Early Learning and Child Care


Winter 2021 Update

Course Delivery Summary:

  • Year 1: Blended (if practicum not deferred)
  • Year 2: Blended (if practicum not deferred)

MHC’s Early Learning and Child Care program will look a little different this semester. As we move our program online, we will continue to provide the information you need to learn about children and best practices. The practicum component of our program will be affected by COVID-19.

Your active participation in COVID-19 prevention is important. Please visit the COVID page to learn about your responsibilities, how to access campus, and what to expect.


About the Program

It has been widely recognized that the early years of a child’s life are essential for healthy development. Child care providers play an important role in this time of a child’s life and they need to have an understanding of working with children, families and communities. Child care providers are now being recognized and valued by both families and government more than ever, making this an ideal time to enter the field.

In the Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) 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.

Our ELCC program will help you work with children in a variety of settings or move on to other educational programs. Many students have said our program helped them grow on a personal level and was very useful when they became parents themselves. Others have entered specialized areas of child care, or assumed leadership responsibilities 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. Wages in the field are generally dependent on the level of certification completed.

High School 

High school diploma with

  • 50% in ELA 30-1 or 65% in ELA 30-2

Mature Route

You may be admitted following appropriate advising and testing. A high school diploma is not required although you must present

  • 50% in ELA 30-1 or 65% in ELA 30-2.

Conditional Admission Plan (CAP)

If you do not possess all of the admission requirements, the Conditional Admission Plan (CAP) may provide conditional acceptance to this program, provided space is available. CAP is individualized to meet your needs.


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.

Some courses related to this program are found here. Please see the academic calendar or this year's program planning guide for an up-to-date set of courses related to Early Learning and Child Care.

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

What is your education going to cost?

Our TUITION and FEES page provides a total cost estimate for your program including books and supplies and related expenses.

Looking for ways to help fund your education?

There are lots of options like student loans, scholarships, bursaries and emergency funding available.
Check out our FINANCIAL AID page for more information.

Many programs offered at Medicine Hat College qualify for transfer credits to other institutions. In some cases, you must transfer to another institution to complete your program and gain your credential.

The ACADEMIC CALENDAR has official information on transfer options for each program.
Please consult the calendar or meet with an academic advisor for more information.

At MHC, we care about students and want to help you succeed.

As a student, there may be times when you require support. Our SERVICES page provides you with links to a number of campus supports including academic success, counselling and care, health and wellness, and many other resources.

Have you always wanted to study abroad?

Enhance your education, share in cultural diversity and embrace new experiences. Visit the INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY PROGRAM section to find out more.