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Early Childhood Education

Diploma
Early Childhood Education

Program Overview

As an early childhood educator, you play a big role in how kids shape their lifelong view of learning. You connect with kids and their families. You use reading, writing, art, music, drama and science to enrich young lives. It’s a big responsibility … and a lot of fun.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic's two-year Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma program is offered on-campus in Saskatoon or Regina, or through regional colleges or through distance learning wherever you live.

It is a highly respected program that integrates the most current research on early childhood education. You’ll build on the knowledge, attitudes and skills you developed in the ECE certificate program, including:

  • administration and child care regulations
  • children with diverse abilities
  • child guidance techniques
  • family and community relationships
  • observation, assessment and documentation
  • play environments and program planning
  • programming for infants, toddlers and school age children

Build Your Confidence and Independence

The ECE diploma program continues where the ECE certificate program left off. Throughout the year, you’ll have opportunities to work independently with children in a variety of child care situations. You’ll also participate in two 6-week practicums in a child care or preschool setting.

Through practical experience, you’ll get the feedback you need to develop best practices, recognize stages of development and understand the impact of environment on behaviour. Saskatoon students will participate in course work at the Early Childhood Demonstration Centre.

Become a Level III ECE

When you graduate, you’re eligible to apply to become a licensed Level III Early Childhood Educator (ECE). If you plan on becoming a child care centre director, you must have your ECE III. If you’re interested in going farther, you’ll be able to transfer some of your credits to the University of Regina’s Bachelor of Education degree program in Elementary Education.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

There’s high demand for Level III ECEs in Saskatchewan. Your diploma lets you work in group care settings with children from birth to age 12. Start your career in a child care centre, preschool, elementary school, Kids First/Aboriginal Head Start program, family day homes and private homes.

Get involved in programming for infants and children with diverse abilities, or become an inclusion coordinator, preschool teacher, child care centre director, early childhood interventionist or family support worker.

For more information, contact the Student Employment Services at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus nearest you.

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): September

Length: 38 weeks

Locations

  • Regina
  • Saskatoon
  • Distance Learning options available

Admissions

Admission Requirements

Note

  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of a Criminal Record Check prior to entering required coursework with children. At the discretion of the practicum agency, you may be declined access to a clinical or work placement based on the contents of the Criminal Record Check. If you do not complete the practicum, you will not graduate from the program. The cost of the Criminal Record Check is your responsibility.
  • Your immunization record and current Mantoux (Tuberculin) testing is required for your practicum placement.

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.

ACCUPLACER©

See Certificate program

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.

 

$7,300

International Students

View tuition rates for international students.

Courses

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Semester 1

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
ECE 200
Play Environments
2
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The course is a continuation of Play in Early Childhood Education. You will use play theory to plan developmentally appropriate programs, plan indoor play environments, and to examine outdoor play environments.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
ECE 201
Program Planning for Early Childhood Education Programs
3
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The course is a culmination of the diploma program. You will use information on developmentally appropriate practice, child development, and holistic planning to plan curriculum for young children. You will incorporate information on children with diverse needs, multi-age groups, and diverse cultures to plan both individual and group programs.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
ECE 202
Programming for Infants and Toddlers
3
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You will examine the development of infants and toddlers in more specific detail. Using that information you will plan programs including activities and environments that will encourage the holistic development of infants and toddlers.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 225
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
ECE 220
Anti-Bias Education in Early Childhood
4
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Your studies will focus on the issues related to providing respectful and relevant early learning and child care for all children and families. Students will have opportunities to examine their personal beliefs and values as they relate to the planning and implementation of an anti-bias curriculum for children. You will acquire the knowledge and develop the skills needed to build partnerships with families while respecting their diverse needs.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Equivalent Course(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
ECE 221
Observation and Assessment
3
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You will learn advanced observation techniques and be introduced to common assessment tools. Using information from observation and assessment tools, you will develop individualized programs for children.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 40.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Equivalent Course(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
SPSY 279
Children with Diverse Abilities 1
3
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The course provides an introduction to the study of children with diverse abilities and needs. You will examine practices related to identification, intervention and prevention of specific diverse abilities. You will also discuss historical and current approaches, trends, and issues.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Equivalent Course(s): SPSY 281
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
SPSY 289
Children with Diverse Abilities 2
3
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The course continues the study of children with diverse abilities by addressing developmentally appropriate programming for young children with diverse abilities. You will study assessment, individualized planning and program planning in inclusive settings.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): SPSY 279
Equivalent Course(s): SPSY 282
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning

Semester 2

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
PRAC 244
Practicum 3
13
Show course details
The course provides you with an opportunity to gain competence working with children, families and communities in early childhood education programs. Practicum options include: a practicum in an infant program, a practicum in a toddler program, a practicum working with children and supporting a child(ren) with diverse abilities, or a practicum working as a frontline educator. All practicums include reflective journaling and require students to use observation to plan curriculum focused on the needs and interests of children in a particular setting. Dependent on the practicum chosen, practicum experiences may include creating documentation panels, completing a PPP based on the Ministry of Education’s format, or using the Project Approach to plan a research topic with children.
Credit Units: 13
Course Hours: 194.0
Prerequisites(s): ECE 221, (ECE 201 or ECE 202 or SPSY 289)
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Clinical/Practicum-Individual, Prior Learning

Semester 3

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
ADMN 204
Administrative Skills for Early Childhood Educators
3
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You will be introduced to the administrative knowledge and skills that are useful as an early childhood educator. You will study the operating structure of early childhood programs, policies and procedures, and Saskatchewan Child Care regulations. You will become familiar with regulations that govern First Nations early childhood programs. You will develop skills in using program evaluation tools, managing money and accurate recordkeeping. You will become familiar with the rights and responsibilities for employees within the Saskatchewan Labour Standards Act.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Equivalent Course(s): ADMN 249
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
COMM 294
Teamwork Skills
2
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You will learn how to become an effective member of an early childhood educator team. The course content focuses on determining individual interaction styles and personality styles, assertion skills, conflict management and group problem solving. You will practice communicating in an effective and professional manner.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Equivalent Course(s): COMM 246
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
ECE 226
Programming for School Age Children
3
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You will examine the characteristics of school age children and the program activities that may be designed to accommodate them. You will also discuss the role of the caregiver and the child care issues distinctive to this age.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 40.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Equivalent Course(s):
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
HUMD 200
Child Guidance 2
3
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The course is a continuation of Child Guidance 1. You will learn advanced techniques of guiding children that can be applied to more challenging behaviours.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 40.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Equivalent Course(s): MGMT 281
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
PD 240
Professionalism in Early Childhood Education
3
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Your studies will focus on the role of the early childhood educator and professionalism as it relates to issues, advocacy, leadership, and professional development. The course provides an introduction to your role as an advocate in the field of early childhood education. The course content includes instruction and practice in identifying issues, advocating, seeking professional development, and preparing for a career as a professional in the early childhood field.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 40.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 181 or PRAC 105
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning

Semester 4

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
PRAC 245
Practicum 4
13
Show course details
The course provides you with an opportunity to gain competence working with children, families and communities in early childhood education programs. Practicum options include: a practicum in an infant program, a practicum in a toddler program, a practicum working with children and supporting a child(ren) with diverse abilities, or a practicum working as a frontline educator. All practicums include reflective journaling and require students to use observation to plan curriculum focused on the needs and interests of children in a particular setting. Dependent on the practicum chosen, practicum experiences may include creating documentation panels, completing a PPP based on the Ministry of Education’s format, or using the Project Approach to plan a research topic with children.
Credit Units: 13
Course Hours: 194.0
Prerequisites(s): ADMN 204, COMM 294, ECE 200, ECE 201, ECE 202, ECE 220, ECE 226, HUMD 200, PD 240, PRAC 244, SPSY 289
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Clinical/Practicum-Individual, Prior Learning
Note: Students must be admitted to the program before taking the practicums.

PLAR & Transfer Credit

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training. A detailed Candidate Guide, which includes a self-audit for all PLAR-ready courses, has been developed for this program. This information guides a candidate through all steps in the PLAR process.


Transfer Credit

Many Saskatchewan Polytechnic students benefit from transferring credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. To learn more, visit our transfer credit web page.

 

Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

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