Canada’s Best Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programs of 2022

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Last updated July 7, 2022

Early Childhood Educators play a vital role in teaching fundamental skills to children during their most formative years. Working in a variety of settings including daycare centres, classrooms and other support programs in school boards and with families in private care settings, Early Child Educators (ECEs) are in demand.

According to the federal government’s Job Bank, the outlook for ECE jobs in Canada over the next three years is good in most provinces. And as the federal government rolls out its universal childcare program over the next five years, in combination with the provinces, it’s likely there will more opportunities for those looking for rewarding careers working with children. According the Canadian Child Care Federation, 38,000 new early childhood educators will be needed by March 2026. (And that number doesn’t include Ontario, the most populous province in the country.)

People working as an ECE have different job prospects depending on where they live in Canada. The average salary for an ECE is $39,304 in Toronto according to Glassdoor. The average hourly wage is about $21/hour but can go up to $29/hour and is generally higher in workplaces such as publicly funded school boards.

The level of education and certification you have increases your earning potential as an ECE. Completion of a college program in Early Childhood Education or a bachelor’s degree in child development will take you to different levels of competency and command higher salaries regardless of the region in which you wish to work in Canada.

The length of an ECE program will also vary depending on the learning institution and each province’s regulations and requirements. On average, most programs will take about take two years or more to complete including the time it takes to obtain job placement experience. There are also master’s programs and PhD’s in ECE for those interested in academic research.

CourseCompare’s first annual ranking of ECE programs comes, in part, from direct experience matching learners to ECE courses and ECE certification opportunities across Canada. That experience is further grounded in the work of our editorial team, which surveyed colleges and universities, employers and recent graduates, and carefully considered the breadth of certificate, diploma and degree programs on offer at institutions, to determine which schools will shape the future of early childhood education across Canada in the years to come.

1.

Humber College 5/5

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2.

Conestoga College 4.9/5

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3.

Ryerson University 5/5

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4.

Mohawk College 4.35/5

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5.

Canadore College 4.65/5

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6.

York University 4.65/5

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7.

University of British Columbia 5/5

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8.

Georgian College 5/5

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9.

George Brown 3.55/5

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10.

University of Alberta 4.35/5

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11.

Loyalist College 4.35/5

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12.

Bow Valley College 5/5

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13.

Fanshawe College 4.65/5

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14.

Sheridan College 4.5/5

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15.

Seneca College 3.35/5

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16.

Red Deer Polytechnic 5/5

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17.

Capilano University 4/5

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18.

Vancouver Community College 4/5

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19.

Niagara College 4.75/5

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1

Humber College

early-childhood-education-programs
$ $ $ $

The Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning was founded in 1967 and has two campuses in Toronto, offering advanced academic credentials and direct industry experience while employing the latest technology and teaching methodologies in state-of-the-art labs and classrooms that simulate a real-world working environment.

What You’ll Learn

Humber’s Early Childhood Education diploma program prepares students to work with children from birth to 12 years of age. Students are expected to attain the required knowledge, skills and attitudes that employers are seeking from ECE graduates in supporting children, families and their communities by engaging in innovative learning and simulation experiences.

Courses include Responsive Relationships in Inclusive Environments; Children, Play and Creativity; Child Development: Prenatal to 2 ½ years; Understanding Children through Observation; Child Development: 2 to 6 years; Curriculum Design; and Two-Eyed Land-based Play and Co-Learning. This course uses the guiding principles and pedagogy of Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing in the Mi’kmaq Language) to explore land-based play and co-learning through both Indigenous and non-Indigenous ways of being, seeing, knowing and doing. The course takes place on the lands of the Humber Arboretum and regional landscapes. Co-learning engages Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty, Elders, Knowledge Holders and students in the learning process.

ECE students at Humber learn how children learn and develop as well how to create responsive, inclusive play-based learning environments and natural play spaces for children, families and the community.

The program features an on-site inclusive child-care facility for kids from birth to four years of age, a natural play space for children, a hands-on, interactive classroom designed to inspire creativity and inquiry, and an ECE Resource Centre.

Work placement occurs within the program and students are required to complete 500-600 work placement hours over three semesters. During these three semesters, students may have field practicums such as working with families and children in licensed child care or preschool settings, EarlyON Child and Family Centres, various community programs, full-day kindergarten, or home based child care programs. Securing a different placement for semesters 2, 3, and 4 ensures a range of experiences prior to graduation and equips students with a range of networks within the community to explore employment in the future.

Program Options

Students who start their studies in January are enrolled in a fast-track option. This allows for completion of the full diploma program in four consecutive semesters, including the summer term. Those who enrol in May will complete the full diploma program in approximately 20 months with one summer break between the third and fourth semesters. Students beginning their studies in September complete the program in two academic years with one summer break between the second and third semester.

Humber’s ECE program offers a semester abroad program that gives students the opportunity to study in Roskilde, Denmark and completed academic credits can be transferred to a Humber credential. Students can also pursue work placement outside Canada and may be eligible to receive a bursary from Humber to complete their studies.

Locations

Toronto (North Campus), Toronto (Lakeshore Campus), Orangeville, Ontario

2

Conestoga College

early-childhood-education-ece-programs
4.9/5
$ $ $ $

Conestoga is a leader in polytechnic education, delivering a full range of career-focused education, training and applied research programs to prepare students for success in the new knowledge economy and promote economic prosperity across Ontario.

What Students Are Saying

Lots of work-integrated (WIL) learning and amazing community feel to this program at Conestoga. Invaluable experience in a kindergarten classroom topped off excellent classroom training by first-rate professors in this bachelor's degree program. Highly recommended.

Kristen Chan, Bachelor of Early Learning Program Development (Honours)

What You’ll Learn

The two-year Early Childhood Education diploma program at Conestoga College prepares students for professional practice in the field of early learning and child care. Through interactive classroom learning and work-integrated learning experiences, students develop skills that enable them to work in collaboration with families, colleagues and communities for the purpose of designing, implementing and evaluating inclusive play-based early learning program.

Students will work in partnership with college-operated child development centres, kindergarten classrooms, licensed early learning and care programs and community agencies to integrate classroom theory and practice in meaningful and engaging ways. Courses include Introduction to Early Learning and Care, Foundations of Curriculum, Play and Pedagogy, Health Safety & Nutrition, Child Development: The Later Years, Partnership with Families,

Program Options

Conestoga also offers a four-year Bachelor of Early Learning paid co-op degree program related to the early childhood field.

 

Locations

Brantford, Kitchener, Ontario

3

Ryerson University

early-childhood-education-programs
$ $ $ $

Founded in 1948, Ryerson University is a public research university located in Toronto with core of the school located in the heart of downtown Toronto. The School of Child & Youth Care was launched in 1989 as the first degree-granting child and youth care program in Ontario. The school was created in response to the growing demand from the child and youth care sector and the Toronto District School Board for advanced education in child and youth care.

Ryerson is the only university in Ontario to offer a collaborative 16-month consecutive BA/BEd program with a combined Early Childhood Studies (ECS) and Primary/Junior specialization. Graduates will enter the job market a full year earlier than their counterparts at other institutions. Degrees earned include Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies and Bachelor of Education with Primary/Junior Teacher Certification. Ryerson also offers a Master of Arts in Child and Youth Care features online and hybrid course options beginning in the second term.

What You’ll Learn

Ryerson University’s Early Childhood Studies Bachelor of Arts degree program is part of the Faculty of Community Services and provides in-depth knowledge of child development from birth through age eight.

Students study physiological, psychological and social perspectives and develop understanding and skills pertaining to family support, early childhood education, arts, literacy and disabilities in young children. Field education each year, international placement and research opportunities and the chance to apply to a consecutive BEd program with York University will prepare you to work with children, families and professionals in a variety of settings.

Field placements provide the opportunity to put theory into practice. You’ll gain experience in a variety of settings such as childcare programs, public schools, special needs programs, family resource centres and children’s hospitals. Ryerson is also home to two research centres related to learning and child development including the Early Learning Centre – the school’s licensed laboratory early learning and child care centre, and Gerrard Resource Centre which works in partnership with the School of Early Childhood Studies.

You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to:

  • Plan early learning environments where all children thrive
  • Adapt programs to support children with disabilities
  • Investigate, assess and evaluate children’s development
  • Implement therapeutic interventions such as music, art, speech, and physical and occupational therapies
  • Lead, advocate and resolve conflicts

Required courses and professional courses challenge you to develop a strong foundation in early childhood studies. You’ll learn more about child development, observation, curriculum, Infant mental health, working with children with special needs, and more.

Ryerson is the only university in Ontario that offers a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care. As a graduate of this program, you will design and implement theoretically sound and evidence-informed therapeutic interventions, programs and services that aim to partner with young people, their families and their communities in the process of bringing about positive change. Small interactive classes, local and international internships, mentoring opportunities and an independent research project will prepare you to promote the participation of children and youth in society.

Internship placements give full-time, four-year students the ability to apply knowledge to practice in child welfare, children’s mental health, health care, family support, education, community and youth justice settings. As a student in the full-time, four-year Child and Youth Care degree program, you will participate in two internship experiences in the second and fourth year of your program.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

4

Mohawk College

early-childhood-education-ece-programs
4.35/5
$ $ $ $

Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology is a public college located in Hamilton, Ont., founded in 1966. The college is fully accredited and funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and is a member of the Association of Community Colleges of Canada. The college’s ECE program features a “living lab” that provides for hands-on learning.

 What You’ll Learn                

ECE students at Mohawk will learn how to develop the whole child through an understanding of child development and intentional planning. As well, they will learn collaborative skills to support children and their families through responsive relationships. Other core skills will include:

  • Observation, pedagogical documentation and reflection of best practices.
  • Current legislation and guiding principles of the Early Years System.
  • Implement an integrated community approach to engage with children, families and professionals.

Courses include Responsive Care for Infants and Toddlers, Child Development & Behaviour, Parent Teacher Child Relationship, Health, Safety and Nutrition, Family Dynamics and Philosophy and Curriculum Design. There are opportunities for specialized work placements.

Program Options

Students can complete a program that spans two academic years. A fast-track program is also available that allows students to complete a two-year Diploma program in 16 months. Students will start in January and be in school for four continuous semesters: Winter, Spring/Summer, Fall and Winter. Students will not be off during the summer.

Locations

Hamilton, Ontario

5

Canadore College

early-childhood-education-ece
4.65/5
$ $ $ $

Canadore College is a college of applied arts and technology located in North Bay, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1967 as a campus of Sudbury’s Cambrian College, and became an independent institution in 1972. Canadore College has three campuses in North Bay, Ontario, and one campus in Parry Sound, Ontario.

What Students Are Saying

A wonderful local option for anyone in northern Ontario. Very good facilities, excellent teachers and I had no trouble finding a field placement and a job after graduation. With degree inflation, some of the students had BA's in education and came to Canadore to get certified. Something to keep in mind for those of you unsure about which path to take. I have since moved into a management role at a private centre.

Nancy Leblanc, Early Childhood Education Intensive (Accelerated)

What You’ll Learn

Canadore’s activity-based program is taught using a holistic approach in which the stages of a child’s developmental growth are emphasized including cognitive skills and socio-emotional development.

Graduates of Canadore’s program will also learn infant, toddler, pre-school, kindergarten and school-aged curricula, language and literacy development, health, safety and nutrition, special education, and outdoor/environmental learning.

Program Options

Canadore offers an Ontario College Diploma Intensive one-year accelerated program. Graduates of any Bachelor of Education or Bachelor of Arts program can complete this hands-on, intensive program in one year.  Expand your knowledge and skill set working in real-world settings. A 175-hour field placement gives you a practical application for your training with the possibility of securing permanent employment.

Locations

Mississauga, North Bay, Brampton, Scarborough, Ontario

6

York University

early-childhood-education-ece
$ $ $ $

As one of the top Faculties of Education in the country, York provides an environment for students to explore their interests in education and find how they can play a role in the education system. As one of the largest public research universities in Toronto, it is Canada’s fourth-largest university. York sees an enrolment of about 55,700 students, and has 7,000 faculty and staff, and over 325,000 alumni worldwide. The university offers a broad range of programs, research initiatives and partnerships.

York is home to the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, which supports research in health, education, relationships and development of infants, children, adolescents, as well as adults and families. Additionally, York hosts the Alexander F. Chamberlain speaker series, which features lectures and seminars from leading scholars in the Childhood and Youth Studies field.

What You’ll Learn

The Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education gives formal recognition to those graduate students who have undertaken concentrated research and study concerning the education of young children (birth to age eight). The diploma gives formal recognition to those graduate students who have undertaken concentrated research and study concerning the education of young children (birth to age eight). This diploma does not lead to ECE certification.

Program Options

Graduate Diploma in Education in Early Childhood Education. To be eligible to take the Diploma concurrently with a degree, candidates must first be admitted to the Graduate Program in Education.

For the Direct Entry (stand-alone diploma), candidates must be admissible to the Graduate Program in Education.

  • Concurrent (Option A): The requirements for the Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education are completed concurrently with a Master’s or Doctoral degree.
  • Direct entry (Option B): The Graduate Diploma in Education in Early Childhood Education can be completed as a stand-alone non-degree diploma.

York also offers a humanities-based program called Children, Childhood and Youth studies Our Children, Childhood and Youth program focuses on the experiences, knowledge and concerns of children. You will learn ethnographic techniques specific to children and their cultures. You’ll analyze children’s voices in contemporary and historical contexts and gain an understanding of the human condition from the child’s perspective. You’ll also participate in community-based partnerships and be encouraged to take part in advocacy work.

Children, Childhood and Youth explores global childhood experiences in philosophical and social terms and their personal, societal and human consequences. Attention is paid to the nature and significance of children’s culture – distinguishing between culture created by adults for children and the culture of children themselves. You will learn how to engage children, discern children’s voices in historical and cultural contexts and come to understand the human condition from their perspective.

The Children, Childhood and Youth program is an interdisciplinary, incorporating expertise and courses from programs such as sociology, psychology, English, equity studies and the fine arts. Courses include: Introduction to Children, Childhood and Youth Studies;  Global Cultures of Children and Young People; Research with Children and Young People; Honours Research Project; Internships / Practicums.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

7

University of British Columbia

early-childhood-education-programs
$ $ $ $

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for teaching, learning and research, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world.

With the recent commitment to universal childcare in British Columbia, there is a need for qualified Early Childhood Educators. UBC’s Faculty of Education offers a program of courses that would lead to the BC Early Childhood Education (ECE) Assistant and Basic Certificates. These credentials are required by the Ministry of Children and Family Development to work in early childhood settings (ages birth to five years) in BC. Upon completion of the courses in the program, graduates apply to the BC ECE Registry for certification.

What You’ll Learn

The Early Childhood Education program works across UBC’s Faculty of Education to offer several undergraduate and graduate programs focused on the early years (children from birth to age nine). ECED programs allow teachers, early childhood educators, and other early childhood education professionals to inquire into their work with young children and offers opportunities to explore issues in early childhood research, theory, and practice.

UBC’s BC Early Childhood Education Assistant & Basic Certificate program is offered 100 per cent online, with practica in the Lower Mainland, allowing students the flexibility to work and manage other responsibilities while preparing for their career in Early Childhood Education.

Program Options

Program options include Certificates & Diplomas: BC ECE Assistant & Basic Certificate; ECED Minor Bachelor of Arts with a Minor in Education, Early Childhood Education Specialization. UBC offers several different programs including programs that allow for explore issues in early childhood research, theory, and practice.

Locations

Online, Vancouver, British Columbia

8

Georgian College

early-childhood-education-programs
$ $ $ $

Georgian College works with industry and community partners to offer relevant, cutting-edge curriculum, quality work placements and co-op experiences with top employers. Our students graduate with the skills and the mindset to be innovative thinkers and changemakers who can transform their workplaces and communities. Georgian has one of the highest graduate employment rates among Ontario colleges; 85.8 per cent of alumni found work within six months of graduation — above the provincial average – which the school has exceeded for more than 20 years.

When asked to rate how well the college has prepared Georgian grads, employers reported 100 per cent satisfaction for the second year in a row.

Graduates’ satisfaction with their experience at Georgian grew by almost 6 per cent to 82.5 per cent, exceeding the provincial average. Of the 3,000 full-time students, including 4,500 international students from 85 countries, the school’s population speaks more than 110 languages (as of March 2020 audit).

What You’ll Learn

Students learn to facilitate the development of children from birth to 12 years while encouraging their feelings of self-worth and social-emotional resiliency. Learning includes the design and implementation of play-based experiences, focusing on children’s interests through indoor and outdoor play opportunities. Students learn the importance of being responsive caregivers while respecting diversity, identity and the rights of children and families.

Partnerships with families, other professionals, and community programs form the foundation of working in the field of early learning and care. Field placements provide students with the opportunity to practice the knowledge and skills as they engage with children and adults. Students are offered a balance between theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Program Options

The two-year Ontario College Diploma program includes two field placement and classroom studies such as Children’s Health and Wellness, Ethics and Advocacy for ECE, Adapting Play/ Learning Strategy, Foundations in ECE, Partnerships with Families, Social/Emotional Health/Behaviour and more.

Locations

Orillia, Orangeville, Owen Sound, Ontario

9

George Brown

early-childhood-education-programs
3.55/5
$ $ $ $

Located in downtown Toronto, George Brown College offers degree and diploma programs in Early Childhood Education in conjunction with Ryerson University. The college has been preparing Early Childhood Educators for more than 20 years. The College’s School of Early Childhood offers Ontario’s largest network of school owned and operated child care centres. The 12 centres model best practices that the college teaches in classrooms and provide training for students as well as care for the children and families it serves. With over 150 partners across the Greater Toronto Area, George Brown has well-established partnerships that extend into a variety of sectors that include public and private childcare centres, school boards, community organizations, hospitals, and government. A number of Early Childhood Education programs from George Brown are taught on the Ryerson University campus.

What Students Are Saying

This program is all hands-on all the time. The lessons and strategies I learned in the classroom helped prepare me for the exact challenges I faced in the classroom. Instructors were dedicated and empathetic. Best of all, there were more available field placements than there were students. Early childhood educators can't go wrong at George Brown in my opinion.

Jane Kim, Early Childhood Education Program (Accelerated)

What You’ll Learn

George Brown’s programs combine classroom learning, with practical, hands-on experiential learning opportunities at one of the 12 college-managed child care lab schools or with one of our Greater Toronto Area service agency partners. These field placement opportunities help students build confidence and provide the practical experience in a real-world setting.

Program Options

Early Childhood Education: This two-year program stream is for those in high school or mature students with no previous post-secondary credential.

Early Childhood Education (Consecutive Diploma/Degree): Apply to this program stream if you want to earn a degree in Early Childhood Education. Students graduate with a diploma from George Brown College and a degree from Ryerson University.

Early Childhood Education (Fast-track): Apply to this fast-track program stream if you have a diploma or degree in a related field. Program is 10 months plus a two-week orientation course.

Early Childhood Education (Consecutive diploma/GBC Degree): Apply to this program stream to earn a George Brown College degree in Early Childhood. You will pay lower college-level tuition fees in years 1 and 2 (vs. higher university-level fees). Students in this program graduate with a diploma and a degree from George Brown College.

Early Childhood Education (Accelerated): Apply to this condensed program stream if you can study for 16 consecutive months.

Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership: Apply to this Fast-Track program stream if you have a diploma in Early Childhood Education and would like to pursue a degree that focuses on leadership as it relates to the Early Childhood sector.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

10

University of Alberta

emba-executive-mba
4.35/5
$ $ $ $

The University of Alberta in Edmonton is one of the top teaching and research universities in Canada, with an international reputation for excellence across the humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering and health sciences.

What You’ll Learn

The Centre collégial de l’Alberta offers two programs in early childhood education. The ECE programs at Campus Saint-Jean in Edmonton are based on the application of the latest findings in child development research. The University of Alberta’s curriculum focuses on teaching the child as an individual learning to appreciate, understand and master their environment. The program is specifically adapted to the francophone minority context and focused on the child’s language development in a multicultural francophone context. The program’s teachers will also be able to offer you the benefit of their many years of experience in Francophone daycare services or in an early childhood center in a minority setting.

Program Options

The Centre collégial de l’Alberta offers two programs in early childhood education and you can choose in-class or online studies. There is a one-year program that leads to the Government of Alberta’s Child Development Worker certification. There is also a two-year program (the first year of which consists of the same courses as the certificate program), which leads its graduates to the Government of Alberta’s Child Development Supervisor certification.

The Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies – Early Childhood Education – provides foundational and practical knowledge in teaching and learning for young children in various contexts focusing on play-based pedagogy, creating inclusive and supportive environments for all learners, and developing early mathematics and literacy. Emphasis will be placed on generating new meanings by critically examining the content and engaging with theoretical approaches and practice-based perspectives. The courses will focus on how pedagogical decisions and the creation of inclusive learning environments can contribute to improving learning outcomes for young children.

Locations

Edmonton, Alberta

11

Loyalist College

early-childhood-education-ece
$ $ $ $

Loyalist College is located on more than 200 acres in the Bay of Quinte region, located between Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal. The college offers more than 70 full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in biosciences, building sciences, business, community service, health and wellness, media studies, public safety, and skilled trades.

What You’ll Learn

Loyalist’s ECE program consistently ranks high in student and graduate satisfaction, combining theory with practice. Available as a two-year program, distance or apprenticeship studies, Loyalists’ ECE program will teach you how to design and implement curriculum to meet the diverse learning needs of children at different stages. Learning emphasizes inclusive practices, partnerships with families, multiple intelligences and evidence-based practices. Learner can expect a range of experiences in community early learning programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children.

Program Options

Available as a two-year program, distance or apprenticeship studies: Distance program (ECED) and Child Development Practitioner Apprenticeship Certificate (ECEM).

Locations

Belleville, Ontario

12

Bow Valley College

early-childhood-education-programs
$ $ $ $

Calgary-based Bow Valley College is a public, board-governed college operating as a comprehensive community institution under the Post-Secondary Learning Act of Alberta. It is located in the University of Lethbridge Calgary Campus. The branch campuses are Airdrie, Banff, Canmore, Cochrane, High River, Okoktoks, and Strathmore. Bow Valley graduates do well upon graduation with an 86 per cent graduate employment rate.

What You’ll Learn

The full-time 16-month (four-term) Early Childhood Education and Development Diploma program prepares students to provide high-quality childcare in a wide variety of settings and plan emergent play experiences for children. You will gain knowledge in child development, family dynamics, play, and program planning that will equip you to support the healthy development of children through child-centered learning experiences.

This program combines theory and practice, and graduates are eligible for Level 3 Early Childhood Educator (formerly Child Development Supervisor) certification from the Alberta Government.

The ECED learning lab combines classroom space with interactive children’s learning centres that include an artist studio, a reading centre, a dramatic play centre, and a sensory motor centre. This innovative and engaging environment supports the transition of theory to practice as students have an opportunity to engage with children in the lab space.

The ECED program is a member of the outdoor research project sponsored by the Lawson Foundation. An ECED program instructor is currently working with a team of researchers, including the project lead from Okanagan College and faculty members from New Brunswick Community College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic College, to conduct research on outdoor pedagogy in early childhood education. The ELCC2998 is the first outdoor practicum in the province, and learners will have the opportunity to participate in the outdoor project research alongside with their instructors.

Program Options

The ECED diploma program at Bow Valley College is offered full-time or part-time with a variety of delivery options including traditional classroom and online learning.  There are daytime and evening classes scheduled throughout the week. The practicum, however, must be completed physically onsite at a licensed childcare program in Alberta. Program delivery is blended which includes a combination of online and in-person learning.

You can put your knowledge into practice in an overseas community working with community schools and agencies. In the past, learners have gone to rural Uganda, Jamaica, and Guyana.

Locations

Calgary, Alberta

13

Fanshawe College

early-childhood-education-programs
4.65/5
$ $ $ $

Fanshawe College serves the greater London region by providing flexible learning and experiential education opportunities. As one of Ontario’s largest colleges – with four campuses in London, Simcoe, St. Thomas and Woodstock – Fanshawe serves close to half a million people.

What You’ll Learn

Fanshawe’s Early Childhood Education program provides the skills and hands-on experience to get your career started working with children in the early years. The program combines theory and coursework with experience in the field. Students will develop knowledge and skills in child development via the diverse courses and learn about the valuable and specialized role educators play in the community. Graduates will gain diverse skills for the evolving world of childhood education and 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.

Work placement opportunities expose students to a variety of age groups and multiple organizations. You will gain a variety of experiences that will make you more valuable to the Early Childhood Education profession.

Program Options

The two-year Ontario College Diploma program is available online and as a fast-track or accelerated program as well, is offered at more than one campus. Learn more about the programs and services of Fanshawe’s campuses in Clinton, St. Thomas and Woodstock.

Graduates of this program, once they have completed a bridge program, can enter Level 5 of the Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership Degree program at Fanshawe College. This four-year honours degree program is intended for students who want to seek leadership roles in the ECE profession. Students will learn a solid foundation in child development, pedagogy, human relationship, curriculum development, and leadership skills. You will participate in applied learning, case studies, research and field placements in the community. All this culminates in one 14-week-internship before your final year of studies, followed by your final year capstone research project.

Locations

London, Clinton, St.Thomas, Woodstock, Ontario

14

Sheridan College

ece-certification
4.5/5
$ $ $ $

Founded in 1967, Sheridan is one of Ontario’s leading postsecondary institutions, educating approximately 22,500 full-time and 18,500 continuing and part-time studies students every year on three campuses in Oakville, Brampton and Mississauga Ontario. Sheridan attracts students from across Canada and around the world and has an 84 per cent graduate employment rate.

What You’ll Learn

Sheridan’s curriculum room will support your learning by providing hands-on experiences in a simulated early learning classroom. Best practices for supporting young children’s learning and development

You will learn current issues and theories of child development, the roles and responsibilities of the early childhood educator, curriculum theory and approaches, programming for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children, professionalism and advocacy in early childhood education. Students can put their learning into practice by completing two different field placements in a variety of settings which may include Sheridan’s highly acclaimed childcare centres, before and after school care, kindergarten classrooms or other early learning settings.

Program Options

Ontario College Diploma in ECE and graduates may also continue their education in degree-level studies through Sheridan’s Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership program or at other Canadian universities or abroad.

Locations

Brampton, Oakville, Ontario

15

Seneca College

early-childhood-education-programs
3.35/5
$ $ $ $

Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology is a multiple-campus public college in the Greater Toronto Area, and Peterborough, Ontario, Canada regions. It offers full-time and part-time programs at the baccalaureate, diploma, certificate and graduate levels. About 93 per cent of employers who hired Seneca graduates report that they are satisfied or very satisfied.

What You’ll Learn

In this four-semester diploma program, you will learn about the physical, cognitive, social and emotional needs of children. You will understand how to develop and implement inclusive programming to support the healthy development of children ranging in age from infancy to school-age. Your studies will include courses in child development, curriculum. philosophy of education, communication, working with families and administration.

Seneca offers two lab schools, which are model child care centres that provide you with opportunities for observation and programming.

Program Options

Each week you will spend three days in class and two days practicing your skills in field placement. If you choose to study in the summer, you will have the option to earn your Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma in 16 months. As a graduate of this program who meets GPA requirements, you are eligible to pursue other opportunities at Seneca, including the Honours Bachelor of Child Development and Honours Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Locations

Toronto, Peterborough

16

Red Deer Polytechnic

early-childhood-education-programs
$ $ $ $

The post-secondary institution located in central Alberta began in1964, when the school began as Red Deer College. As of July 2021, the institution name is now Red Deer Polytechnic. In 2018, it was approved to become a degree-granting institution. The school continues to offer apprenticeships, certificates, degrees, micro-credentials and degrees.

What You’ll Learn

Red Deer Polytechnic offers a two-year diploma program in Early Learning and Child Care. Each course you take focuses on a different topic important to those who work with young children – everything from child development, to guiding behaviour, to planning snacks and bulletin boards, to planning and participating in play experiences, to interacting with children who have special needs.

The ELCC department operates in partnership with college and community programs serving children from birth to twelve years of age. Students work in practicum placements in these programs as a method of integrating theory and practice. There are two practicum courses in each of the ELCC programs. By the end of the Diploma Program, students assume many of the responsibilities related to preschool care and education in their practicums.

Program Options

The Diploma in Early Learning and Child Care can be taken part-time through either online study or on-campus courses. It can also be taken full-time through on-campus study or by enrolling in a blend of on-campus and online courses.

Students taking online courses complete their courses and practicums in their community. The blended online/on campus program is offered through a combination of online independent study materials, on-site learning (RDP campus), and computer-facilitated support. The entire cycle of online ELCC Diploma courses may be completed part-time over a two-year period or less through online, distance, or blended distance delivery. This multi-delivery approach is highly effective in meeting the diverse needs of adult students. Those wishing to complete the Diploma in one year (three consecutive terms) should enroll in the full-time on-campus or blended coursework program.

ELCC Diploma graduates may transfer to related fields in some university programs.

Locations

Red Deer, Alberta

17

Capilano University

early-childhood-education-programs
$ $ $ $

Capilano University attracts students from around the world and enrols approximately 11,600 students each year, 8,300 in for-credit programs and 3,300 in non-credit courses.

What You’ll Learn

The Early Childhood Care & Education Diploma gives students the competencies and knowledge required to work with children under the age of five in licensed preschools and childcare centres.

Demonstrate pedagogical practices that are connected to contemporary theoretical approaches of learning, thinking and teaching in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education. Work collaboratively with children, families, colleagues and community to provide relevant and responsive caring and educational experiences.

Students will learn to use ethical pedagogical practices that demonstrate an understanding and sensitivity to local and global issues related to Early Childhood Care and Education and engage in pedagogical practices that demonstrate mastery of the competencies required to be licensed and employed as an Early Childhood Educator in British Columbia.

Education courses in the diploma program meet the requirements of the Early Childhood Educator Registry for the ECE Certificate to Practice; Infant/Toddler Certificate to Practice and/or the Special Needs Certificate to Practice. Students who successfully complete an ECCE diploma are eligible to apply to the degree program.

Program Options

Capilano University also offers a Bachelor of Early Childhood Care and Education Degree, Early Childhood Care Education Post Baccalaureate Diploma, Education Assistant Certificate.

Locations

North Vancouver, British Columbia

18

Vancouver Community College

early-childhood-education-programs
$ $ $ $

Vancouver Community College is a public community college in Vancouver, British Columbia. Founded in 1965, it is the largest and oldest community college in British Columbia, offering 91 certificate programs, 31 diploma programs, and 3 bachelor’s degree programs. VCC has two campuses in Vancouver.

What You’ll Learn

VCC has a recently built space used to practice creating a stimulating learning environment in which young children can learn through play. VCC’s ECCE program has a strong reputation in the community for its high quality, flexibility, student-centered approach, and the diverse demographics of students.

The ECCE Basic Certificate program has three practicums done in a licensed childcare facility; the second practicum can be done in the workplace. The Post-Basic Diploma program has four practicums.

Locations

Vancouver, British Columbia

19

Niagara College

early-childhood-education-programs
4.75/5
$ $ $ $

Located in the heart of the Niagara Region, Niagara College offers more than 130 innovative programs between its campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

What You’ll Learn

The two-year diploma program features more than 600 hours of practical field placement experience with course work. Students can graduate with three additional certificates: Hanen Learning Language and Loving It; Quality Child Care Niagara; Red Cross Anti-Bullying Certificate.

Program Options

Niagara College offers a two-year diploma program with four work placements that take place concurrently as well as an advanced stream one-year program (with two work placements) for those who already have a Bachelor of Education degree with a primary junior focus.

Locations

Welland, Ontario

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2 thoughts on “Canada’s Best Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programs of 2022”

  1. Right here is the perfect website for anyone who hopes to find ECE programs.Thank you for your guidance.

  2. I’ll be starting in Conestoga’s Bachelor program in the fall. Thanks again for connecting me!

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