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Early Childhood Educator

The Early Childhood Education program prepares students to work with young children in a variety of early learning settings. After successfully completing one of the “Assistant” designated ECE courses, students may apply to the ECE Registry for certification as an assistant (ECEA), and work in the field while attending classes. Through study of such topics as Child Development, Curriculum Development, and Child, Family & Community; as well as practical exposure through practicum placements in licensed child-care programs, students gain the knowledge and experience needed to apply for certification as an Early Childhood Educator.

This program is designed for those who wish to work in full day childcare programs, recreation programs, preschool programs, and Strong Start. The program does not qualify students to apply for B.C. Teachers qualification. The successful completion of 13 core courses and three practicums (approximately 19 weeks of practicum time) prepares students for certification as an Early Childhood Educator. Graduates receive an Early Childhood Education Certificate (Basic) certification from the ECE Registry in Victoria.

We are now accepting new student applications for Winter, 2023!

Now and going forward, all texts are now e-texts only and no hard copies of books will be purchased or supplied by the college.  If students choose to use a hard copy of the required text, they must send the college an email to advise and source and purchase their own books.  E-texts will be sent to students via email, prior to the start of their course(s).

Academic Requirements:

  • Completion of Grade 12 (or equivalent) or 19 years of age or older.

English Language Requirement:

  • Completion of English 12, or equivalent, or a satisfactory demonstration of written and verbal English ability as determined by the College.

Application Requirements:

  • Completion of Application form – Click the link to download the form.
  • 3 Letters of Reference
  • Current Resume
  • Statement of Interest (1 to 2 pages)
  • Successful Interview with Program Chair
  • Application Form

Rolling Intake

ECE accepts ongoing applications with three starts per year in:

  • January (applications now open)
  • May (applications currently closed)
  • September (applications currently closed)

Program Fees

Program Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

  • Application Fee (non-refundable): $30
  • Approximate Course Fees: $8,204
  • Text Fees extra – as required.
  • Technology and Library fee of $40 per semester.

Course Instalment Plans (CIPs) to pay program fees monthly, are available for students meeting certain conditions.  This program is not applicable for student loans.

ECE courses should be taken in order as per their tier below.  Students may take courses within a tier in any order, but must complete tier 1 classes before beginning tier 2, or must complete tier 1 and 2 classes before beginning tier 3.  

ECE Classes Tier 1

Course CodeCourse TitleCourse HoursCostDescription
ECE 01Child Growth & Development 145$569This is one of two modules in an introductory course in child development. Students will study the why and how of child development, examine current developmental theory, learn and practice narrative observation methods, and will examine child development during the period covering pre-natal development through the second year of life.
ECE 04Health, Safety & Nutrition
45$569This course will introduce the student to best practice in the areas of health, safety, and nutrition, and will examine these areas within the context of early childhood settings that provide care for children (birth to school aged). Students will explore the regulations and practices that protect the health and safety of young children, and will determine methods of exploring the topics with children in developmentally appropriate ways. Students will also be examining methods of working in partnership with parents to protect the health and safety of their children.
ECE 06Curriculum 145$569This course will introduce students to the traditional and current methods of developing curriculum in the preschool environment. The course will explore the relationship that exists among child development theories, play and learning, and will introduce students to a systemic approach to planning and implementing play-based, developmentally appropriate programs for young children. Students will begin to understand the difference between “teacher- directed” program planning, and “child-initiated, teacher-guided” planning, and will learn to create a program that will encourage play, guide it in appropriate directions, support free choices of play activities, foster creativity, and facilitate the acquisition of skills, knowledge and understanding.
ECE PPPracticum Preparation36$389Practicum Preparation consists of:
• 18 hours of in-college preparation (Three six-hour sessions)
• Two 60-minute focused observations
• Assignments consistent with the attainment of the learning goals
ECEP01Practicum 1126$569This practicum provides students with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the process of relating to and working with young children in a quality early childhood setting. Students will conduct directed observations of children and educators, and will begin to integrate the theories they have learned with the practices they observe. An opportunity to reflect on and discuss their experiences will be offered during two seminar sessions.
One Curriculum Elective (see table below)One of:
ECE 05: Creative Art
ECE 08: Language & Literature
ECE 10: Music & Movement
ECE 11: Math, Science & Technology

ECE Classes Tier 2

Course CodeCourse TitleCourse HoursCostDescription
ECE 03Foundations in ECE45$569This course will concentrate on providing a context to the study of early childhood education. Students will examine the history of childhood, the researchers and theorists who influenced our perspectives on childhood, and the current standing of early childhood education in the world, and in Canada. An examination of the early childhood environment, the role of the early childhood teacher, different programs available for children, and the agencies that regulate and influence the early childhood field will be undertaken. Students will also be introduced to the early childhood educator’s role as a professional and as an advocate for children.
ECE 09Guiding Behaviour45$569This course will examine the guidance approach to discipline within a preschool setting. Early childhood educators adhere to a developmentally appropriate approach to interaction with young children. Use of the guidance approach to discipline ensures that teachers consider each individual child’s developmental level before teaching problem solving strategies. Students will learn that a discipline approach that incorporates active learning, problem-solving, and social responsiveness allows the early childhood educator to use guidance to manage, coach and guide children in positive ways.
ECEP 02Practicum 2126$569This practicum will continue to provide the student with an opportunity to relate to and work with young children in a quality early childhood setting.

Students will demonstrate their developing skill in communicating, planning, and implementing ‘best practice’ as they further their observation abilities and continue to learn to contribute to a quality early childhood program.
Two Curriculum Electives (see table below)Two of:
ECE 05: Creative Art
ECE 08: Language & Literature
ECE 10: Music & Movement
ECE 11: Math, Science & Technology

ECE Classes Tier 3

Course CodeCourse TitleCourse HoursCostDescription
ECE 02Child Growth & Development 2 45$569This course will guide the student in the study of child development, concentrating on development during the preschool years. The format of the course revolves around a series of observations conducted by students outside of class time. These observations will be used during class as the basis for developing an understanding of development.

Prerequisite: ECE 01: Child Growth & Development 1
ECE 07Curriculum 245$569This course will continue to explore the development of curriculum by examining current approaches to curriculum development in greater depth. Students will look at programs, like those in Reggio-Emilio, that provide a “child-initiated, teacher-guided” approach to curriculum planning. An in-depth examination of the Reggio-Emilio preschools, and the principals that promote their success in the education of young children, will be undertaken. Students will then apply Reggio principles to the Canadian system in an effort to determine “best-practice” for curriculum planning within a contemporary Canadian setting.

Prerequisite: ECE 06: Curriculum 1
ECE 12Child, Family & Community45$569This course will explore early childhood education as part of a systemic approach to a worldview. Students will explore methods of developing positive and respectful relationships with families and other professionals in the early childhood field. Students will also examine the early childhood professional’s responsibilities toward ethical conduct, professional and self-development, and advocacy. The social, cultural and political constructs that influence the field of early childhood will be explored with the goal of increasing the student’s understanding of the system in which the early childhood education field must survive.
ECEP 03Practicum 3169$569This practicum provides an opportunity for students to integrate, consolidate, and apply the knowledge and skills learned during their program of study in order to demonstrate ‘best practice’ within a licensed early childhood program.
One Curriculum Elective (see table below)One of:
ECE 05: Creative Art
ECE 08: Language & Literature
ECE 10: Music & Movement
ECE 11: Math, Science & Technology

ECE Curriculum Classes

Course CodeCourse TitleCourse HoursCostDescription
ECE 05Creative Art36$389
ECE 08Language & Literature36$389This course will review and expand on the development of language in early childhood, and will introduce a number of enjoyable language arts experiences appropriate for the young child. Special attention is paid to the emergence of early literacy skills, and strategies for supporting those skills are studied. A comprehensive examination of the four facets of language arts – speaking, listening, reading and writing – and their interrelation with other aspects of development, will provide students with the information necessary to begin to design a language arts curriculum.
ECE 10Music & Movement36$389Since music is often a natural accompaniment to activity in the lives of young children, these two areas of study are combined. This course examines the methods of enabling the child to become aware of his own potentials for moving efficiently and effectively in all aspects of living, including motor tasks involved in daily activities for play, work and creative expression. Students will also study effective methods of engaging children in an appreciation of a variety of good quality music.
ECE 11Math, Science & Technology36$389This course will present an organized, sequential approach to understanding the developmentally appropriate math, science and technology curriculum in the preschool. Students will be introduced to three types of learning: naturalistic, informal, and structured. Discussion and activities will assist the student to determine how children can best explore the interrelatedness of math, science and technology, and integrate their learning into an overall understanding of the world.

Students can take one of the following courses to receive their Early Childhood Education Assistant Certificate:

Course CodeCourse TitleCourse HoursCostDescription
ECE01Child Growth & Development 1 45$569This is one of two modules in an introductory course in child development. Students will study the why and how of child development, examine current developmental theory, learn and practice narrative observation methods, and will examine child development during the period covering pre-natal development through the second year of life.

This course material will support students as they discover how very young children grow and develop. Students will be given opportunities to use their acquired knowledge of child growth and development to assess the development of a single child.
ECE02Child Growth & Development 2
45$569This course will guide the student in the study of child development, concentrating on development during the preschool years. The format of the course revolves around a series of observations conducted by students outside of class time. These observations will be used during class as the basis for developing an understanding of development.
ECE04Health, Safety & Nutrition
45$569This course will introduce the student to best practice in the areas of health, safety, and nutrition, and will examine these areas within the context of early childhood settings that provide care for children (birth to school aged). Students will explore the regulations and practices that protect the health and safety of young children, and will determine methods of exploring the topics with children in developmentally appropriate ways. Students will also be examining methods of working in partnership with parents to protect the health and safety of their children.
ECE09Guiding Behaviour
45$569This course will examine the guidance approach to discipline within a preschool setting. Early childhood educators adhere to a developmentally appropriate approach to interaction with young children. Use of the guidance approach to discipline ensures that teachers consider each individual child’s developmental level before teaching problem solving strategies. Students will learn that a discipline approach that incorporates active learning, problem-solving, and social responsiveness allows the early childhood educator to use guidance to manage, coach and guide children in positive ways.

Students only need to take one of the four courses. These courses expire after 5 years and students cannot take the same course twice to renew their certificate.”

Please see the following link for additional detail:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/early-learning/teach/training-and-professional-development/become-an-early-childhood-educator

There are currently no Information Sessions scheduled.  If you have any questions, please contact the office.  A new information session will be scheduled shortly.

Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC)

ECEBC provides professional development opportunities, training and resources for early childhood educators across BC with a vision for a society where early childhood educators thrive in a supportive community that values childhood and education.

Since September 2018, the Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC), in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, enhanced and expanded the ECE Bursary Program, now known as the ECE Education Support Fund (ECE ESF).

This program consists of two funding streams:

  1. The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Student Bursary Program; and
  2. The ECE Workforce Development Bursary Fund Program

These funding streams are designed to increase the number of students entering, re-establishing and graduating from recognized ECE post-secondary programs.

Please follow the link for more information as Ridge Meadows College does not manage this bursary.

https://www.ecebc.ca/ece-education-support-fund

Is there financial assistance for the ECE Program? 
Yes. As well as the Provincial Government’s bursary program, students can access funding through WorkBC.

Is the total program tuition paid upfront? 
No. Students pay for the courses in which they register, not for the whole program.  Alternatively, there is a monthly payment plan option for students who prefer to pay in installments and intend to complete the entire program.

Will I be qualified to work in Kindergarten classes with an ECE credential?
No.  All classroom teachers in B.C.’s public school system must meet the requirements to register in the BC College of Teachers.

Can I do practicum in my own early childhood worksite?
Possibly. We try to work with students and their employers to ensure practicum will not unduly interrupt their current work commitments, while ensuring all ECE Registry requirements are met.  However, RMC does not generally allow more than one of the three practicums at a student’s place of employment.

What level of English proficiency is required?
This program requires students to write and communicate in English competently.