Early Childhood Education

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.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Early Childhood EducatorEarly Childhood Educators and Assistants (4214)$22,900 - $46,800
Early Childhood EducatorEarly Childhood Educators and Assistants (4214)$22,900 - $46,800

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): September

Length: 38 weeks


  • Regina
  • Saskatoon
  • Distance Learning options available


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.
  • 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.


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.



International Students

View tuition rates for international students.


Expand All + 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 Sask Polytech students benefit from transferring course credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. Learn more about Transfer Credit.

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

Additional Information

Apply Now Application Form

Part-Time Delivery

In order to graduate and receive a credential for this program, part-time students must apply to the program and be admitted before taking the clinicals or practicums. 

View the program page for a complete list of courses and additional information.

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