Early Childhood Education

Diploma
Early Childhood Education

Program Overview

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

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

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

Build Your Confidence and Independence

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.

Certificate of Achievement (New)

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.

ECE Certificate and Diploma (Previous)

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.

Become a Level III Early Childhood Educator

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.

If you have been admitted into the Early Childhood Education program prior to June 30, 2020 please view these course options.

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 TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Early Childhood EducatorEarly Childhood Educators and Assistants (4214)$24,100 - $56,000

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): August

Length:

Year 1 - 32 weeks; Year 2 - 32 weeks


Locations

  • Online/Distance
  • Prince Albert
  • Regina
  • Saskatoon

  • Some programs offered online or otherwise by distance (i.e., correspondence) include on-site labs, clinicals, practicums or work experiences. They may be offered course-by-course or full-time, or both, and deliveries may change over time.

Part-time Delivery

Students may take the following courses prior to admission to the program: ECE 106, ECE 142, HUMD 183.

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

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.

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©

  • 247 Reading
  • 243 Writing

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.

 

2020/21 Academic Year

Year 1 - $6,085
Year 2 - $7,600

International Students

View tuition rates for international students.

Year 1 - Semester 1

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
ECE 106
Dynamics of Play 1
3
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You will learn about the essential role play has in supporting the holistic development of children. The course focuses on the role of the early childhood educator in supporting children’s play, exploration and inquiry across all cultures and abilities.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 106CE, HUMD 182
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Lab, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
ECE 142
Health, Safety and Nutrition
3
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Your studies will focus on diverse cultural practices that promote the health, safety and nutritional needs of children and which support their holistic development.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 142CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Lab, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group, Work Based Delivery
ECE 181
Observation 1
3
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You will acquire skills in observing and documenting children’s play and development as a foundation for responsive programming.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): ECD 122, ECE 181CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Lab, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
HUMD 102
Growth and Development of Young Children
3
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You will study the developmental milestones from conception through the stages of infancy, toddlerhood to age five. The course provides an introduction to the theories of learning and personality, brain development and methods of studying human behavior, including indigenous world views. You will learn about the effects of heredity and the environment, including culture, on the emotional, social, cognitive and physical development of children and behavior.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): HUMD 102CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
HUMD 183
Child Guidance 1
4
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You will examine the strategies of developmentally appropriate child guidance. You will learn about the importance of building relationships and establishing trust prior to guiding behavior. You will practice techniques that support children while encouraging a co-operative attitude, a sense of autonomy and a positive self-image. Your studies will also explore Indigenous traditional practices of modelling and storytelling as a guidance technique.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Equivalent Course(s): HUMD 183CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group, Work Based Delivery
PRAC 104
Practicum 1
9
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You will use knowledge and skills developed in prerequisite courses to observe and record the behavior of children, to interact with children and adults in a supportive and positive manner, and to guide children’s behavior using positive guidance strategies.
Credit Units: 9
Course Hours: 135.0
Prerequisites(s): ECE 106(concurrent), ECE 142(concurrent), ECE 181(concurrent), HUMD 102(concurrent), HUMD 183(concurrent)
Equivalent Course(s): PRAC 104CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Clinical/Practicum-Individual, Prior Learning

Year 1 - Semester 2

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
ECE 100
Introduction to Early Childhood Education
3
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You will study the values, roots and the practices of early childhood education from historical and global perspectives. You will explore the image of the child and the principles of emergent curriculum from a holistic perspective. The course identifies current practices and models which support quality in early learning and care environments. This course will introduce Indigenous philosophies that guide early childhood education.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 100CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
ECE 107
Effective Relationships in Early Childhood Environments
3
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You will study and practice positive skills to develop effective relationships in ECE environments. This course provides opportunities to identify personal strengths and practice conflict resolution skills. You will build competence in using technology as an effective means of communication in early childhood environments.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 107CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
ECE 108
Curriculum Design in Early Childhood Education 1
3
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You will plan a quality curriculum for children using a holistic approach while responding to their ideas and play. You will apply the main components of developing curriculum and practice preparing developmentally appropriate and open-ended experiences for children.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): HUMD 102
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 108CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
ECE 109
Curriculum Design in Early Childhood Education 2
4
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You will design a responsive and culturally relevant curriculum for young children through the exploration of authentic materials. You will practice implementing a variety of developmentally appropriate experiences.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): ECE 108(concurrent)
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 109CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
PD 100
Professionalism 1
3
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You will explore and build employability skills needed to become an effective early childhood educator. You will reflect on and practice supportive behaviors required when working in a diverse environment with colleagues, children and their families and outside professionals. You will learn about knowledge, skills and disposition of a well-qualified early childhood educator.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Equivalent Course(s): PD 100CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
PRAC 119
Practicum 2
9
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You will demonstrate your ability to build positive and responsive relationships with children and adults. You will use your observation skills to plan and prepare a culturally relevant emergent curriculum based on children’s interests and family engagement.
Credit Units: 9
Course Hours: 135.0
Prerequisites(s): HUMD 102, ECE 107, ECE 109, ECE 142, PD 100, PRAC 104
Equivalent Course(s): PRAC 105, PRAC 119CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Clinical/Practicum-Individual, Prior Learning

Year 2 - Semester 3

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
ADMN 208
Introduction to Administration of Early Childhood Education
3
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You will be introduced to the administrative knowledge and skills that are useful for early learning and care programs. You will study operating structures, policies, and procedures related to the administration of early learning and childcare programs, including indigenous early learning and childcare programs. You will develop skills in using program evaluation tools.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
ECE 203
Inclusion in Early Learning and Childcare Settings
4
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Your studies will focus on the concepts and strategies of inclusion. You will discuss historical and current approaches, trends, and issues as they impact the practices of inclusion. You will examine practices related to identification and early intervention.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 203CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
ECE 221
Observation 2
3
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You will apply a variety of observation methods and tools used to collect an ethical, objective and holistic view of a child.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 221CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
HUMD 200
Child Guidance 2
3
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You will examine additional approaches for guiding children who present more challenging behaviours.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Equivalent Course(s): HUMD 200CE, MGMT 281
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
PD 240
Professionalism 2
3
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Your studies will focus on the role of the early childhood educator as it relates to current issues, advocacy, leadership and professionalism.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Equivalent Course(s): PD 240CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
PRAC 217
Practicum 3
9
Show course details
You will gain competence in working with children, families and communities in early learning and childcare education programs. You will complete the first of two practicums in one of the following specialized areas: infant, toddler, diverse needs, frontline educator and administrative.
Credit Units: 9
Course Hours: 135.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Clinical/Practicum-Individual, Prior Learning

Year 2 - Semester 4

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
ECE 202
Responsive Care for Infants and Toddlers
3
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You will examine the development of infants and toddlers. You will plan a curriculum which includes intercultural experiences and environments that will encourage the holistic development of infants and toddlers.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 202CE, ECE 225
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
ECE 204
Dynamics of Play 2
3
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You will use play theory to design developmentally appropriate early learning indoor and outdoor play environments. The course content provides an introduction to approaches in design that support Indigenous ways of knowing and diversity.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
ECE 205
Curriculum Design in Early Childhood Education 3
3
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You will explore the elements of curriculum design with a focus on the Project Approach. You will acquire knowledge about emergent curriculum using a holistic approach in designing a responsive and culturally relevant program.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Potential Learning Method(s): Independent Study, Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
ECE 220
Anti-Bias Education in Early Childhood
4
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You will focus on the issues related to providing respectful and relevant early learning and childcare for all children and families. You will have opportunities to examine your 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 and cultures.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 220CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
ECE 226
Responsive Care for School Age Children
3
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You will examine the development and characteristics of school age children. This course focuses on the unique role of the educator, childcare issues distinctive to this age and the curriculum that can be designed to accommodate them.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 119
Equivalent Course(s): ECE 226CE
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Prior Learning, Web Assisted Delivery Group
PRAC 218
Practicum 4
9
Show course details
You will gain competence in working with children, families and communities in early learning and childcare education programs. You will complete the second of two practicums in one of the following specialized areas: infant, toddler, diverse needs, frontline educator and administrative.
Credit Units: 9
Course Hours: 135.0
Prerequisites(s): PRAC 217
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Clinical/Practicum-Individual, Prior Learning

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