Early Childhood Education

As an early childhood educator, you will support children as they learn through play.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic's two-year Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma program is offered on-campus in Moose Jaw (starting August 2025), Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, or through regional colleges or distance learning, wherever you live.

Please note, based on availability your practicum may be outside of your program location.

Your role will be to create developmentally appropriate curriculum and design inviting and effective quality learning environments. You will learn how to develop holistic programs that include early literacy and language, creative arts, numeracy, and open-ended play experiences both indoors and outdoors. Your responsibilities will include working alongside your colleagues to build relationships with children and families, community partners and other professionals.

It is a highly respected program that integrates the most current research on early childhood education. Topics of study will include:

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

Throughout the two years, you will have opportunities to work with children through four 4-week practicums in a variety of early learning and child care programs.

Through practical experience, you'll get the feedback you need to develop best practices, recognize stages of development, plan curriculum based on children's interests and needs and understand the impact of the environment on behaviour.

As a student you will participate in course work at your campus early learning and child care centre.

Upon completion of the three courses (ECE 142 Health, Safety and Nutrition; ECE 106 Dynamics of Play [or Role of Play for ECE]; and HUMD 183 Child Guidance I), you may apply for a Certificate of Achievement from Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

Students who have previously met admission requirements and were accepted into either of the previous ECE programs have five years to complete. The previous ECE certificate program must be completed by 2025 and the diploma program by 2026. For students completing their existing certificate or diploma courses through PLAR, the same completion dates apply: certificate 2025 and diploma 2026.

You may contact one of the following student advisors for assistance in making an education plan to complete your program.

Part-time students who have a few ECE courses from the previous program and wish to transfer into the revised program may want to review the Equivalency Chart. You will need to speak with a student advisor to develop a plan.

Please examine the chart below to see the five practicum options available to you and the essential courses to be able to register for a year two practicum. The essential courses will prepare you for your chosen practicum option.

Year 2 practicum options

Essential Courses

For all Year two practicums- pre-requisite: PRAC 181, 105 OR 119

PRAC 217 Infant

ECE 221 Observation and Documentation 2 OR ECE 221 Observation and Assessment


ECE 202 Responsive Care for Infants and Toddlers OR ECE 202 Programming for Infants and Toddlers

PRAC 217 Toddler

ECE 221 Observation and Documentation 2 OR ECE 221 Observation and Assessment


ECE 202 Responsive Care for Infants and Toddlers OR ECE 202 Programming for Infants and Toddlers

PRAC 217 Frontline Educator

ECE 221 Observation and Documentation 2 OR ECE 221 Observation and Assessment


ECE 205 Curriculum Design in ECE 3 OR ECE 201 Program Planning in ECE

PRAC 217 Diverse Abilities

ECE 221 Observation and Documentation 2 OR ECE 221 Observation and Assessment


SPSY 289 Children with Diverse Abilities 2 OR ECE 203 Inclusion in Early Learning and Child care Settings

PRAC 217 Administration

No additional essential courses

PRAC 218 Administration, Infant, Toddler, Frontline or Diverse Abilities

All 10 Year 2 courses and PRAC 217

When you graduate from the ECE diploma you are eligible to apply to become a licensed Level III Early Childhood Educator (ECE) through the Ministry of Education of Saskatchewan. If you plan on becoming a child care centre director, you must have your ECE III. If you are interested in going further, you will be able to transfer some of your credits to the University of Regina's Bachelor of Education degree program in Elementary Education.
Ladder your diploma into the Bachelor of Applied Management degree at Saskatchewan Polytechnic with only two years of additional study. Remote classes and part-time options are available.

Career and salary information

Your career

There’s high demand for Level III ECEs in Saskatchewan. Your diploma allows you to work in group early learning and care settings with children from birth to age 12. Your career options could include working with children with diverse needs, working as a frontline educator or director in an early learning and child care centre, working in a preschool or elementary school setting, a Kids First or Aboriginal Head Start program, early childhood intervention programs (ECIP), or a family day home or private home as a nanny.

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 Early childhood educators & assistants (42202)
Early childhood program supervisor Early childhood educators & assistants (42202)
Preschool director Managers in social, community & correctional services (40030)
Daycare director Managers in social, community & correctional services (40030)

Part-time delivery

Students may take the following courses prior to admission to the program: ECE 106, ECE 142, 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 with Vulnerable Sector 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 with Vulnerable Sector Check. If you do not complete the practicum, you will not graduate from the program. The cost of the Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector 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.

2023-24 academic year

Year 1 - $7,700
Year 2 - $7,150

International students

View tuition rates for international students.


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.

Institution Agreement details
University of Regina Graduates of this program may receive a block transfer of 30 credits toward their Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Regina.

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

Additional information