Early Childhood Education

Program: ECED
Credential: Ontario College Diploma
Delivery: Full-time + Part-time
Work Integrated Learning: 2 Field Placements
Length: 4 Semesters
Duration: 2 Years
Effective: Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Summer 2023
Location: Orillia (Fall, Winter, Summer), Owen Sound (Fall), Orangeville (Fall)


In this program, students learn to facilitate the development of children from birth to 12 years while encouraging their feelings of self-worth and social-emotional resiliency. Students design and implement 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 unique balance between theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Career Opportunities

Graduates are qualified to apply to become a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) with the College of Early Childhood Educators. Graduates may work in a variety of early learning settings, including licensed childcare programs, before-and-after school care, family home child care, early years resource centers, children’s mental health agencies, private home childcare, kindergarten programs, and recreation programs, as well as school readiness and early intervention programs. Growth is also occurring in the area of contractual employment and self-employment.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. 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;  
  2. 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;  
  3. 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; 
  4. 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; 
  5. 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; 
  6. 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;
  7. 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;
  8. 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;
  9. 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;
  10. 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;
  11. apply basic entrepreneurial strategies to realize social environmental and/or financial rewards;
  12. apply knowledge of indigenous culture and traditions in the promotion of an inclusive community;
  13. apply cultural and internationalization awareness in the planning and implementation of services and supports.

External Recognition

Graduates of the program meet the educational requirements to apply for professional registration with the College of Early Childhood Educators.

Program Progression

The following reflects the planned progression for full-time offerings of the program.

Fall Intake - Orillia, Owen Sound, Orangeville

  • Sem 1: Fall 2022
  • Sem 2: Winter 2023
  • Sem 3: Fall 2023
  • Sem 4: Winter 2024

Winter Intake - Orillia

  • Sem 1: Winter 2023
  • Sem 2: Summer 2023
  • Sem 3: Fall 2023
  • Sem 4: Winter 2024

Summer Intake - Orillia

  • Sem 1: Summer 2023
  • Sem 2: Fall 2023
  • Sem 3: Winter 2024
  • Sem 4: Summer 2024


A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program co-ordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option. Additional information can be found on our website at http://www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

Admission Requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/academic-regulations/

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: A record of criminal offences, for which a pardon has not been granted, may prevent students from completing their placements, thereby affecting their ability to graduate.

Additional Information

Applicants must have an up-to-date immunization record and a valid Standard First Aid and CPR level C or HCP certificate before proceeding on field placement. It is recommended that First Aid training be completed prior to program entry. These documents must be completed before enrollment in second semester courses.

It is strongly recommended that students accepted into the ECE program have volunteer or past work experience in a licensed childcare setting. This experience orients and prepares the student for their academic work in the ECE program.

Graduation Requirements

21 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses
3 General Education Courses
2 Field Placements

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, from year to year, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.

Program Tracking 

The following reflects the planned course sequence for full-time offerings of the Fall intake of the program. Where more  than one intake is offered  contact the program co-ordinator for the program tracking.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses  
ECED 1012 Child Development (conception to 6 years) 42
ECED 1013 Experiences in Language Arts 42
ECED 1018 Foundations in ECE 42
ECED 1029 Observation and Documentation 42
ECED 1030 Music and Movement 28
ECED 1033 Supporting Play Experiences 42
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 2
Program Courses  
ECED 1021 Math, Science and Creative Art 42
ECED 1031 Field Placement Seminar 1 14
ECED 1034 School Age Development and Programming 42
ECED 1035 Personal and Professional Preparation for Field Placement 42
ECED 2014 Partnerships with Families 42
Field Placement  
ECED 1036 Field Placement: Early Learning 1- Childcare 280
Semester 3
Program Courses  
ECED 1014 Nurturing Infants and Toddlers 42
ECED 1025 Children's Health and Wellness 42
ECED 2011 Social/Emotional Health and Behaviour 42
ECED 2021 Best Practices in Early Intervention 42
ENTR 1004 Social Entrepreneurship 42
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Courses  
Select 2 courses from the general education list during registration. 84
Semester 4
Program Courses  
ECED 2012 Administration and Governance 42
ECED 2023 Field Placement Seminar 2 14
ECED 2025 Ethics and Advocacy for the Field of ECE 42
ECED 2027 Adapting Play and Learning Strategies 42
ECED 2031 Curriculum and Practice 42
Field Placement  
ECED 2030 Field Placement: Early Learning 2 Kindergarten and Unique 280
 Total Hours1582

Graduation Window

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of two years (as stated above) may take a maximum of four years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission.

Disclaimer: The information in this document is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. 

Program outlines may be subject to change in response to emerging situations, in order to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes required for graduation. Components such as courses, progression, coop work terms, placements, internships and other requirements may be delivered differently than published.

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