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Early Childhood Education

Fulfil your passion for the care, education and development of children.

An Early Childhood Educator teaches five children the alphabet at a small blue table in a daycare setting.
Start Date:
January & September
Typical Length:
2 Years (Varies for part-time studies)
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

Early Childhood Educators plan inclusive programs that help nurture the physical, psychological and social well-being of children and their families.

This project-based program was developed to meet the provincial standards for early childhood education training in Nova Scotia. It blends classroom study with applied learning with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children. You learn:

  • The major theories of child care and development within a warm, caring and stimulating environment.
  • The knowledge and skills you need to work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children in a variety of settings.
  • Effective communication strategies for working with children, families, fellow Early Childhood Educators and other professionals.
  • How to assess children's abilities and skills to create play-based, inclusive programming that emphasize the development of the whole child as a unique individual.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end, or throughout the duration, of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Study options

  • Akerley Campus offering:
    • The January 2021 offering at Akerley Campus is only available to applicants who self-identify as having Black African Ancestry and reside in Nova Scotia.
    • Classes are held weekdays through blended delivery, a combination of online (scheduled) and on-campus courses.

Choose NSCC

  • You have the opportunity to spend a significant part of your time with children of all ages, observing and supporting their learning in a variety of settings. This is an important and valued element in your learning portfolio.
  • You can access professional resources, training and support through provincial Early Childhood Development Support Centres. Each centre coordinates professional development activities and is equipped with a variety of resources, including a lending library, research support and educational/digital equipment.

Other info

  • This program is not always offered at the same location each year. Check program locations for upcoming start dates.

2021-22 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

Availability

The Akerley Campus January 2021 offering is only available to applicants who self-identify as having Black African Ancestry and reside in Nova Scotia. Annual bursaries are available. View bursary details

January 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Akerley Campus/Online Dartmouth Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled) and on-campus learning.
Waitlist

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Burridge Campus Yarmouth Full time In-class Seats available
Cumberland Campus Springhill Full time In-class Seats available
eCampus -- Part time OnlineOnline
Complete your program fully online through a variety of learning experiences, but do not include scheduled class sessions.
Waitlist
Kingstec Campus Kentville Full time In-class Waitlist
Marconi Campus Sydney Full time In-class Waitlist

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • A current, official Criminal Record check, Vulnerable Sector check and Child Abuse Register search are required to complete work placements. A conviction or finding in Family Court may impact your ability to obtain a work placement. Inability to obtain a work placement will impact your ability to complete program and graduation requirements.
  • Completion of Standard First Aid, CPR Level C.
  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2021-22 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,620
Tuition (International):
$11,690

Tuition, fees and program costs

Tuition for part-time study option is calculated on a per-course basis and is paid at the beginning of each term.

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Funding available for African Canadians enrolled at Akerley Campus
To help meet the demand for Early Childhood educators and diversify the workforce, there are bursaries available for those who self-identify as having Black African Ancestry, reside in Nova Scotia, and are enrolled in the January 2021 intake of Early Childhood Education at Akerley Campus. View bursary details

Career options

  • Graduates are qualified to work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children in licensed childcare settings, pre-primary, school-age programs, Head Start, family resource outlets and child development centres within early intervention and public health services.
  • Graduates may be eligible to work as educational assistants; please check with your desired school board for verification.
  • Many graduates find work providing childcare in private homes, as well as operating in-home daycares.

Future study options

  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

ECSP 1000 - Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education
This course provides an overview of the historical, societal, and theoretical origins of early childhood education. Learners will be exposed to the rationale for and process of process of planning, implementing, and evaluating developmentally appropriate programs for children from birth to age twelve in a variety of early learning and care settings. Issues and current dilemmas in early childhood education will be examined. Emphasis will be placed on the Canadian perspective of early childhood education.

ECSP 1002 - Observing and Recording Young Children
This course will provide the student with the opportunity to develop skills in observation and appropriate recording of behaviours, and physical changes of young children. Students will investigate the rationale and processes for making formal documentation and apply the techniques in a variety of early childhood settings.

ECSP 1004 - Aesthetics and Creativity
This course is designed to assist the learner in developing an appreciation of the role of aesthetics and creative art in the overall development of children and the early childhood educator. The learner’s creative expression and sense of aesthetics will be enhanced through “hands-on” experiences with a wide range of materials, techniques and experiences. The learner will select, employ, evaluate and compile a variety of teaching strategies and materials that will enhance the aesthetic and creative development of the child from birth to age twelve.

ECSP 1005 - Positive Child Guidance
This course addresses typical characteristics and needs of children as they proceed through chronological and developmental stages and teaches developmentally appropriate guidance strategies. Emphasis will be placed upon strategies that enhance the child’s self esteem and stimulate the development of self-control. The student will develop strategies which enhance children's self-esteem and assist children in learning about universal values and principles.

ECSP 1006 - Health and Safety
This course will provide opportunities for students to explore appropriate means of implementing the Nova Scotia regulations concerning health and safety in child care settings. The students will plan and implement health promotion and safety strategies when working with children and families. Students will explore the effect that family violence has on young children and recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect. Students will also investigate the value of self-care.

ECSP 1008 - Building and Supporting Professional Relationships
This course is designed to enable students to recognize the importance of and to develop strategies for establishing positive communication between parents, peers, child-related professionals and community members. Students will learn the importance of communication and ethical behaviour in creating an atmosphere of trust, respect and professionalism. They will be exposed to current issues, the importance of advocacy, research and trends in early learning and care and related fields.

ECSP 1009 - Emerging Literacy in the Early Childhood Years
This course exposes the student to a variety of language and literacy experiences appropriate for use from infancy through age twelve. Students will review language development as well as gain a sound theoretical basis for planning. Students will implement listening and speaking, reading and storytelling, poetry, flannel stories, puppetry, print-script, reading readiness and early literacy experiences. Emphasis will be placed upon the early childhood educators’ role in promoting language and literacy in a developmentally appropriate setting. Students will discover how to choose methodologies and materials which support an anti-bias approach, within an inclusionary atmosphere of diversity.

ECSP 1010 - Family Studies
During the past few decades, family life in Canada has been undergoing many changes. This course deals with a variety of family challenges and family issues that have a direct relevance to the field of early learning and care. The course theory and assignments as well as class activities and discussions will help learners manage future work situations.

ECSP 1011 - Nutrition for Young Children
This course provides the learner the opportunity to explore nutritional needs of children as well as those of the child care educator. Learners will investigate nutritional planning, purchasing and cost control, safe food handling, feeding and eating habits.

ECSP 1012 - Administering Early Childhood Services
This course is designed to provide students with the basic information required to open, operate and/or manage an early childhood service. Information regarding licensing procedures and provincial legislation for a variety of early childhood programs will be reviewed. Students will gain information on setting and stating policies, writing business plans, budgeting, income tax and designing and will gain information about and practice using a wide range of report forms. In addition, needs assessments and effective marketing and advertising strategies will be studied. Students will participate in a variety of theoretical and practical experiences to facilitate the acquisition of the necessary skills and knowledge.

ECSP 1014 - Applying Developmentally Appropriate Practice
This course provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate and be evaluated on the skills, strategies and knowledge that they have acquired over the course of the Early Childhood Education program. Emphasis is placed on evaluating the student’s ability to effectively plan and implement developmentally appropriate activities, engage in positive, meaningful interactions with children, co-workers and parents and to act as a responsible role model. In addition, students are required to actively demonstrate professional qualities and knowledge of health and safety practices in all facets of the early childhood setting.

ECSP 1015 - Diverse and Inclusive Practice in ECE
Learners in this course will be introduced to the theoretical constructs and practical considerations underlying the inclusion of young children with diverse needs into early learning and care programs. Emphasis will be placed upon the development and delivery of developmentally appropriate programs that will enhance the overall growth and development of every child. During this course, learners will apply theories and principles of inclusion in an early learning environment.

ECSP 1016 - Music and Movement
Learners will explore the many aspects of music and movement, which include singing, chanting, playing, moving, creating, with and without the use of props and equipment, and how these aspects can be incorporated into a curriculum for children from birth to age twelve.

ECSP 1017 - Interpersonal Communication Skills
This course introduces the learner to effective interpersonal communication. Effective communication is examined as a process and a skill. Factors that influence effective communication are considered. Ethical decision-making and group dynamics are also explored.

ECSP 1050 - Work Experience I
Practicum expectations will be closely tied to classroom subjects and students will apply techniques of classroom management and positive child guidance, program planning, interaction strategies, as well professional communication strategies with children, parents and colleagues. Students will be encouraged to engage in reflective practice throughout the work experience and to develop their own professional style and philosophical views of teaching and learning. Participation in practicum is dependent upon the student demonstrating the required skills or attainment of knowledge in order to be placed in a cooperating centre. In some cases, the faculty may feel the student has not yet attained this level. In those cases, the student and faculty will meet to determine the best course of action. Program faculty and cooperating teachers will communicate regularly regarding the student's progress and each practicum shall include an evaluation process which reflects the classroom learning and practical experience. In ECSP1050 (Work Experience I), the focus for students will be to gain experience in an early childhood setting, to demonstrate professional behaviour and to use observation skills to develop and practice basic skills, as well to apply their developing knowledge about children to the child care setting. In addition, program faculty may require students to complete various assignments directly related to the semester subjects.

ECSP 1051 - Work Experience II
Practicum expectations will be closely tied to classroom subjects and students will apply techniques of classroom management and positive child guidance, program planning, interaction strategies, as well professional communication strategies with children, parents and colleagues. Students will be encouraged to engage in reflective practice through work experience journal entries and to develop their own professional style and philosophical views of teaching and learning. Participation in practicum is dependent upon the student demonstrating the required skills or attainment of knowledge required in a cooperating centre. In some cases, the faculty may feel the student has not yet attained this level. In those cases the student and faculty will meet to determine the best course of action. Program faculty and cooperating teachers will communicate regularly regarding the student's progress and each practicum shall include an evaluation process which reflects the classroom learning and practical experience. In ECSP1051, greater emphasis will be placed on utilizing child development knowledge and observation to practice positive communication with children and co-workers. Students will be expected to attempt to guide children’s behaviour with support from their cooperating teachers, to promote a healthy and safe environment and to implement simple activities with guidance. Program faculty may require students to complete various assignments directly related to the semester subjects.

ECSP 1052 - Work Experience III
Practicum expectations will be closely tied to classroom subjects and students will apply techniques of classroom management and positive child guidance, program planning, interaction strategies, as well professional communication strategies with children, parents and colleagues. Students will be encouraged to engage in reflective practice through work experience journal entries and to develop their own professional style and philosophical views of teaching and learning. Participation in practicum is dependent upon the student demonstrating the required skills or attainment of knowledge required in a cooperating centre. In some cases, the faculty may feel the student has not yet attained this level. In those cases, the student and faculty will meet to determine the best course of action. Program faculty and cooperating teachers will communicate regularly regarding the student’s progress and each practicum shall include an evaluation process which reflects the classroom learning and practical experience. In ECSP 1052, students will spend 5 weeks of full days in a child care setting. The focus during this placement will be to practice and demonstrate the skills and behaviour learned throughout their first year of study in the Early Childhood Education program. Emphasis will be placed on the students’ ability to put theory to practice and in demonstrating an understanding of child development. Students at this level will be expected to demonstrate a genuine interest in working with children and conduct themselves in an appropriate and professional manner.

ECSP 1123 - Infant and Toddler Care
This course concentrates on the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary to care for, develop, and implement appropriate programs and environments for children between the ages of birth and thirty-six months. Curriculum is viewed in a holistic framework with attention to the development of the infant and toddler in the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional domains. The individualistic nature of all children is recognized and supported. The focus of this course is on the specifics of "hands on care" required to nurture the Infant and toddler.

ECSP 1125 - Pre-school Methods
This course is designed to enable the student to develop effective programs, environments and strategies for preschool age children based upon a sound knowledge of child development. An emphasis will be placed on cultural and individual diversity, inclusion and anti-bias approaches to programming.

ECSP 1127 - Issues in School Age Care
This course is designed to assist the learner in developing the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively plan and implement school-age child care programs. Learners will acquire knowledge of issues related to growth and development of the child from six to twelve such as making and keeping friends, self-esteem, and bullying. Learners will explore developmentally appropriate curricula and environments for children age five through twelve. Emphasis is placed upon meeting the needs of a diverse group of children, incorporating an anti-bias and inclusionary approach. The distinct role of the early childhood educator working with school-aged children is differentiated from the role of the elementary school teacher.

ECSP 1200 - Learning Through Play I
This course focuses on the theories, concepts and functions of play in the holistic development of children. Students will gain an appreciation for play as the occupation of childhood. Students will develop underlying principles and strategies that will guide them in planning and implementing developmentally appropriate learning experiences and environments. Students will investigate the role of the early childhood educator, indoor/outdoor play spaces, materials and equipment in planning and supporting children’s diverse learning needs.

ECSP 2050 - Work Experience IV
Practicum expectations will be closely tied to classroom subjects and students will apply techniques of classroom management and positive child guidance, program planning, interaction strategies, as well professional communication strategies with children, parents and colleagues. Students will be encouraged to engage in reflective practice through work experience journal entries and to develop their own professional style and philosophical views of teaching and learning. Participation in practicum is dependent upon the student demonstrating the required skills or attainment of knowledge required in a cooperating centre. In some cases, the faculty may feel the student has not yet attained this level. In those cases the student and faculty will meet to determine the best course of action. Program faculty and cooperating teachers will communicate regularly regarding the student’s progress and each practicum shall include an evaluation process which reflects the classroom learning and practical experience. In ECSP 2050, students will continue to build upon the skills developed in year one of the Early Childhood Education program. A further emphasis will be placed on self-reflective practice in furthering the student’s development as a competent, knowledgeable early childhood educator. Students will demonstrate an increased ability to effectively guide children’s behaviour - individually and in groups - using a range of positive guidance strategies. Program faculty may require students to complete assignments directly related to the current semester’s subjects.

ECSP 2051 - Work Experience V
In ECSP 2051, students will continue to hone and demonstrate their skills as they take on increasing responsibility in planning and implementing a variety of developmentally appropriate activities with minimal support. Students will be expected to maintain effective communication and relationships with both children and co-workers and to demonstrate a sound knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices. ECE faculty may require students to complete assignments directly related to the current semester’s subjects.

ECSP 2052 - Work Experience VI
During this final practicum of the ECE program, students will show proficiency in all areas related to the Early Childhood setting, working independently to guide children’s behaviour, plan and implement activities and maintain the daily routine. Students will be expected to demonstrate a sound knowledge of child development, health & safety issues, developmentally appropriate practices and ethical behaviour.

ECSP 2200 - Learning Through Play II
This course examines the importance of connecting theory to practice when providing developmentally appropriate and effective learning environments and experiences for children aged birth to twelve years. Learners will be able to connect the learning goals and strategies from Capable, Confident and Curious: Nova Scotia's Early Learning Curriculum Framework as they plan play experiences. Learners will be exposed to math and science concepts through a variety of media. Learners will utilize a variety of media to plan and implement developmentally appropriate, play-based math and science experiences for children.

GDEV 1028 - Human Growth and Development I
This course examines the growth and developmental of individuals from conception through the various stages of childhood. The emphasis is on applying theories of child development to facilitate an understanding early childhood, specifically the physical, cognitive, language, personality, moral, social and emotional development of children aged birth to twelve.

GDEV 2028 - Human Growth and Development II
The primary purpose of this course is to examine physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of development from adolescence through adulthood, including the processes of maturation and aging. Issues related to diversity, special needs, grief and loss are also addressed.

SOCS 1000 - Introduction to Sociology
This survey course focuses on the major sociological concepts and theoretical perspectives.

SOCS 1001 - Introduction to Psychology
This survey course will introduce students to the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes. It will explore its goals, theoretical perspectives, research and applications. It will challenge students to make connections between areas of study and their everyday experience.

SOCS 1005 - Writing Skills for Social Service Practice I
Effective written communication skills are a necessary component for success in the social services environment where transparency, accountability and integrity are core values connected to providing service for others. This one semester course is designed to afford the student the opportunity to develop the skills required to manage information and prepare documents used in the social services field.

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