect program delivery.

Applicants who have a degree or diploma in a related field of study and a minimum of 300 hours work/volunteer experience with groups of children may be eligible for a full-time Intensive 35-week program offered on the Woodroffe Campus.

Algonquin College also offers the entire Early Childhood Education program online (full-time and part-time), as well as a part-time in-class offering in the evenings through the Centre for Continuing and Online Learning. For information on this delivery option, please visit www.algonquincollege.com/CCOL.

Algonquin College has several articulation agreements with other colleges and universities whereby ECE graduates receive credit towards these diplomas or degrees.


Students who have two or more F grades in a given term or whose term grade point average falls below 1.7 are considered to be on academic probation (Policy AA14 Grading System). This requires the student to meet with their academic advisor or coordinator to sign a learning contract which identifies the conditions which must be met to continue in the program. Students who do not meet the terms of their learning contract are withdrawn from the program.

For more program information, please contact the Program Coordinator, Leslie Kopf-Johson at 613-727-4723 ext 5230 or kopfjol@algonquincollege.com

Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time