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 2024, Winter 2025, Summer 2025
Location: Orillia (Fall, Winter, Summer), Owen Sound (Fall), Orangeville (Fall)


Within this program’s unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical experience, students prepare to work with children (birth to 12 years old) and their families. Students learn how to support children's holistic development and facilitate their adaptation to the challenges of everyday life. Students acquire the skills to be responsive caregivers while respecting diversity and the rights of children and families. They discover the multifaceted benefits of play-based learning through experiential courses that focus on outdoor learning, creative expression, and science and technology. Emphasis is placed on partnerships with families, other professionals, and community programs, as these form the foundation of working in the field of early learning and care. This approach to learning reflects the view that children are curious, capable and skilled and grow up in families with diverse social, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Through two field placements, students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and transfer their skills as they engage with children and adults in early years learning settings within the community. Students develop a range of abilities and best practices crucial for success in the various learning environments they may find employment in within the field of early childhood education. 

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 in Ontario.

Program Progression

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

Fall Intake - Orillia, Owen Sound, Orangeville

  • Sem 1: Fall 2024
  • Sem 2: Winter 2025
  • Sem 3: Fall 2025
  • Sem 4: Winter 2026

Winter Intake - Orillia

  • Sem 1: Winter 2025
  • Sem 2: Summer 2025
  • Sem 3: Fall 2025
  • Sem 4: Winter 2026

Summer Intake - Orillia

  • Sem 1: Summer 2025
  • Sem 2: Fall 2025
  • Sem 3: Winter 2026
  • Sem 4: Summer 2026


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 https://www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or mature student status
  • 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 for Prior Learning 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 may be asked to provide community agencies with proof of completion of Standard First Aid and CPR Level C certification as well as an up-to-date immunization record with a two-step TB test in some circumstances to proceed with field placement. Students are required to review agency requirements provided by the field placement office. Proof of completion of the Ontario Ministry of Labour Health and Safety Awareness training must also be provided before proceeding on field placement. 

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 (birth to 12 years) 42
ECED 1018 Foundations in ECE 42
ECED 1033 Supporting Inclusive Play Experiences 42
ECED 1039 Creative Expression 42
ECED 1040 Developing Partnerships with Families 28
ECED 1041 Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math and Outdoor Learning 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 1014 Nurturing Infants and Toddlers 42
ECED 1025 Children's Health and Wellness 42
ECED 1029 Observation and Documentation 42
ECED 1034 Programming School Age Experiences 42
ECED 2021 Child Development: Inclusivity and Diversity 42
ENTR 1004 Social Entrepreneurship 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 3
Program Courses  
ECED 1035 Professional Practice and Preparation for Field Placement 42
ECED 1042 Responsive Relationships in Diverse Communities 42
ECED 2011 Social/Emotional Health and Development 42
ECED 2012 Legislation and Standards of Practice 42
ECED 2025 Ethics and Advocacy for the Field of ECE 42
ECED 2027 Inclusive Learning and Play 42
ECED 2031 Curriculum and Practice 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 4
Field Placement  
ECED 1031 Field Placement Seminar 1 14
ECED 1036 Field Placement: Early Learning 1- Childcare 280
ECED 2023 Field Placement Seminar 2 14
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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