2022-23 Calendar

Early Childhood Education Diploma

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), 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 information on post-diploma opportunities, please contact the Department of Early Childhood Education.

Students who successfully complete only the first three semesters of the Diploma in Early Childhood Education may be eligible to be granted a Certificate in Early Childhood Education. Completion of the three semester Certificate in Early Childhood Education satisfies the training requirements for a Certificate to Practice as an Early Childhood Educator.

For further information about mandated training requirements in the Province of B.C., please note the following website:www.gov.bc.ca/earlychildhoodeducator.

Admission Requirements

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.

General Requirements

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A criminal record check clearance from the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General's Criminal Records Review Office. Okanagan College's admission offices will provide applicants with instructions and forms for applicants to submit to the Solicitor General's Office and a deadline for the College to receive the clearance letter. Applicants should only initiate their criminal record check when instructed by Admissions. Failure to provide a clearance letter by the deadline will result in a cancellation of the applicant's admission application.

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.

Program Outline

Semester I (September - December)
ECDE 111 Interpersonal and Personal Communication Skills
ECDE 112 Child Development Conception to 3 years
ECDE 113 Child Development 3-12 years of Age
ECDE 114 Planning for Early Childhood Education
ECDE 115 The Early Childhood Profession
ECDE 116 Observing and Documenting Children's Development
ECDE 117 Observing and Documenting Children's Development Practicum
Semester II (January - April)
ECDE 121 Group Process
ECDE 122 Health, Safety and Nutrition
ECDE 123 Families
ECDE 124 Guiding and Caring
ECDE 129 Practicum II
Semester III (September - December)
ECDE 211 Professionalism
ECDE 212 Advanced Program Planning
ECDE 213 Working with Families and Community
ECDE 214 Practices in Infant Toddler Care
ECDE 219 Practicum III
Semester IV (January - April)
ECDE 222 Developmentally-Responsive Environments for Under Threes
ECDE 223 Administration
ECDE 224 Inclusive Practice Theories
ECDE 225 Inclusive Practice Strategies
ECDE 229 Practicum IV
Periodically, the department may offer a Supported Child Care Certificate to graduates from other recognized Early Childhood Education programs. For more information contact the department at 250-762-5445.

Graduation Requirements

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 Area:

Health and Social Development

Campus (Intake):

  • Vernon (Aug)
  • Kelowna (Sep)




  • Full-Time


2022-23: $8,617.72 (Kelowna, entire program), $8,758.48 (Vernon, entire program)

  • Fees include all mandatory fees: Activity fee, Health & Dental, Student Association fee, Education Technology fee, Development fee.
  • All amounts are approximate and are subject to change.


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.

This program is student loan eligible.

Department Website

Okanagan College Calendar: Printed 12/07/2022