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Early Childhood Education

Increasing demand in recent years highlights a growing need for qualified personnel to work with young children as Early Childhood Educators. Those jobs offer challenging and rewarding opportunities for people who want to play a part in children’s development and be helpful in their communities.

In CDI College's Early Childhood Education program, students learn how to engage children in many different social and creative activities to facilitate their intellectual and social development. They are also taught classroom management, curriculum planning and daycare administration.

As part of the Early Childhood Education program, students will be required to complete observation assignments in real job settings like daycare centres to ensure a balanced combination of theory and practice. These observations are part of the practicum hours required by the ministry.

Admissions Requirements

Students must meet all of the pre-requisites listed below, meet their financial obligations with the college, and acknowledge their understanding of the college’s policies and procedures provided in the student handbook, prior to starting classes.

  • High school graduation or equivalent, or mature student status.
  • Pass college's admissions test.
  • Criminal record check (in accordance with the Criminal Records Review Act).
  • Interview with campus director, program coordinator, or designate.
  • Immunization report (form provided by the college).
  • Current resume (record of work history).
  • Three character references.

Program Courses

CES4BC - Career and Employment Strategies
In addition to learning career-oriented skills, students learn how to get a job in their chosen profession. Our Employment Services department will assist the graduate in resume writing, as well as preparing for job interviews. Our staff is sensitive to current job market trends and the needs of employers in each local market. Our graduates receive guidance and training to use career tools that help job seekers build a better resume and cover letter, manage an online portfolio, hone interviewing skills, and develop a personal brand online. Students will have the use of a computer lab which has unlimited Internet access, as well as job search resources. Facilitators will also be made available to advise on job finding resources, interview skills, and techniques and to carry out mock interviews. This course also looks at the planning, preparation, execution, and follow-up stages of an interview.
ECE3100 - Daycare Administration
During this module, students will have the opportunity to debrief on their earlier practicum and observation experiences and review the application and development of skills and core concepts learned throughout the program. Basic centre administration will be covered including budgeting, scheduling, centre structure, and organization, as well as other management skills.
ECE2190 - Practicum II: Summative Practice
During this practicum, students will undergo work-based experience in which they plan and deliver childcare. Students will have numerous opportunities to complete prepared activity plans, observe children at play, observe, and evaluate typical and challenging behaviours. There will be supervision by a certified Early Childhood Educator (Sponsor Supervisor). During this competency-based practicum, students will also be observed and evaluated by an ECE Faculty member from the college.
ECE2180 - Planning Indoor and Outdoor Play Environments
The creation of environments that support, nurture, and care for children in a safe manner is the theme of this module. Students complete observation assignments to examine how to bring learning experiences to the outdoors. * Includes a two-day observation practicum.
ECE2170 - Program Planning and Implementation
Students learn to create program plans that include the setting of short and long-term physical, cognitive, and emotional goals for clients. This module takes a holistic view of assisting in the fulfilment of client needs.
ECE2160 - Health, Safety, and Nutrition
This module will address proactive measures for reactive methods of addressing illness prevention, disease transmission, abuse, and childhood behaviours such as bullying. Assignments may include practical application such as menu evaluations, shopping assignments, and Occupational Health & Safety Regulation applications, as well as topics related to nutrition, healthy eating programs, and the Canada Food Guide. Students will also take a one-day Emergency Child Care First Aid and CPR program through external certification. Students also will be trained in FoodSafe™ - Level I certification (8 hours). Students should note that some of the training covered in this course will require more than five hours of class time on specific days in the schedule. Students are eligible to apply for an Early Childhood Educator Assistant (ECEA) certificate after successful completion of this course; this will enable a student to elect to work in the field while completing their ECE education.
ECE2150 - Social Studies
Students focus on key features of social study activities into planning for children. Universal family units, social sensitivity, and multiculturalism are covered in detail. Students will complete assignements to further their exploration and understanding of social studies learning activities.
ECE2140 - Science and Math
This module will enable students to build and incorporate science and math activities into the childcare environment. Students will complete assignments to further their exploration and understanding of science and math learning activities. A component of this course also introduces technology applications in the early childhood environment.
ECE2130 - Drama and Creative Expression
Diverse lifestyles, multi-cultural experiences, and varied social settings are explored through the construct of imaginative play environments. Assignments include the development of play prop boxes that can be used to encourage drama in a childcare facility.
ECE2120 - Music and Movement
This module deals with physical, social, and emotional growth through a variety of structure music and movement programs. Students record and describe the ways in which children are exposed to music and how it can be utilized to set atmosphere, ease transitions and waiting periods and guide and redirect behaviour.
ECE2110 - Learning Through Play
In play, children represent and transform the world around them, providing other children and adults with a window into their thoughts and perceptions and often helping adults to the see world in new ways. This guiding principle, a key point in the Early Learning Framework and supported by HealthyFamiliesBC, is enveloped into the full ECE program with a comprehensive introduction in this course. This module focuses on the development of strategies based on theories of play to enhance the value of constructive and positive play in the childcare environment.
ECE2100 - Foundation Practicum I: Language and Art
This is a formative, three-week integrated community-based practicum, supervised by a certified early childhood educator (sponsor supervisor) with additional observation and evaluation by ECE faculty members from the college. This is an opportunity to put theory into practice in a child-care facility in order to develop competency levels. Emphasis at this formative stage of the program is on language and art.
ECE1190 - Introduction to Practicum
Expectations, documentation, policies, and procedures highlight this module as preparation for practicum placements. Students meet with Sponsor Supervisors at placement site to build comfort level and discuss facility procedures, practicum assignments and other requirements. Students also have the opportunity to outline personal goals and objectives and how they expect to achieve them. There is also an open and supportive forum to discuss potential fears and concerns students may have as they anticipate their first ECE practicum experience. *Included as part of practicum hours as approved by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
ECE1180 - Language and Literature
This module aims to develop student understanding about the acquisition of language and the benefits of exposure to literature. Strategies to introduce children to age and content appropriate literature will be covered through the study of early childhood experiences in language arts. The language study observation practicum (part of ECE1130) usually follows this course to apply theory to practice.
ECE1170 - Arts and Creative Development
This module is centred on understanding and facilitating hands-on arts and crafts experience. Students have the opportunity to place developmental theories into practice throughout this module. Assignments include learning to record the behaviour and actions of children involved in the drawing process (pedagogical narration) as well as building resource files for future use and preparing activity plans.
ECE1160 - Developing Activity Plans
The focus of this module is on the development and implementation of age- and stage-appropriate activities. Students will learn how to set learning objectives and design and evaluate activities and lessons. Ideally this course is studied in the early phase of the program, as the skills learned apply to assignments and study of various subject areas of curriculum covered in the ECE program.
ECE1150 - Guidance, Caring, and Behaviour Management
This module will develop practitioner skills necessary to provide a positive, safe, and nurturing environment. Strategies for guidance, discipline, and conflict will be examined through in-class work and observation assignments. *This course also include two-day observation practicum.
ECE1140 - Child Observation Practicum
An observation practicum supervised by a certified Early Childhood Educator (Sponsor Supervisor) with additional observation and evaluation by ECE Faculty member from the College. The focus will be on workplace conduct, routines and environment, working with children individually, and parent-teacher partnerships, as well as working on a child study of one child focusing on the developmental stages and behaviours of the child.
ECE1130 - Child Growth and Development I
During this intensive study of all aspects of child development students will gain the knowledge needed to identify typical growth patterns in children. Theories and views related to child development will be covered in depth. Students complete observation assignments to gain insight on childhood development theory in practice. Observation assignments include the collection and analysis of language samples and research to support or refute gender-role stereotyping in early childhood education. An in-depth study of all aspects of child development from infancy to late childhood, students will take a detailed look at theories related to human development and how these theories are related to childhood growth and development. There is also an open and supportive forum to discuss potential fears and concerns students may have as they anticipate their first ECE practicum experience. This course is divided into two distinct sections: a five-week classroom-based course (135 hours) and a two-week language study observation practicum which is ideally scheduled after completion of ECE1180 – Language and Literature.
ECE1120 - Communication and Interpersonal Relations
This module will introduce students to positive communication skills, verbal and non-verbal, in an ever-changing diverse and multicultural environment. Communication, conflict resolution, and issue understanding are key elements explored in this module.
ECE1110 - Communities, Families and Support Networks
Professional responsibilities and the roles of Early Childhood Educators will be explored. The hierarchy and communication among family-based team members as well as the role of staffing will be addressed. Students will also learn about legal and ethical practice issues, the role of confidentiality, acceptable behaviours, and standards of care.
ECE1100 - Introduction to Early Childhood Education
This module will detail the history of the ECE environment in British Columbia including an overview of the licensing agency and acts and regulations responsible for childcare facilities and childcare facility staff. Students complete assignments to build practical understanding of licensing, staff qualifications, educator/child ratio, and activities.
ITC4 - Introduction to Computers
This course is a broad-based introduction to using a personal computer. It teaches the fundamentals of an operating system and the most popular application software including word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. You will also learn about the Internet, Web browsers, electronic mail and antivirus software. The course is based on the Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft office 2013 and a variety of popular software programs for the Internet-related and security-related applications
SSS4 - Student Success Strategies
This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success.