The Early Childhood Education program prepares students to work with young children in a variety of inclusive early childhood environments. Students will acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to work with children, families and the community in planning enriched programs in daycares, preschools, infant/toddler centres and other early childhood initiatives that focus upon healthy early development.
Successful completion of the four-semester Diploma in Early Childhood Education (and the intercession practicum) satisfies the requirements of the Early Childhood Registrar, Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and the Ministry of Health, Community Care Facilities Licensing Branch (CCFB) for a Certificate to Practice as an Early Childhood Educator, a Special Needs Educator and an Infant/Toddler Educator.
Graduates of a Diploma in Early Childhood Education may also receive block transfer credit for continuation of their studies toward a degree. For further infromation on post-diploma opportunities, please contact the Department of Early Childhood Education.
For further information about mandated training requirements in the Province of B.C., please note the following website: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/early-learning/teach/training-and-professional-development/become-an-early-childhood-educator/apply-for-ece-ecea-certificate.
Academic Admission Requirements
B.C. secondary school graduation, or equivalent, or 19 years of age and out of secondary school for one year as of the first day of classes.
English 12 with minimum 67% or alternatives.
Applicants must provide evidence of successful completion of a first aid course on the list accepted by the Early Childhood Educator Registry no more than twelve months prior to admission. See "The Early Childhood Educator in BC" at http://www.bclaws.ca/Recon/document/ID/freeside/332_2007#ScheduleC (schedule C). It is recommended that students complete a Childsafe course before admission. (Note: certification must be maintained throughout the program. Current certification in a first aid course approved by the registry is required for licensure.)
Students will be required to complete a half-day observation in a licensed early childhood setting and complete an observation form provided by the department.
A scheduled mandatory meeting with Early Childhood Education staff (normally conducted in March), to provide an opportunity for the applicant to discuss their experience in the field, to clarify information submitted by the applicant and to provide counselling on entry into the program. Applicants are requested to attend an orientation session during the year before their scheduled meeting. This orientation session will provide information and answer any questions students may have about the Early Childhood program.
All applicants are strongly advised to ensure their immunization status is current. Vaccination for hepatitis B is recommended.
It is recommended that students complete the following senior secondary courses before entering the program: Human Service 11 and 12, and Family Management 11 and 12.
Students in this program engage actively in laboratory practice, acting both as patient/client and as caregiver in simulated situations. Notwithstanding all specific program prerequisites, Okanagan College reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant when, in the opinion of Okanagan College, there is sufficient and substantiated evidence, medical or otherwise, to conclude that by granting admission Okanagan College would jeopardize the safety of clients under student care or would otherwise be negligent in providing for the safety and well-being of clients, agency staff or other students.
Students entering into the Early Childhood Education program should review Okanagan College policy information on clinical, practicum and external placements.
Failure to submit all required documentation by a specified deadline may result in denial of admission.
Graduation from the Early Childhood Education diploma program requires successful completion of the courses in the program outline.
Minimum passing grade in all components is 70%.
Program Length: 16 months, certificate exit 12 months
Other Expenses: $1100 approximately for textbooks. An annual fee of $20 will be required to cover CCFB authorized, childcare centre based criminal record checks. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from practicum centres.
Practicum Experiences: Practicum experiences are an integral part of health and social services programs. Locations are throughout, and sometimes outside of, the Okanagan Valley. Students must arrange for their own transportation to and from practicum sites. In most cases, that means a driving license and access to a reliable vehicle. Travel expenses are the student's responsibility.
Health and Social Development
2017-18: $7,861.53 (total for 16-month program)
Okanagan College Calendar: Printed 10/18/2017