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Early Childhood Care & Education Diploma (ECCE)


Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) Diploma Program is designed to prepare students with the necessary skills, knowledge and learning dispositions to be provincially certified as early childhood educators with a specialty in the care and education of infants and toddlers.  The 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 is focussed on transforming students’ 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.  The 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.

Duration of Program

ECCE Diploma Program is 4 semesters and spans two academic years.  It is designed to accommodate both full time and part time students.  Students have a number of options for provincial certification.  If successful, students can apply for an Early Childhood Education Assistant (ECEA) Certificate after taking one of the required courses in either Semester 1, 2 or 3.  They can also apply for a Basic Early Childhood Education (ECE) Certificate after the successful completion of all courses in Semesters 1, 2 and 3.  By completing Semester 4, students are eligible to apply for a 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 their certification to practice to other provinces such as Alberta and Manitoba.)  

For information about course planning contact Student Services.
For information about applying for the ECE program contact Admissions.
Phone: 1.877.277.2288 or email

Program Outline 

Year 1 

ECE 104-3 Health, Safety and Nutrition 
ECE 125-3 Practicum I
ECE 141-3 Becoming a Researcher 
ECE 162-3 Curriculum I
PSYC 101-3 Introduction to Psychology I 
ECE 124-3 Interpersonal Communication OR
SSW 112-3  Interpersonal Communication 
ECE 126-3  Practicum II 
ECE 163-3 Curriculum II
ECE 167-3  Guiding Young Children 
SOCI 206-3  The Family in Cross Cultural Perspective 
YEAR 2   
ECE 209-3 Environments, Culture, and Critical Pedagogy
ECE 210-3 Curriculum III
ECE 211-3 Practicum III
ECE 220-3 Infant Toddler Programs
PSYC 201-3 Developmental Psychology I 
ECE 168-3 Professional Development I
ECE 205  Advanced Child Development 
ECE 208 Professional Development  II
ECE 221 Infant/Toddler Environments 
ECE 222 Infant Toddler Practicum


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 as well as in-home small group or family childcare.  Graduates are employable in preschools, Aboriginal HeadStarts (on and off reserve), programs such as School Districts’ StrongStarts, Supported Child Development (Aboriginal & non-Aboriginal), Infant Development, Aboriginal Infant Development and Family Resource.  Students will be able to utilize their ECE education to obtain employment as Education Assistants in northern BC Kindergartens and Grade 1.  Municipal Parks and Recreation recruit those with ECEA and ECE/ITE certificates for their 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. 

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: $2,739.30 $12,213.15
Student Union Fees: $81.72 $81.72
Mandatory Fees: $209.40 $259.40
Health Insurance:  N/A $230.00
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
$6,030.42 $15,213.15

Fees are effective as of August 2nd, 2017

*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.