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School of Arts, Science & Education

Early Learning and Child Care

One of the greatest rewards of working with children is learning how to see the world through their eyes. If you love caring for young children and working with families, our Early Learning and Child Care program will help prepare you for a fulfilling and playful career in this field.

Throughout the program, you will learn the importance of play in the lives of children, and our classes give you lots of hands-on learning opportunities. We play with art materials, story props, and science and math materials to better understand how children learn and how we can help teach them.  

Our program also gives you the opportunity to apply theory to practice every semester through a five-week practicum setting. You’ll be able to practice your communication skills, better understand child development, and provide developmentally appropriate programming for children in a variety of settings.

We offer a:

  • one-year certificate program (Level 2 Certified),
  • and a two-year diploma (Level 3 Certified),

both providing certification under Alberta Family and Social Services. Our Early Learning and Child Care diploma is recognized throughout Alberta and across Canada as the qualification to work with young children. 

High School  High school diploma with
  • ELA 30-1 (min. 50%) or ELA 30-2 (min. 65%)
Mature Route You may be admitted following appropriate advising and testing. A high school diploma is not required although you must present
  • ELA 30-1 (min. 50%) or ELA 30-2 (min. 65%)

Students are selected for practicum on the basis of academic performance, professional suitability, fitness and conduct, volunteer community service, and availability of practicum sites.

Students should be aware that under the Protection for Persons in Care Act (January, 1998) they may be required to provide a current Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Search as well as an Alberta Children’s Services Intervention Record Check to the practicum placement supervisors prior to starting placements. A current First Aid Certificate and Heath Immunization Record will be required in practicum placements. Should the program coordinator judge, in consultation with faculty, that there is evidence that you are professionally unsuitable or a risk to clients,the coordinator may prohibit you from attending or completing a practicum.

NOTE: Students may take up to two courses “for interest” without meeting admission requirements. At this point, however, you must meet all admission requirements to continue.

First Year (Certificate)

Fall Semester

  • ELCC 102 - Development through Play I
  • ELCC 105 - Practicum I
  • ELCC 120 - Child Development I
  • ELCC 122 - Interpersonal Relations I
  • ELCC 123 - Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • ENGL 123 - Fundamentals of Writing and Speech

Winter Semester

  • ELCC 101 - Introduction to Early Learning and Child Care
  • ELCC 112 - Development through Play II
  • ELCC 113 - Music and Movement
  • ELCC 115 - Practicum II
  • ELCC 121 - Foundations for Children with Developmental Delays
  • ELCC 124 - Language and Literacy

Second Year (Diploma)

Fall Semester

  • ELCC 201 - Fine Arts
  • ELCC 203 - Interpersonal Relations II
  • ELCC 204 - Ecology of the Family
  • ELCC 205 - Practicum III
  • ELCC 206 - Outdoor Pedagogy in Early Learning

Winter Semester

  • ELCC 202 - Math and Science
  • ELCC 211 - Infant and Toddler Care
  • ELCC 212 - Professional Practice
  • ELCC 213 - Inclusive Care and Education
  • ELCC 215 - Practicum IV


In the child care industry, you see how satisfied your client is every day. Working with children can be very rewarding, not only because you are helping them develop, but because they thank you for it in countless ways. Our program can help you secure employment in preschools, at child care centres and even in a Kindergarten classroom.  

 Graduates of this program will find employment opportunities with: 

  • Preschools
  • Out of School Care
  • Child Care Centres
  • Assistants in Kindergarten programs
  • Family Day Homes

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