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Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE)


Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) is designed to prepare you with the necessary skills, knowledge and learning dispositions to be provincially certified as an early childhood educator with a specialty in the care and education of infants and toddlers.

Curriculum is based on current best practices in early learning and care, reflecting the changing needs of children and families in the 21st century.  The program focusses on transforming thinking about the education of young children away from the provision of set content to the process of nurturing creative thinking, problem solving and relationships with and between children. 

Theory is brought to life through experiential and place based learning.  The program draws on the strengths of individual learners as it provides a model for supporting the development of dispositions and practices which can in turn be supported in working with young children and their families. The program challenges learners to co-create curriculum with children and to design learning environments which embrace the diversity of all children and families including local First Nations, Aboriginal and Inuit peoples.

ECCE prepares you to apply for a BC Early Childhood Educator Certificate to practice in British Columbia.  For more information, please refer to the BC Government ECE Website.

Duration of Diploma Program

The ECCE Diploma program is four semesters and spans two academic years.  It is designed to accommodate both full-time and part-time students.  There is an option to opt out of the Diploma program after successfully completing the 15 courses required and be granted an NWCC certificate for ECCE Certificate Program.

There are a number of options for provincial certification.  If successful, you can apply for an Early Childhood Education Assistant (ECEA) Certificate after taking one of the required courses in either Semester 1, 2 or 3.  You can also apply for a provincial Basic Early Childhood Education (ECE) Certificate after the successful completion of all courses in Semesters 1, 2 and 3.  By completing Semester 4, you are eligible to apply for a provincial Basic ECE Certificate as well as an Infant Toddler Educator (ITE) Certificate.  (Under the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, persons certified in BC as ECE or ITE can transfer your certification to practice to other provinces such as Alberta and Manitoba.)   

For information about course planning contact an Educational Advisor.
For information about applying for the ECE program contact Admissions.
Phone: 1.877.277.2288 or email

Program Outline 

Students can opt out of the Diploma Program and after successfully completing the 15 courses required, be granted an NWCC certificate for ECCE Certificate Program. Courses required for the Certificate are marked with an asterix (*). 

YEAR 1   
Course Number Course Name
*ECCE 104-3 Health, Safety and Nutrition 
*ECCE 125-3 Field Placement I
*ECCE 141-3 Observation, Documentation, Reflection and Research Practices
*ECCE 162-3 Nurturing Creativity in the Young Child 
*PSYC 101-3 Introduction to Psychology I 
*ECCE 124-3 Interpersonal Communication OR
SSW 112-3  Interpersonal Communication 
*ECCE 126-3  Field Placement II
*ECCE 163-3 Language and Literacies in the Early Years
*ECCE 167-3  Guiding Young Children 
*SOCI 206-3  The Family in Cross Cultural Perspective 
YEAR 2   
*ECCE 209-3 Place Based Environments 
*ECCE 210-3 Science, Math, and The outdoor classroom 
*ECCE 211-3 Field Placement III
ECCE 220-3 Models of Care for Infants and Toddlers 
*PSYC 201-3 Developmental Psychology I 
ECCE 205  Inclusive Child Care
ECCE 208 Essential Skills for ECE Administrators 
ECCE 221 Responsive Care and Education for Under 3's
ECCE 222 Field Placement IV
*ECCE 223 Journey to Professionalism in ECE
Career Opportunities 

Early childhood educators are in high demand in BC and the rest of Canada.  BC’s 2025 Labour Market Outlook Report ranks early childhood educators in the top 15 careers with greatest job openings. 

ECCE graduates have the opportunity to find employment in a variety of settings:

  • Group daycares for children between birth and 12 years
  • In-home small group or family childcare
  • Preschools
  • Programs such as Aboriginal HeadStarts (on and off reserve), School Districts’ StrongStart, Supported Child Development (Aboriginal & non-Aboriginal), Infant Development, Aboriginal Infant Development and Family Resource.

You may also utilize your ECCE education to obtain employment as an Education Assistant in northern BC Kindergartens and Grade 1.  Municipal Parks and Recreation recruit those with ECEA and ECE/ITE certificates for children’s programs as well as other community services such as Transition (Safe) homes, Children Who Witness Abuse programs, and respite care homes and services.  

Admission Requirements 

Important Documents:


  • High School Graduation or Mature Student
  • English 12 or Equivalent 
  • Criminal Record Check as required under BC Child Care Regulation 
  • Two letters of reference confirming suitability for working with young children, written and dated within one year of the application. 
  • Up to date written submission of work history (Resume)
  • Proof of compliance with BC's Immunization and TB Control 
  • Comprehensive type written statement (approx. 500-800 words) outlining work and/or volunteer experience with children age birth to six, career goals, and reasons for taking the ECCE program.

Note: students may be admitted to the ECCE Diploma Program if they provide proof of a current BC ECE Registry certificate and subject to department review.

Note.  Students will be required to take the CAT (English Placement) once admitted.  Those with an unsatisfactory score will have the option of English upgrading and a modified course load.

*Students who wish to complete only NWCC’s ECCE Certificate must meet the same admission requirements as those taking ECCE Diploma program. 

The prerequisites for individual courses are outlined in the course descriptions. Students missing prerequisites may enrol in Career & College Preparation (CCP) upgrading courses while completing the program.

English proficiency is required for all students entering NWCC programs.  Please visit our English Language Alternatives page to see how this requirement can be met.  All admitted students will be required to take the CAT English Placement test.  Those who do not receive a satisfactory score will be advised to take a modified course load and English upgrading. 

Conditional Acceptance
Students looking for special or conditional acceptance into the ECCE diploma program must write a letter explaining why, including the time frame needed to meet the outstanding requirement(s).  Submit the letter along with your application to the Admissions Officer.  Conditional or special circumstance acceptances occur on a case-by-case basis. 

Need help with the application process?  Contact an Educational Advisor.

Dates and Locations 

Intakes:  September and January

Campus location:  Terrace

Study on a full or part-time basis.  Some courses are available online and by teleconference or videoconference.

Speak with an Educational Advisor for assistance with course selection.

Program Fees 
FEES  Full-time Domestic (30 Credits) Full-time International (30 Credits)
*Tuition: $2,794.20 $11,875.35
Student Union Fees: $83.04 $83.04
Mandatory Fees: $213.60 $258.48
Health Insurance:  N/A $234.60
Tuition Total:


Additional Costs:    
**Books: $1,500.00 $1,500.00
**Supplies/Clothing: $800.00 $800.00
**Fieldwork/Practicum $700.00 $700.00
Total Program Costs:
Tuition plus additional costs
$6,090.84 $15,451.47

Fees are effective as of August 7th, 2018

*These fees are an annual cost. Program takes two years to complete.

**Please note that these are approximate costs and may vary depending on courses taken.

Note: Travel to weekend workshops may be required.