Early Childhood Education

Young children making the transition from home to child care or preschool need an enthusiastic, positive role model. They need someone dedicated to encouraging learning and growth. They need … you. Get the  knowledge and skills you need to work in a variety of child care settings. 

Saskatchewan Polytechnic's one-year Early Childhood Education (ECE) certificate program is offered in Prince Albert, Regina or Saskatoon , through regional colleges around the province, or through distance learning wherever you live.

The ECE program integrates current research on early childhood education into all of your courses. You’ll develop strong communication, observation and documentation skills. You’ll receive well-rounded training in:

  • child and adolescent development
  • child guidance techniques
  • role of early childhood educators
  • role of play in programming
  • values and practice of early childhood education
  • programming for creative arts, language, cognitive, social and emotional development

The emphasis on observation and documentation is market-driven—these are essential to building positive relationships with families, and employers are eager to hire grads with well-developed skills.

You’ll interact with young children throughout your program, thanks to Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s partnerships with community and campus child care centres. Saskatoon students also have access to a unique learning opportunity—10% of all your courses are based on work in our Early Childhood Demonstration Centre.

At the end of your first and second semesters, you’ll also participate in practicums (i.e., 4 weeks and 6 weeks), in a child care or preschool setting. This real-world learning gives you a competitive edge in the workforce.
When you graduate, you’re eligible to apply to become a licensed Level II Early Childhood Educator (ECE). Many child care centres and preschools only hire licensed ECEs. You can also go on to earn a diploma in Early Childhood Education with one more year of study. Or, you can 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

Early childhood educators are in demand in Saskatchewan—and employers are especially eager to hire Saskatchewan Polytechnic grads because of your well-rounded knowledge and up-to-date skills. Look for ECE jobs in child care centres, preschools, family day homes, elementary school settings and even private homes.

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

Potential careers

Sample job title NOC classification
Early childhood educator assistant Early childhood educators & assistants (42202)
Nanny Home child care providers (44100)

Part-time delivery

Part-time students may take the following courses prior to admission, but must apply and be accepted to the program thereafter, in order to graduate and receive a credential: COMM 291, ECE 106, ECE 142, EMPL 180, HUMD 100, and HUMD 183. To register for individual courses, please view the part-time offerings available in the Courses section below.


Admission requirements


  • 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.
  • Accepted international students require a co-op work permit to complete the practicum requirements for this program.  This is mandatory.  Students who do not have a co-op work permit will not be allowed to participate in their practicums.  It is the student's responsibility to ensure they have the required documentation to study in Canada and a co-op work permit to complete the practicum requirements of this program.  

Alternative admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through an alternative admission assessment. Applicants are automatically considered for alternative 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 Alternative Admission using Accuplacer.

  • 247 Reading
  • 243 Writing


Some programs allow applicants to meet the admission grade level requirement using 15 approved post-secondary credits. Review additional information.

If the program applied to has specific course requirements, they may be met through alternative post-secondary courses. Review already approved courses that may be used for admission purposes for your programs.

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 approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.


Get credit for what you know

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.

See link(s) below to get more information about PLAR.

Transfer credit

Many Sask Polytech students benefit from transferring course credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit to Sask Polytech or to another college or university.

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. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

Early Childhood Education (Diploma)

Educational Assistant

Additional information