Please note:

This program begins January 9, 2023, at our Waterloo campus. Apply now.

Financial support is available to eligible applicants in the form of an education grant, travel grant, and training allowance. Applications for financial support for the winter 2023 term will be accepted starting Monday, November 28, 2022. Apply online at ecegrants.on.ca.

To effectively participate in this program, students must have reliable Internet access and a device that meets these requirements.

About the program

This part-time diploma program prepares students for professional practice in the field of early learning and child care. Through interactive classroom learning and work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences, students will develop skills that will enable them to work in collaboration with families, colleagues and communities for the purpose of designing, implementing and evaluating inclusive play-based early learning programs. Building on a thorough understanding of child development and principles of responsive practice, students will work in partnership with college-operated child development centres, kindergarten classrooms, licensed early learning and care programs and community agencies in order to integrate classroom theory and practice in meaningful and engaging ways.

Conestoga also offers a degree program related to the early childhood field.

Note: Admission to the program is required prior to course registration.

Admission requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or 19 years of age or older with mature student status (See Mature Student definition for details.)
  • Grade 12 compulsory English, C (65% minimum) or U (55% minimum), or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Communications (COMM1250 (65% minimum)), or equivalent
  • For more information on preparatory programs, visit Academic Upgrading

Admission procedures

  • Submit a completed Conestoga College Program Application Form
  • Submit official transcript as proof of Admission Requirements to admissions@conestogac.on.ca
  • Final selection is made following an assessment of the admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Mandatory work-integrated learning (WIL) document requirements must be completed by students prior to student WIL experiences. Successful WIL completion is required for students to progress to program completion. To qualify for WIL experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:
    • A complete immunization record including MMR, Tdap and COVID-19. Seasonal flu vaccination is recommended during flu season (October & March).
    • TB Testing: Evidence of current 1-step (completed within 1 year of your program start date).
    • Standard First Aid and CPR – Level C
    • A Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) completed within 3 months of program start date. Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in WIL experiences which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for WIL is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of WIL start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.
  • Students entering the ECE program are expected to have behaviours imperative for the ECE field: self-reflection, responsibility, honesty, integrity, punctuality, strong written, oral and non-verbal communication skills, solid problem-solving abilities, and a sincere commitment to learning and the ECE profession.

Graduate opportunities

Graduates of this program meet the academic requirements for registration with the College of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario qualifying them for employment as Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) in licensed child care settings and other community programs serving young children and families and as Designated Early Childhood Educators (DECEs) in full-day kindergarten classrooms in Ontario.

On average, 95% of graduates from the last three years (2014 to 2016) found employment within six months of graduation.

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home

Program outcomes

  • Create learning contexts to enable, build and maintain caring, responsive relationships in partnerships with children, families and communities that value and respect social, cultural and linguistic diversity including indigenous peoples’ worldviews and francophone identity.
  • Co-create, facilitate and reflect upon inquiry and play-based early years and child care programs and pedagogical approaches to support children’s learning, holistic development and well-being following children’s capabilities, interests, ideas and experiences.
  • Co-design and maintain inclusive early learning environments to value and support equitable, accessible and meaningful learning opportunities for all children, their families and communities in a range of early years and child care settings.
  • Collaborate with children, families, colleagues, agencies and community partners to create, maintain, evaluate and promote safe and healthy early learning environments to support independence, reasonable risk-taking and healthy development and well-being.
  • Use observation strategies to identify children’s strengths and challenges and to ascertain when children and families might benefit from additional support or community resources.
  • Use professional communication in interactions with children, families, colleagues, employers, the regulatory body, government authorities and children’s service agencies to meet legal and ethical standards of the early years sector.
  • Act in accordance with relevant legislation, regulations, college of early childhood educators code of ethics and standards of practice, agency policies and procedures and principles of evidence-informed practice and reflect upon their impact on one’s own role in early years and child care settings.
  • Identify, report and document when a child is in a situation of perceived risk for, or actual neglect or abuse, in accordance with legislation, the college of early childhood educators code of ethics and standards of practice, policies and procedures.
  • Create and engage in partnerships with families, communities, colleagues, interdisciplinary professionals, authorities and child service agencies to advocate for quality early years and child care programs and services.
  • Engage in reflective practice and continuous professional learning in accordance with principles of lifelong learning, evidence-informed practices in the early years sector and requirements of the college of early childhood educators.

Note:

  • Successfully completing the Human Services Foundations program prior to applying to the Early Childhood Education diploma program is an opportunity to obtain a year of personal growth and education that may contribute to success in this career-focused program.

Program contact

Continuing Education
Upcoming Registrations

Mark your calendar for our upcoming registration dates, so you can plan your future.

Winter registration: Opens November 28, 2022
Spring registration: Opens February 27, 2023